Tomlin off with the fairies

Eliot Bingham Roar Pro

By Eliot Bingham, Eliot Bingham is a Roar Pro

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    Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin seems to be the only person in the universe who believes his conduct against the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving was not intentional.

    During the third quarter in the Steelers’ 22-20 loss against the Ravens, Pittsburgh had just scored a touchdown to reduce the deficit to 13-7.

    On the ensuing kick-off, Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones took possession of the ball and was screaming down the left hand side of the open field narrowly in front of the Steelers chasers.

    Jones was totally unaware that Steelers coach Tomlin had edged himself so close to the sideline that he had one foot beyond the white paint and was standing with his back turned to the play on the field – according to Tomlin to innocently watch the Jumbotron screen.

    After seeing Tomlin so close to the field of play, Jones had to change the direction of his run and was ultimately tackled by the Steelers after a 73-yard dash.

    The one question everyone wants to find the answer to, is if Tomlin was never so negligent to let himself be that close to the sideline would Jones have continued his run and scored a touchdown?

    Probably not, but that is not the issue.

    After the match ended the Steelers head coach answered questions in his customary post match press conference and vehemently denied his actions were intentional.

    “I always watch the returns on the Jumbotron; it provides a better perspective for me. Obviously, I lost my placement as he broke free, and saw at the last second how close I was to the field of play,” Tomlin said.

    Now watching various replays of the incident it has become clear Tomlin knew exactly where he was because he can undoubtedly be seen peering over his shoulder before Jones ever was near him.

    To try and sell the acting display of pleading ignorance, Tomlin jumps out of the way at the last second.

    What is far more intriguing is the fact that after the blunder occurred Tomlin then walks back into the Steelers sideline and cheekily smiles – displaying outright intent.

    Anyone who says that Tomlin’s actions were not intentional must get their eyes and ears checked.

    The expected penalty for Tomlin and the Steelers has been mooted by those around the league as a possible six-figure fine for Tomlin, a separate fine for the team which could be monetary or the loss of a draft pick next season.

    There was talk of a suspension for Tomlin but now that seems to be unlikely.

    The NFL’s vice president of officiating Dean Blandino speaking on the NFL Network’s NFL Total Access program said referees should have thrown penalty flag in Tomlin’s direction after the play.

    “Anytime a player or a coach from the sideline is in this white area, that’s a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct,” Dean Blandino said.

    Yesterday Tomlin made an about face turn and offered a sincere apology at the start of his mid-week press conference.

    So much so that he spent the first 20 minutes explaining the situation and his actions on the field.

    Tomlin described his conduct against the Ravens as ‘embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal and a blunder’.

    Which is exactly what they were but nowhere did he explain clearly what led himself to be in that position.

    “I can’t be in that space and I was, so I take full responsibility for that. It’s an inexcusable blunder on my part” Tomlin said.

    “It’s been shocking to me that my actions could have been perceived or have been perceived in any way as intentional in regard to my action on that play,”

    “I would never do such a thing. I would never consider doing such a thing.”

    Well unfortunately for you Mike, you did do it and that acting performance in the media conference was Oscar worthy.

    You obviously haven’t seen the damning footage which shows you step directly onto the field as Jones is running towards you.

    Please leave your players in charge of affecting the play on the field.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • Roar Guru

      December 5th 2013 @ 9:24am
      Brent Ford said | December 5th 2013 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      It was poor sportsmanship by Tomlin for sure. Not sure who is worse Jason Kidd for spilling his drink or Tomlin for that performance, unfortunately for both neither will be winning an Oscar 😉

      • Roar Pro

        December 5th 2013 @ 10:47am
        Eliot Bingham said | December 5th 2013 @ 10:47am | ! Report

        I saw the Kidd incident and couldn’t believe it. I suppose they are trying anything to gain an advantage in sport these days!

    • December 5th 2013 @ 10:37am
      Morfs said | December 5th 2013 @ 10:37am | ! Report

      So, a $100,000 fine for Tomlin has been confirmed, and the NFL is apparently still considering the loss of a draft pick for the Steelers. Whether it was deliberate or not, I no longer care. It just ensures that the Ravens have even more motivation (as if they need any) to beat the Steelers next time they play.

      • Roar Pro

        December 5th 2013 @ 10:48am
        Eliot Bingham said | December 5th 2013 @ 10:48am | ! Report

        Exactly, if there already wasn’t enough fuel for the Ravens-Steelers rivalry…

    • December 5th 2013 @ 3:04pm
      g. michael said | December 5th 2013 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

      Coach Tomlin’s smile was like that on a kid who had just been caught with his hand in the cookie jar. It was an intentional act pure and simple and he does not have the spine to admit it,

    • December 5th 2013 @ 7:29pm
      Minz said | December 5th 2013 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

      I dunno about this – if he didn’t know exactly where he was, it would take some time to reorient from watching a screen to the live action, and then to react to the live action and get out of the way. Given the speed the gif shows frames at, it makes it look like Tomlin’s watching the field for a longer period than he actually was.

      Hence, I don’t think any of the footage proves intent, but it should certainly have been a penalty and a fine regardless – getting in the way of the play needs to be penalised heavily whether deliberate or not.

      • Roar Pro

        December 12th 2013 @ 8:06pm
        Eliot Bingham said | December 12th 2013 @ 8:06pm | ! Report

        Agree completely. There is footage however that shows him standing still and when JJ is running past he darts sideways onto the field…that cursed him for me.

    • December 5th 2013 @ 7:29pm
      Gobarg said | December 5th 2013 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

      That cheeky grin cost him $100k

      He is also pretty much on his own as far as the league is concerned. Most of the other coaches have said they think it is a fair price to pay although most have admitted that they to can stray close to the line at times.

      Some of them even have staff members whose job it is to pull them back if they get too close.

      • Roar Pro

        December 12th 2013 @ 8:07pm
        Eliot Bingham said | December 12th 2013 @ 8:07pm | ! Report

        I love the jobs they give to sideline staff. Guys who just motivate and hi 5 and slap to guys who just clean towels and pour water through the helmet’s.

    • December 7th 2013 @ 8:00am
      Bob Anderson said | December 7th 2013 @ 8:00am | ! Report

      I thought this article was going to be about sexual orientation.

      • Roar Pro

        December 12th 2013 @ 8:07pm
        Eliot Bingham said | December 12th 2013 @ 8:07pm | ! Report

        Haha unfortunately for you Bob I think he’s happily married…to a woman.

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