The NFL announced Wednesday that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has been fined $100,000 for interfering with a play in Thursday’s loss to the Ravens, and the league is considering a forfeiture or modification of draft picks as well.
Tomlin stood at the edge of the field on the white sideline stripe — well past where coaches are supposed to be — and had his back to Jacoby Jones‘ kick return as Tomlin watched it on the scoreboard at the far end of the stadium. When he realized the Baltimore speedster was getting close to him, Tomlin initially stepped on the field before jumping back. By that time, Jones angled toward the middle of the field, apparently to avoid a collision, and was tackled.
Tomlin, a member of the league’s competition committee, called his actions “embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal, a blunder” in a Tuesday press conference but insisted that he did not intentionally try to create a distraction.
“I understand with my position comes the charge of preserving and protecting the integrity of the game of football, and I think probably my biggest error on Thursday night is not realizing that play jeopardized the integrity of the game from a perception standpoint,” Tomlin said.
The league also noted Wednesday that a 15-yard penalty should have been called on Tomlin. No flag was thrown on the play.