Mike Tomlin awaits punishment by NFL as new video surfaces

December 2, 2013

Mike Tomlin’s sideline awareness was a bit lacking Thursday night. (Gail Burton / AP)

A new video of Mike Tomlin during the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Thanksgiving night game isn’t going to help his case as the NFL mulls punishment for the coach’s sideline sashay.

Although the KDKA video shows that Tomlin’s back is to the kickoff return of the Baltimore Ravens’ Jacoby Jones, he had a clear view ahead of him on the M&T Bank Stadium JumboTron. In the latest Zapruderesque breakdown of video, Tomlin can be seen stepping onto the field as Jones approaches, then quickly jumping aside.

Tomlin has said that he was just watching on the JumboTron and lost his bearings. Among the possible penalties for Tomlin (and the Steelers) are a huge fine and loss of a draft pick for a move that came the day after the NFL reminded coaches to watch where they are on the sidelines because of previous incidents with other teams this season and coaches venturing onto the six-foot-wide white stripe way too often. Tomlin was not flagged for impeding Jones’s progress by causing him to veer slightly (Jones was tackled and the Steelers lost 22-20). As it sorts through punishment for Tomlin, the league must also address the fact that two on-field officials saw the incident and didn’t throw a flag for unsportsmanlike conduct. Their ratings are likely to be downgraded for that.

After spending most of her career in traditional print sports journalism, Cindy began blogging and tweeting, first as NFL/Redskins editor, and, since August 2010, at The Early Lead. She also is the social media editor for Sports.
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Cindy Boren · December 2, 2013