Pittsburgh Steelers face hefty fines, could lose draft picks for Mike Tomlin sideline incident

Nov 28, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin watches from the sideline against the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving at M&T Bank Stadium. Photo Credit: USA Today Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers dropped a game-tying two-point conversion attempt at the end of their Thanksgiving Day match up against the division rival Baltimore Ravens, but it was a sideline mishap with head coach Mike Tomlin that left everyone talking.

As Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones made his way down the sidelines for what appeared to be a kickoff return for a touchdown, Tomlin stepped out on to the field and interfered with the pay. Tomlin forced Jones to step inside, where he was caught from behind by the Steelers coverage team.

Tomlin insists it was simply him losing his place on the sideline as he watched the play go down on the jumbotron, but that doesn’t mean that the Steelers and their coach will avoid some serious punishment from the league.

According to CBS Sports, the Steelers fear that they will be facing hefty fines and potentially the loss of a draft pick for the incident.

From CBS Sports:

According to a league source and is likely to result in stiff financial penalties for the coach and the team, and perhaps the forfeiture of a draft pick.

Internally, the Steelers are also concerned that their coach’s action will cost them a draft pick, sources said, something they do not take lightly, even in the late rounds (where the loss of pick would come).

This was a game on national television, with massive playoff implications, and the review is expected to be completed on Monday. There has been no communication with Tomlin on the matter and none is expected. Players, for instance, are not asked for comment to discern intent or provide excuses prior to them receiving on-field discipline, though Tomlin would of course be eligible to appeal and make his voice heard at that time.

In the past, low-level Jets assistant coach Sal Alosi interfered with a player during a return and the team was fined $100,000 (Alosi was later fired, and, as a lower-waged employee, was not hit with a direct fine himself by the league but was fined $25,000 by the Jets and suspended for the remainder of the season). However, Tomlin is a well-tenured, highly compensated Super Bowl winning coach, and the standard he faces will be much more rigorous as someone who is the leader of that team and sets an example for other players and coaches alike.

These punishments would obviously be huge for the franchise, which is already dealing with a very disappointing season.

We should find out more this week as the NFL completes their review of the Tomlin situation, but it isn’t looking good for Pittsburgh.

Here is a GIF of the sideline incident that could lead to the punishment, so check it out and let us know what punishment you think Tomlin and the Steelers should face by sounding off in the comments section below:

Topics: Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

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  • Milliken Steeler

    That is absolutely ridiculous. It didn’t interfere with the play and Cortez Allens forty time is faster that Jones. What happens when two people line up and one is faster than the other?

    This league has turned into a joke with the fines. Lose a draft pick? Are you serious? smh

    You want to slap Tomlin on the hand and say he did it on purpose fine but even considering taking a draft pick for a no contact incident shows how this league is a joke anymore.

    The Nascar of the grid iron.

    • The Tagless Teabagger

      Hmmm, let’s see … Cortez Allen 40 yard dash time – 4.45 sec, Jacoby Jones 40 yard dash time – 4.47 sec. Yeah, that’s about 40 times as fast, give or take 39 or so.

      • Milliken Steeler

        So this means what? If you watch the play Cortez was running him down but…..we love to make excuses and have controversy. smh Enjoy

        • The Tagless Teabagger

          Consider the circumstances. This was an elimination game – loser’s
          season is pretty much done. The Steelers had just gotten back into the
          game with a TD drive. Had Jones scored on the kick return it would have
          taken all of the energy out of their
          comeback attempt. Jones HAD to be stopped to save the Steelers season.
          Tomlin’s step onto the field just as Jones approached forced him to
          alter his path and possibly prepare for a collision – likely making him
          slow down a step. Jones had no way to know at that point whether Tomlin
          was going to continue towards the field or retreat. It was only as Jones was approaching Tomlin that Allen gained ground on him.

          Considering that the ref on the play had to run out of bounds around
          Tomlin, he should have thrown a flag for interference. And since he was
          screened from seeing Tomlin step onto the field, video replay should
          have been used to determine the appropriate penalty. Had all the facts
          been known to a competent ref I believe the Ravens would have been
          awarded a touchdown on the play. Furthermore, the tackle itself was a
          horsecollar tackle – Allen used Jones’ shoulder pads to bring him down
          backwards from behind in the open field – texttbook definition of a
          horsecollar tackle..

          • Milliken Steeler

            No it wasn’t Tagless. Cortez was right on him and he took one step to his right and boom Cortez had him. He might have went another two steps however he was being run down,

            Tomlin didn’t touch him either. My point is people are making way to much of this. This was a non contact incident, Over the course of history some pretty crazy things have happened including coaches making contact and players on the sideline making contact. We are making a mountain out of a molehill.

            Bell scored a touchdown and a ridiculous rule took it away from him and speaking of penalties….he was hit with the helmet of the defender and no call was made. Potato / Potatoe. lol

          • The Tagless Teabagger

            It was only a non-contact incident because Jones took evasive action to avoid a collision. He was not able to just sprint down the sideline, but rather had to have part of his focus on watching Tomlin and avoiding being tripped or otherwise hit. There is no question that Tomlin interfered with Jones’ ability to run back the kick. Had the touchdown been scored, the Steelers play at the end would have been in mop up time with the Ravens up 26-14. This no-call against Tomlin had a very direct impact on the outcome of the game. The no-call on the hit on Bell, while I agree that it could have and should have been called against Jimmy Smith, did not affect the outcome because the Steelers scored the TD anyway. Tomlin’s interference did matter as the Ravens ended up taking a field goal.

          • Milliken Steeler

            It didn’t matter as once again he was being run down by Cortez. He wasnt way behind him and he was gaining on him before he stepped right. If anything, he lost a couple of more steps. Saying he would have scored with a faster player right behind him is incorrect

          • The Tagless Teabagger

            The difference in their relative speeds is minimal, certainly not enough to allow Allen to gain yards on Jones in time to stop him. You are ignoring human nature here. If you are running and you see a moving obstruction in your path, do you continue running flat out as fast as you can towards that obstruction or do you hesitate somewhat? Again, there is no question that Tomlin’s actions affected that play, even before he gave his little juke step FURTHER out onto the field just as Jones was reaching him. You are simply wrong about this.

          • Milliken Steeler

            Tagless to your point, Cortez is running without the ball. Jacoby is running with the football. It doesn’t matter when the person trailing you is slower however, when the person trailing you is faster and you are running with the football which makes you a tick slower. IE Jacoby didn’t run that 40 time with a football in his hands. He was able to get full use of his arms back and forth as most sprinters do.

            My point is, that play was way to close to assume a touchdown. Ill even call it a push…I guess. You just cant as a matter of fact, call that a lost TD because of the close proximity of the players and the player that was involved in the chase.

          • Milliken Steeler

            This has actually turned into a great conversation. lol

  • The Tagless Teabagger

    Something nobody has mentioned about this play is the horsecollar tackle by Allen. He used Jone’s shoulder pads to pull him don in the open field – should have been a 15 yard penalty. Of course, Tomlin’s juke-step onto the field should have been penalized with the Ravens being awarded the stolen touchdown.

    • Milliken Steeler

      Stolen Touchdown. lol Take off the homer glasses skippy. Bell’s touchdown was stolen. Jones was being run down as anyone watching who isn’t a homer can see but alas….Tomlin is the excuse you needed. Congrats

  • Eric Crowley

    I think Mike Tomlin should be fined,but I don’t feel the whole organization should have suffer for his unsportsmanlike conduct,the team didn’t do it,he did. We shouldn’t have to lose a draft pick cause of his own acts. I’m a HUGE!!!!! Steelers Fan.I love the steelers and has been. a disappointing season. I would get rid of Tomlin and Haley and start bringing in a some new players in the secondary,they don’t intercept the ball ,defense in general don’t create any turnovers.We just need to bring in some real ballers and start bringing in new talent cause we r getting up in age. Love Polumalu,Kiesel,Woodley,Timmons,Heyward and Clark on def. Roethlisburger,Brown,Cothery,Miller ,but we need new and better talent,but start with the def cause that what wins championships. Take heed.

    • Frank Beans

      The coach represents the team, that’s why draft picks could be taken away. Otherwise you’d never be able to penalize a team if you could say “well it was just this person, not the team”.

  • Linda Oliver

    Seems intentional move by Tomlin; both ref & Tomlin should have money fines, both pulled from next few games. With all the experience of this coach, I feel he knew where he was standing, what was going on & how much obstruction would interfere with run! Too many slaps on hands and not enough serious penalties!!!

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