PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has plenty of words to describe his ill-timed foray onto the field last week against Baltimore.
Intentional is not one of them.
Tomlin apologized at length Tuesday for nearly interfering with Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones in the third quarter of a 22-20 Baltimore victory on Thanksgiving night, calling it “embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal, a blunder.”
One that is likely to haunt the 41-year-old for the remainder of his career and take a pretty decent bite out of his wallet and perhaps even his reputation.
“There are repercussions of a blunder of that nature and I embrace it,” he said. “With my position comes the charge of preserving and protecting the game of football. … I think my biggest error on Thursday night is not realizing that play jeopardized the game from an integrity standpoint.”
Tomlin was standing at the Pittsburgh 35, as is his custom, when the Steelers kicked off after a touchdown that drew them within six points of the Ravens. As the ball settled into Jones’ hands, Tomlin turned his attention to one of the videoboards at M&T Stadium to get a better perspective of the play as it unfolded. He stepped onto a strip of turf painted white that is meant to serve as a barrier between the field of play and the sideline.
Jones raced through a hole and down the Steelers sideline while Pittsburgh’s Cortez Allen gave chase. Tomlin didn’t move even as Jones closed in — mostly, he said, because he was “mesmerized” by what was happening on the screen.
“I saw myself come into the Jumbotron, it’s a frightening experience,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin actually stepped onto the field with his right foot before jumping out of the way as Jones veered right to avoid a collision. Allen tackled Jones a split second later as a potential touchdown ended as a 73-yard return. Tomlin was not flagged on the play, and he pointed out after the game that standing in the white area was commonplace for coaches even if it was technically against the rules.
He didn’t use that as an excuse while communicating with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and other league officials Monday. Tomlin said he had no plans to fight whatever disciplinary action the league decides to hand out.
“I don’t know what a just punishment is,” he said. “I have no idea. I’m not acting in a way to preserve my wallet and my money. My wallet and my money is what it is because of the game of football.”
The NFL fined the New York Jets $100,000 in 2010 when cameras caught strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi tripping a Miami player on the sideline. Alosi was suspended by the Jets and eventually resigned after the season.
While Tomlin’s job status is certainly not in jeopardy, he is aware critics believe he was attempting to gain a competitive advantage.
“The possibility that my actions could be perceived in that way never crossed my mind,” he said.
Which is why he was a little surprised his sons told him the incident kept coming up during the usual Sunday NFL TV coverage. Tomlin understands his ill-timed two-step created “hours” of fodder.
“I have no desire to defend my character or things of that nature,” he said. “I’ve become comfortable with the fact in these positions you get judged a certain way.”
Tomlin acknowledged there was a memo sent out by the league last week asking coaches to be more mindful of where they stand on the sideline. He said he might have missed it because the Steelers were facing the Ravens on a short week.
Regardless, he stressed he will do a better job “policing” himself in the future and stay out of harm’s way.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
1 of 30
2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
2 of 30
3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
3 of 30
4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
4 of 30
5. Jus haaaanngin out
5 of 30
6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
6 of 30
7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
7 of 30
8. new new
8 of 30
9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
9 of 30
10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
10 of 30
11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
11 of 30
12 of 30
13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
13 of 30
14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
14 of 30
15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
15 of 30
16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
16 of 30
17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
17 of 30
18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
18 of 30
19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
19 of 30
20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
20 of 30
21 of 30
22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
22 of 30
23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
23 of 30
24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
24 of 30
25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
25 of 30
26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
26 of 30
27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
27 of 30
28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
28 of 30
29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
29 of 30
30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
30 of 30