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Alosi case creates interesting precedent for Tomlin

Tomlin AP

Three years ago next month, the football-following world became acquainted with the name Sal Alosi.

The former Jets strength coach, Alosi aligned a phalanx of inactive players on the border of the sideline during punt plays by the opposing team to disrupt the “gunners” charged with trying to get to the kicked ball.

It blew up for Alosi when he tripped Dolphins gunner Nolan Carroll.  The Jets were fined $100,000, and Alosi “resigned” after the season — possibly with a severance agreement that prevented Alosi from ever saying that coach Rex Ryan knew about the practice.  (Ryan denied any knowledge of Alosi’s shenanigans.)

Fast forward to last night.  Steelers coach Mike Tomlin wasn’t on the border of the sideline during the long kickoff return by Jacoby Jones.  He was deep into the white stripe, with one foot in the field of play as Jones approached.  When Tomlin finally noticed Jones, Tomlin reaction was to flinch in Jones’ direction before getting out of the way.

The move forced Jones to move inside, and he was caught from behind by Cortez Allen.

There was no contact with Jones, and Allen quite possibly would have caught Jones anyway.  But it’s a bad look for a head coach to actually have a foot on the field at a moment when the action is moving toward him.

Tomlin seemed credible in his post-game press conference, explaining that he simply “lost my placement” and accepting responsibility for the gaffe.  Still, under that reasoning Tomlin could have wandered to the middle of the field.

It’s honorable that Tomlin took responsibility, but what else could he have said?  It wasn’t my fault?

The next question becomes whether the league will do anything about it.  If executive V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson lets it go, cries will arise of favoritism to the Rooneys.  If Anderson smacks Tomlin, cries will arise that it was an overreaction, and that the Steelers once again are being persecuted by a fine-happy league office.

Regardless, the NFL needs to make it clear to all coaches that, whether intentional or not, no one should ever be in position to even possibly affect the play on the field.  Even without making contact, Tomlin came close enough to Jones that the penalty imposed against the Steelers and/or their coach will ensure that every coach:  (1) knows where he is; (2) knows where the ball is; and (3) stays the hell away.

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58 Responses to “Alosi case creates interesting precedent for Tomlin”
  1. 6ball says: Nov 29, 2013 10:23 AM

    .

    Slygate

    .

  2. bennyb82 says: Nov 29, 2013 10:25 AM

    Suh should come forward to apologize…you know the NFL would HATE that.

  3. jakec4 says: Nov 29, 2013 10:29 AM

    It isn’t “honorable” that Tomlin took responsibility. He was caught cheating, and that cat that ate the canary smirk on his face made it look like he knew exactly what he was doing. He didn’t seem like he gave an embarrassed kind of reaction.

    I don’t know if Jacoby would have scored. I do know that he had to slow down while Tomlin was Jumbotron gazing or whatever, then Jacoby had to change the course of his run and cut the ball back into the field to where he would be closer to Allen.

    As far as slimy Steelers shenanigans go, I hope they drop the hammer on Tomlin.

  4. agelardi says: Nov 29, 2013 10:31 AM

    $500k fine & loss of a later round draft pick.

  5. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 29, 2013 10:32 AM

    What do you expect from a dirtbag coach on a dirtbag team whose dirtbag team doctor was indicted for distribution of growth hormone and anabolic steroids?!?

  6. bigjd says: Nov 29, 2013 10:33 AM

    He should be suspended for the rest of the season.

  7. Nofoolnodrool says: Nov 29, 2013 10:36 AM

    Someone wants to make an issue of this, but it makes me think of both Harbag brothers. Watch film of them and you will see them in the field of play as you would see many other coaches if one wanted to be objective. Tomlin manned up what else do you want…..you got that the steelers lost.

  8. wingz101 says: Nov 29, 2013 10:39 AM

    The video during and post incident is pretty damning here. So are the facts. He is on the field of play. He likely prevented a touchdown.

    Somehow no ref thought this was worthy of a flag?

    It clearly looks like cheating. Where is all the talk about the integrity of the game?

    This has to be a huge, huge, huge fine.

  9. eljefe322 says: Nov 29, 2013 10:40 AM

    It was pathetic and the league needs to smack him down. His excuse was that he was there to watch the Jumbotron. Isn’t a Jumbotron, by definition, Jumbo, and therefore readily visible from anywhere?

  10. getyourownname says: Nov 29, 2013 10:42 AM

    Amazingly, you can read where some steeler fans claim he was not on the field, even though the video is completely clear about this, and even though the rule requires that he not even be on the white part, not just the field itself.

    I don’t think he intentionally did it, assuming “intentionally” means trying to impede Jones, thus this is not the same as Alosi’s case. I believe he was smiling because he realized the video showed unequivocally he had made an obvious mistake that everyone could see and he was chagrined about it. All of us would feel the same way.

    But if the rule is like any other rule where such intention does not matter (like face masking), then it’s hard to see why he should not have been penalized (meaning, under the rule, that a TD should have been awarded), or why he would not face a fine.

  11. deep64blue says: Nov 29, 2013 10:50 AM

    Minimum 4 game suspension for Tomlin and the ref who missed it, anything less is a joke.

  12. tincansailor981 says: Nov 29, 2013 10:55 AM

    I want to see what Goody does with this one since he brought the hammer on the Saints for unconfirmed allegations of wrongdoing. This transgression occurred on national TV in front of millions. My guess? A fine of $50K or less and call it even.

  13. redngold1 says: Nov 29, 2013 10:55 AM

    Of course some fine/punishment should be forth coming for cheating during a game.
    (And Tomlin was.)

    But another aspect of the incident,
    that I haven’t seen talked about any where,
    is injury if the runner slammed into the coach.

    What’s at stake:
    The INTEGRITY of the game
    and
    The SAFETY of all participants.

  14. h0c2000 says: Nov 29, 2013 10:59 AM

    Rex Ryan is shaking his head at the non-call.

  15. athwartships says: Nov 29, 2013 11:01 AM

    Hi-Def television. It was CLEAR the head coach was facing away from the action on the field (yea, that makes sense) and he was clearly looking to his peripheral, watching for the runner, and it was shockingly clear he was on the field of play, looking away from the action and watching the field in his peripheral ALL at the same time when he flinched into the play and stepped away all “innocent”.

    It was a chump move and regardless of favoritism or fans, if he does not get fined for interferring with a play, the league will lose credibility.

  16. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 29, 2013 11:09 AM

    The NFL should have already suspended him.

    This is why nobody takes goodell seriously when it comes to discipline.

  17. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 29, 2013 11:10 AM

    Poor sportsmanship.

  18. fanofevilempire says: Nov 29, 2013 11:20 AM

    yeah, he didn’t know, no flag for unsportsmanlike
    conduct, get real.

  19. pftfan says: Nov 29, 2013 11:23 AM

    One-game suspension is fair. He did impede the play on the field, and since no flag was thrown or TD awarded, the league will probably will issue their standard ex post facto overreaction.

    The biggest thing here isn’t to punish Tomlin as it is to get in coaches heads that standing on the field of play to give your team an advantage (however slight) is completely unacceptable, as it should be.

  20. briang123 says: Nov 29, 2013 11:26 AM

    Wow! What a reaction against Tomlin for making an honest mistake. I doubt it has anything to do with him being the top African-American coach in the league.

  21. evrybdyhas1 says: Nov 29, 2013 11:35 AM

    If the Ravens lose this game this is under a microscope. A head coach has to be the leader by example. In this case either the coach did it intentionally or he did it ignorantly. Neither is a an example to proud of or a blueprint for success.

  22. trekker38 says: Nov 29, 2013 11:39 AM

    Wow , briang123. You’re going to play the race card here? Watch the replays. The coach’s “smug” grin after the play was shown to the Baltimore fans at the stadium is also on record, and indicates no embarrassment or remorse. It’s not about being African-American, it’s about what he did. Your comments are a poor excuse for those actions. He wasn’t watching the jumbotron, unless the jumbotron is over his shoulder… Pathetic attempt to cheat, and I feel he’ll pay for it. There will also most likely be some discipline sent the official’s way for not throwing the flag. There sure were a ton of them flying Baltimore’s way! Such a blatant “look the other way” on this play is ridiculous.

  23. citizenstrange says: Nov 29, 2013 11:40 AM

    Not only is Tomlin a cheat but he is also a liar.

  24. dstroi says: Nov 29, 2013 11:46 AM

    What about the referee Clete Blakeman? What is he 0 for 2 on bad no calls or no explanations for the no calls? This guy needs to be suspended without pay or fired for his incompetence. Great job Clete, keep up the good work!!! (sarcasm inserted here)

  25. laserw says: Nov 29, 2013 11:48 AM

    If the coach had a foot on the field, that should have resulted in a flag for too many men on the field for Pittsburgh and any gain from the play should have been negated. And since this was a coach then the Jets’ precedent should be invoked and the miscreant Rusty Steeler coach should get booted for the remainder of the season.

    The NFL needs to do like NASCAR – have a clear out of bounds line that indicates a no-man’s land – if any person other than a player being tossed out of bounds or a referee appears in that area, then there should be an ejection from the game for the offending personnel or coach and a 15 yard penalty from the previous spot of the ball.

    Right now it is really iffy what is and what is not outbounds and where the players and coaches can stand – it is either universally ignored or not enforced.

    I don’t think any player should be fined monetarily – if a penalty is so significant, it should result in an ejection from the game. Rules need to be designed that ejections have a half-life – get two ejections in a period of time and then you are suspended from play for two games and lose your game checks. That is how you get their attention. Get more than two ejections in a season (including playoffs) and you are suspended for eight regular season games and any playoff games left in that season without pay.

  26. silvernblak says: Nov 29, 2013 11:50 AM

    This is rule enforced by officials in pee wee leagues. He lost his position! Never besides the trip by the dolphins coach 3years ago have I ever seen a coach on the field with his back to the play.c’mon really?

  27. wisconsinhillfolk says: Nov 29, 2013 11:54 AM

    Please don’t feed the briang123.

    Thank you.

  28. profish13 says: Nov 29, 2013 11:56 AM

    He should be fined and get a one game suspension. It’s impossible to know his intent, so all the posters saying how he’s a cheater need to stop playing psychic. It’s also rather sad to see people saying he should be suspended for the year, lose draft picks, or whatever else. Probably Saints and Ravens fans, the Saints fans I feel bad for as they really got shafted last year, Ravens fans can keep crying.

    With that said, he broke a rule and should be punished accordingly. Just not to the degree that some of these maniac posters are suggesting.

  29. pftstory says: Nov 29, 2013 11:57 AM

    No flag = Yes the Refs should have consequences. This is one of the many reasons why I was in favor of sticking with the replacement refs and starting from scratch with a new crew with new rules as far as the standards they needed to live up to.

    Coach is not allowed on the field. He was, he affected a play. That is a problem, but like has been mentioned, many coaches are on the field when the rules state they should not. But it has been ignored, that again is the problem. If it is a rule, enforece it from the get go, or don’t have the rule. Instead they ignored it until we got to this.
    This, to me, makes it matter if he intended to interefere or not. Coaches are regularly allowed on the field. The rule is regularly ignored. That too is a precedent. If he just happened to be in the wrong place, why is it different then any other coach who was not flagged and was lucky enough to not be in the way?
    If he intended to be in the way, that’s a major problem involving a suspension. If it was accidental, its simply another blown call by the refs. A coach being on the field of play in violation of the rules should be consistently enforced. Unfortunatly they have not historically enforced it.

    Big challenge is determining intention.

  30. enders9 says: Nov 29, 2013 12:26 PM

    Whether it was just an honest mistake and Tomlin really did just lose his placement, or if he did it intentionally. The league has to drop the hammer on him to prove a point that this won’t be tolerated going forward. If he gets off easy then other coaches might be enticed to do the same thing and give the same excuse.

  31. chinahand11 says: Nov 29, 2013 12:43 PM

    It was a lame move, he didn’t honorably fess up, he got caught and tried to lie it off as a “mistake.” He cheated, got caught, the end.

  32. johnnyjagfan says: Nov 29, 2013 12:45 PM

    He ought to be punished more than a player who smoked marijuana. The Ravens should have been given a TD.

  33. rockthered1286 says: Nov 29, 2013 12:49 PM

    Nofoolnodrool says:
    Nov 29, 2013 10:36 AM
    Someone wants to make an issue of this, but it makes me think of both Harbag brothers. Watch film of them and you will see them in the field of play as you would see many other coaches if one wanted to be objective. Tomlin manned up what else do you want…..you got that the steelers lost.
    ______________________________
    The old “it’s okay because he does it too” excuse. Classic. Except there’s a hole in your logic- while most coaches occassionally enter the field of play, it’s always behind the play, after the whistle, or on the other side of the field from the play. Quite the opposite with Tomlin who is looking away from the play whilst drifting onto the actual field of play where the play is developing behind him. Intention or not, explain to me why every other coach in the NFL is cognizant of their whereabouts but Tomlin was not? Missed flag and well deserving of a fine and possible 1 game bench job for the HC, if nothing more than to prove a point to others. Make him the poster child. Back to back weeks the Ravens have returned kicks and had a coach interfere with the play… let’s get it resolved before it becomes more prevalent.

  34. Nofoolnodrool says: Nov 29, 2013 12:50 PM

    citizenstrange | Nov 29, 2013, 11:40 AM EST
    Not only is Tomlin a cheat but he is also a liar.

    I guess the liar makes him like you, but the cheat part …eh that is a stretch. Face it you hate Tomlin so how can your opinion be taken seriously? Your lengthy documentation of the cheating part was impressive.

  35. Nofoolnodrool says: Nov 29, 2013 1:01 PM

    The old “it’s okay because he does it too” excuse. Classic. Except there’s a hole in your logic- while most coaches occassionally enter the field of play, it’s always behind the play, after the whistle, or on the other side of the field from the play. Quite the opposite with Tomlin who is looking away from the play whilst drifting onto the actual field of play where the play is developing behind him. Intention or not, explain to me why every other coach in the NFL is cognizant of their whereabouts but Tomlin was not? Missed flag and well deserving of a fine and possible 1 game bench job for the HC, if nothing more than to prove a point to others. Make him the poster child. Back to back weeks the Ravens have returned kicks and had a coach interfere with the play… let’s get it resolved before it becomes more prevalent.

    So you want to say every other coach but Tomlin stays behind the line? Even as a a Raven homer your explanation is a joke…but hey do yourself a favor take off the purple shades and watch the side line in the next game you watch. Things not in purple will be those in reality….

  36. dragonfly99 says: Nov 29, 2013 1:06 PM

    In all fairness, the punishment should be the same for similar infractions. We’ll see if Roger Goodell and the NFL enforce the same penalties or show favoritism towards the Rooneys.

  37. totallysirius says: Nov 29, 2013 1:22 PM

    Intentional or not, it still had an effect on the play, that is cheating and that is why there is a rule against it.

  38. jedimasterbates says: Nov 29, 2013 1:53 PM

    < Steelers fan. Tomlin is Bush League.

  39. Deb says: Nov 29, 2013 2:13 PM

    After a Raven defender deliberately tried to decapitate Bell as he crossed the goal line and no flag was thrown, I don’t want to hear any whining about how a coach stepping six inches onto the field then stepping off endangered anyone.

  40. worldfullofhaters says: Nov 29, 2013 2:28 PM

    By most of the rationale on these comments…. Anyone who ever broke a rule is dirtbag/cheater/pos. There would be nobody playing the games due to avalanche of suspensions caused by GAME penalties. That incident should only be a flag, maybe TD. It wouldn’t have changed anything. Maybe jones should have just blasted tomlin. Haters would be happy?doubt it.

  41. agc99 says: Nov 29, 2013 2:29 PM

    The NFL needs to crack down hard on Tomlin.

  42. badoglick says: Nov 29, 2013 2:31 PM

    4 game suspension and loss of draft picks? Overreaction much? Yes it was a foul and he should be fined, but I guarantee he won’t be suspended for even a second of one game (which would be the right call), and they certainly won’t lose a draft pick. This isn’t any worse than the Jason Kidd incident, who was far more obviously, blatantly lying. 50,000 fine, moving on.

    If anyone should get suspended it’s the referee who missed something so glaringly obvious on the field that it resulted in a missed touchdown. But he probably won’t, either.

    Good thing we don’t have those replacement refs anymore, they were terrible!

  43. sbaltimore says: Nov 29, 2013 2:53 PM

    Tomlin seemed “credible” in his post game press conference? REALLY? Maybe to a lawyer, but not to a normal person.

  44. hrdcorbengalsfan says: Nov 29, 2013 3:46 PM

    They lost, it’s all that matters!

  45. Nofoolnodrool says: Nov 29, 2013 4:13 PM

    Tomlin seemed “credible” in his post game press conference? REALLY? Maybe to a lawyer, but not to a normal person.

    4 0
    Report comment. Tomlin is very credible to normal people not wearing purple glasses and having the ability to think normally without bias…..try it is good for your health and well being.

  46. charger383 says: Nov 29, 2013 4:24 PM

    If he does not get a big fine then the whole fine thing needs to be done away with.

  47. pastabelly says: Nov 29, 2013 4:44 PM

    Difference between this and Alosi play is intent. Tomlin wasn’t looking at the field when he went over the line. It’s why the NBA differentiates flagrant fouls from fouls. Tomlin’s intent was to get a look at the scoreboard video and Alosi attempted to influence the return.

  48. frank booth says: Nov 29, 2013 5:31 PM

    Deb says: Nov 29, 2013 2:13 PM

    After a Raven defender deliberately tried to decapitate Bell as he crossed the goal line and no flag was thrown, I don’t want to hear any whining about how a coach stepping six inches onto the field then stepping off endangered anyone.
    ==================================
    C’mon Deb- you have a running back getting low and dropping his head to cross the goal-line and defenders getting low to try and stop him. How else should they try to tackle him- wrap him up between their calves?

  49. sidelineshot says: Nov 29, 2013 7:55 PM

    First time I see a head coach looking in the opposite direction from the action.

    Should get a doggie collar with an invisible fence 5 yards away from the sideline for the rest of the season.

  50. worldfullofhaters says: Nov 29, 2013 7:55 PM

    Sad to say… NFL is gonna be toast pretty quick if they don’t get their act together. Inexcusable missed call by that official, but happens more than frequently due to hd and super slo mo cameras. Defensive players can’t hit anything without fear of paycheck confiscation, even when no penalty wasnt issued during the game. Offensive players taking advantage of this is a partial reason for more scoring . It will take some time for this to happen,but just as in everything else,it will take 1 incident for the wheels to come off. Imagine a blatant blown call(or no call) in a SB with today’s heated rhetoric. This should be easily rectified, but as in baseball I believe it is drama(read $$$$$$) that prevents change. Use a plastic face shield instead of the current guard and eliminate most face mask penalties. How hard is that? There are things that can be implemented.

  51. Deb says: Nov 29, 2013 9:30 PM

    C’mon, frank …

    Don’t know what game you were watching, but in the one I watched, we had a defender lower his head to slam his helmet into the runner’s helmet. He wasn’t going low to make a tackle. And if his name were Harrison and he’d been wearing black and gold, he’d have been facing a post-game fine and suspension. Those rules are not evenly applied–and that’s the problem. Harbaugh tells us his guys know where the strike zone is. Clearly, that’s not the case. This isn’t even debatable. The film tells the tale.

  52. scoobies05 says: Nov 30, 2013 7:30 AM

    deb….no doubt that the hit on leveon was brutal and i hope he is ok. but i have read a few of your posts where you state that there was an intent to injure by smith. if you watch the play you would see there is no way that could be true. how could smith see bell’s helmet pop off and lower his head with intent to injure in under a second. bell is running with his head down, his helmet came off, and he got hit. and smith knocked himself out as well. hopefully both players will be ok, but there was no intent to injure

  53. mmi16 says: Nov 30, 2013 10:33 AM

    Tomlin knew exactly what he was doing and the reason he was doing it. Suspension is the ONLY punishment that he (and the Steelers) would understand. Additionally, correct the box score to give him an assist on the tackle of Jacoby Jones.

  54. Deb says: Nov 30, 2013 5:05 PM

    @scoobies05 …

    For some inexplicable reason, my response to you has been removed. Yes, I believe Smith deliberately speared Bell with the Crown of his helmet, and most people would realize doing so could cause injury. Players do that sometimes, no matter how unwise it is. I know the league disagrees–but they’ve been wrong before.

  55. scoobies05 says: Nov 30, 2013 5:10 PM

    i guess we will have to agree to disagree on this one. personally, considering how fast it all happened i dont see how smith could have intentionally dont it. too much of a bang bang play. however i am sure you agree with me in hoping both players have a full recovery. hope you had a great thanksgiving!

  56. Deb says: Nov 30, 2013 5:46 PM

    @scoobies05 …

    Hope you did, too! Yes, I wish both players speedy recoveries. Doubt there was much thought behind the hit, and am sure Steeler players have done the same thing. In his younger days, Ryan Clark was particularly bad about hitting with the crown of the helmet.

  57. panfish2013 says: Dec 1, 2013 1:41 AM

    So Bush League!!! Why hasn’t he been fined yet? Totally obvious what he knew he was doing! He’s a 2 bit coach… Was handed keys to a Cadillac, and now driving a Plymouth into the ground!

  58. bospat says: Dec 1, 2013 1:19 PM

    I can only imagine if this was Bill Bekecheck

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