Mike Tomlin says it’s “crazy” to think he’d step onto field intentionally

December 3, 2013

Mike Tomlin denies malevolent intent. (Gail Burton / AP)

Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin has disputed the notion that he deliberately and malevolently tiptoed into the path of Jacoby Jones in the Steelers’ Thanksgiving night loss to the Baltimore Ravens.

“‘If anybody thinks I or anybody else would do this on purpose, they are crazy,'” Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer said, reading a text message from Tomlin on “Fox Football Daily.”

Jones was off and running up the sideline on a kickoff return when Tomlin wandered onto the scene, with his toe even extending onto the field. He had his back to the play, but had a clear vision of it because he was watching on the JumboTron.

Tomlin is expected to be mightily fined sometime this week.

“I always watch the returns on the Jumbotron. It provides better perspective for me,” Tomlin said after the game at M&T Bank Stadium. “Obviously, I lost my placement as he broke free and saw at the last second how close I was to the field of play. I do it quite often, like everybody else in the National Football League. I was wrong. I accept responsibility for it.”

On Monday, Ryan Clark defended his coach. “If he had tripped him or tackled him it would have been a different story, but he didn’t,” Clark said (via ESPN). “When he noticed he was in the way, he dived away.”

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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