After the Thanksgiving night loss to the Ravens, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin met the media. Not surprisingly, he was asked about his presence on the field during a long kickoff return by Baltimore receiver Jacoby Jones.
“I always watch the returns on the Jumbotron,” Tomlin told reporters. “It provides a better perspective for me. Obviously, I lost my placement as he broke free. I started at the last second and saw how close I was to the field of play.”
Tomlin realizes that, in this specific case, he made a mistake.
“I do it quite often like everyone else in the National Football League,” Tomlin said. “I was wrong. I accept responsibility for it.”
As previously explained, Tomlin should have been flagged. A touchdown could have been awarded. A fine could be levied.
Most importantly, he shouldn’t have been standing on the white line with one foot in the field of play while watching the play on the Jumbotron, a screen that can be seen from pretty much anywhere in the stadium.
Meanwhile, Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco says that Tomlin bogarted an idea Flacco hatched in February.
“I took some flak I think for kind of joking around in the Super Bowl and saying that maybe you should run on the field and tackle somebody if this guy breaks it,” Flacco told reporters. “I kind of took flak for that. That’s exactly what he just did. He was looking at the big screen the whole entire time. He knew where he was. He knew where Jacoby was. He did. He pulled my move. He did what I thought we should do.”
Flacco was joking. The league office probably won’t be, given that Tomlin — intentionally or not — was in a place where he simply shouldn’t have been during a live play.