Titans coordinator Cecil fined $20,000

Updated: December 31, 2009, 6:30 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Titans defensive coordinator Chuck Cecil has been fined $20,000 by the NFL for verbally abusing officials.

The Titans had just been flagged for roughing Philip Rivers when an official heard Cecil say something. The Titans were penalized another 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Coach Jeff Fisher defended his first-year coordinator, saying Cecil was overheard talking to fellow coaches on his headset. Fisher said Thursday after practice that Cecil will explain who he was talking to when he appeals the fine. Fisher again declined to discuss what Cecil said and that coaches usually get warnings.

"Hopefully, it'll be recognized as a misunderstanding," Fisher said.

This isn't the first time this season the NFL has fined someone other than a Tennessee player.

Titans owner Bud Adams was fined $250,000 for obscene hand gestures after a 41-17 win over Buffalo on Nov. 15.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.