Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is still claiming his interference with Jacoby Jones return was accidental and not intentional. Tomlin did take responsibility if not admitting intent by calling his actions “embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal” and “a blunder.”
“As head coaches, we’re held to higher standards of conduct, and that blunder fell woefully short and in that vein I accept … the repercussions of a blunder of that nature,” Tomlin said, via NFL.com. “I embrace it. With my position comes preserving the integrity of the game of football.”
That might be true, but NFL’s vice president of officiating Dean Blandino says that Tomlin should have been flagged on 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,” Blandino said on Tuesday’s edition of NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access.” “If they interfere with the play, it could be what’s called a ‘palpably unfair act.’ In that instance, the referee could basically penalize the team whatever he deems equitable, which could include giving the Ravens a touchdown. That’s not the case here, but certainly coach Tomlin was in the white. He should have been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.”