Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin deserves to be fined for his near interference with Baltimore Ravens return man Jacoby Jones. Even though Tomlin insists that what he did isn’t any different from what he normally does on kickoffs, the NFL still must send a clear message that coaches need to stand far behind the white line in order to protect players.
“I always watch the returns on the JumboTron. It provides better perspective for me,” Tomlin said, according to ESPN. “I lost my placement as he broke free and saw at the last second how close I was to the field of play.”
As the play unfolded, I thought it was very peculiar how close Tomlin stood to the field. Not to mention, how long it took for him to react to Jones running right past him. The thing is Tomlin was clearly watching the play take place and yet it took him until the very last second to move out of the way. Along with that, Tomlin glances at Jones and actually steps in his direction onto the field. For that reason alone, Tomlin deserves to be fined.
It’s hard to tell if Jones actually was going to take the kickoff to the house, as Allen Cortez was able to run him down. However, Jones believes there’s no question he would have scored the touchdown.
“I eased up,” Jones told NFL Network’s “NFL AM” on Friday. “At the time when I was looking at him, I was like, ‘I ain’t going to run through him.’ Everybody was like, ‘You should’ve ran over him,’ and I’m like, ‘Man, good God, I’m not that type of person.’”
Thankfully, Tomlin’s action didn’t interfere with the outcome of the game, as the Ravens were able to hold off the Steelers for the 20-22 victory.