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League warned teams about staying out of the white stripe on Wednesday

Tomlin AP

The timing of Mike Tomlin’s inadvertent waltz into the field of play on Thursday night becomes even more curious in light of this nugget from Jay Glazer of FOX Sports.

One day earlier, the league sent a video to all head coaches warning them to stay out of the white sideline stripe during plays.  The message was sparked by a flag thrown last Sunday on Jets defensive line coach Karl Dunbar, who was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct after colliding with an official in the white stripe.

It’s unclear whether Tomlin actually saw the video, given that he was preparing for a Thursday night game in Baltimore.  Regardless, Tomlin and the Steelers face, at a minimum, a stiff fine.

One of the issues that could drive the discipline is whether Tomlin’s move was inadvertent or intentional.  Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported that there’s a “healthy dose of skepticism” within the Ravens and the league office about Tomlin’s explanation.  As we hear it, however, the Ravens don’t believe it was intentional.

And the Steelers don’t believe that anyone would believe it was anything other than an accident.  As one team source recently opined, anyone who believes it was intentional should stop coaching, playing, or watching football.

While it’s not unreasonable to at least suggest that Tomlin knew what he was doing, it ultimately won’t matter.  Coaches are held to a much higher standard than anyone else, and for that reason Tomlin and the Steelers will surely be whacked by the league office.

Glazer reports that the stripping of a draft pick isn’t under consideration.  Still, it seems to be a given at this point that the Steelers and/or Tomlin will be fined — possibly $100,000 or more.

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29 Responses to “League warned teams about staying out of the white stripe on Wednesday”
  1. no1draftpick says: Dec 1, 2013 2:36 PM

    60,000 or so people inside the stadium and Tomlin was the only one not watching Jones’ return the ball?? HA!

  2. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 1, 2013 2:39 PM

    It’s sad that the steelers lack of good sportsmanship makes all the other teams look so bad and get warnings.

  3. rbell2123 says: Dec 1, 2013 2:41 PM

    As one team source recently opined, anyone who believes it was intentional should stop coaching, playing, or watching football.

    Why is it people in the League always thinks they are smart and all of us fans are stupid?

    Not a Ravens or Steelers fan but you can’t tell me Tomlin did not know what he was doing.

  4. flyeredup says: Dec 1, 2013 2:42 PM

    Good, Tomlin is a cheater and needs banned from the sidelines

  5. lazrrocketarm says: Dec 1, 2013 2:43 PM

    What? I DON’T buy it for a second. Does not matter anyway.
    He is an NFL head coach for crying out loud.
    This isn’t like some dumb Bartman spectating we are talking about!!

  6. thestrategyexpert says: Dec 1, 2013 2:44 PM

    A warning? They should have camera snipers in place just waiting for somebody to do something that is unprofessional so they can destroy those types of antics and discourage them with great force and intimidation. This soft stuff sucks.

  7. si1m says: Dec 1, 2013 2:45 PM

    Intentional or not doesn’t matter bc its impossible to tell but its so absurd deserves harsh penalty. Don’t believe in coincidences in a gm like this. Nfl can finish twisting the dagger BAL stuck in them

  8. ryansbuckner says: Dec 1, 2013 2:45 PM

    Desperate team, desperate situation. Bad decision.

  9. doctorrustbelt says: Dec 1, 2013 2:56 PM

    The Jets were a classy enough franchise to suspend Sal Alosi …. but…. we all know pittsburgh lacks the character to do the right thing (suspend tomlin for the rest of the season).

    SEE: dr. rydze

  10. nesuperfan says: Dec 1, 2013 2:57 PM

    I think the NFL should come down on the side of believing it was intentional due to Tomlin’s B-S explanation. He said he was watching the Jumbotron, but he was not looking up in any of the video or pictures I saw. The look on his face right after also screamed, “I lied”.

  11. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Dec 1, 2013 3:02 PM

    What a punk move. Trying to cheat and influence the game but it still didn’t help prevent his pathetic team from winning. Tomlin has taken the Steelers from contender to chump team with a coach trying to get in the way of guys returning kicks for TDs. Tomlin is done.

  12. steelerrc says: Dec 1, 2013 3:06 PM

    Yeah, sure they did…..

  13. reed20fence says: Dec 1, 2013 3:08 PM

    Just to remind everyone, Tomlin wasn’t just on the white line, he was IN THE FIELD OF PLAY on the green. And he wasn’t just in the field of play on like the opposite side of where the action was happening, he was IMPEDING THE BALL CARRIER.

  14. smack1114 says: Dec 1, 2013 3:09 PM

    Ravens fan here and of course it wasn’t intentional. He knows that if he interferes and touches the guy they will give the Ravens the TD. Lucky for him Jones moved away. And the coach couldn’t assume that the ref would be inept enough to not throw a flag.

    So if you think it was intentional you would also have to assume that the coach was ok giving the team a TD anyway and take a huge fine.

    He simply was not paying attention and should have to pay up.

  15. johntonioholmes says: Dec 1, 2013 3:10 PM

    Watch the return in the Bama game and notice how many people are on the field before the field goal attempt.

    Coaches and players do this all of the time. There’s no reason to believe that this was anything other than air-headedness, unless your a biased observer.

    There’s not a head coach in the league who would do this intentionally. Now, I could see a couple of assistant coaches doing it, but not a head coach, and not a guy who has been in the league for this long.

  16. billiamsofdollars says: Dec 1, 2013 3:13 PM

    The hammer should be brought down here. Tomlin wasn’t just out of bounds impeding a gunner who had crossed the white stripe, he was on the field of play in front of a returner with a clear path to the endzone. This may have been the only reason his team even had a chance to tie the game at the end. Actions like this can have serious effects on game and season outcomes. A fine, unless large enough to seriously affect his livelihood, pales in comparison to the possible ramifications of such an act.

  17. kmkhaine says: Dec 1, 2013 3:14 PM

    If it was any of the non-favored teams (Pats, Steelers, Packers et al) on top of the fact he fills a Roony Rule coach the hammer would fall hard.
    But they are a favorite child team, and he has the genetics he has.
    I expect a fine in a number which would break any of us but make no difference to either coach nor team.

  18. jerrysshadescleaner says: Dec 1, 2013 3:16 PM

    So if all the people who thought that was intentional quit watching football like y’all said wouldn’t u be outta of a job since no one b watching

  19. rockthered1286 says: Dec 1, 2013 3:28 PM

    @johntonioholmes

    You’re right. Plenty on the field. BEHIND the play. And the OPPOSITE side of the field where the play was occurring. Nobody was jumping on the field in front of the play and interfering with the runner. I’m not saying it was intentional of Tomlin. Just saying people need to stop downplaying it saying “people are always on the field” when it’s simply a cop out to back Tomlin.

  20. dietrich43 says: Dec 1, 2013 3:41 PM

    The NFL fines players for uniform violations. Maybe they should put some effort into enforcing rules that can change a game. Use the all 22 film, and if they see coaches in the white stripe, fine them. Use the rest of the year to send warnings to coaches, staff, and players, then start assessing fines next year.

  21. bleedblackngold96 says: Dec 1, 2013 3:42 PM

    This is being taken WAY too far. It isn’t like Tomlin threw a punch at Jones. And for people who are saying they are un-biased they are kidding themselves. You would be defending your team’s coach too. I agree he should be penalized to some degree because it was intentional and wrong, but to fine him over 100,000, suspend him, and dock a draft pick is just senile.

  22. holeinone09 says: Dec 1, 2013 5:07 PM

    Taking away a draft pick is insane. Big fine, understandable. Tomlin is not dumb enough to do that intentionally.

    If the league wants to do something worthwhile, how about changing the rule that if a runners helmet comes off in mid air they spot the ball where he lands instead of where he was IN MID AIR.

  23. patriotinvasion says: Dec 1, 2013 5:19 PM

    Hey Steeler fans. See how the media and anonymous commenting public can snowball a minor story into a huge scandal? Funny how that happens.

  24. voyager6 says: Dec 1, 2013 6:32 PM

    As a Bengals fan, in my opinion, Tomlin didn’t affect the play. However, If he had touched the returner, then full penalty of NFL should be put on him.

    But he didn’t touch the player. He should be fined heavily and removed from the Rules Committee, which he was just put on as punishment. A suspension would be too much.

  25. citizenstrange says: Dec 1, 2013 6:55 PM

    It was NOT inadvertent. You could see Tomlin looking over his shoulder — DIRECTLY LOOKING — at the returner as he got closer. Tomlin then made a move even further onto the field and even more in the way before jumping back.

    Tomlin got caught cheating and then lied about it. Just because someone lies and says it’s dark during the daytime and light at night doesn’t make it true. Tomlin is a disgrace with zero integrity and zero respect for the game plus a bald faced liar to boot.

    Anybody who does NOT believe Tomlin was cheating on purpose should stop coaching, playing, or watching football ….. and opining on the incident.

  26. holeinone09 says: Dec 1, 2013 7:30 PM

    citizenatrange, your obsessive hatred for Tomlin and Ben is well documented in your posting history. You honestly believe Tomlin would intentionally make a decision to interfere with a runner with the whole world watching that exact spot on the field and with the replay technology they have? Are you kidding me? Next you will say that Ben and Tomlin practiced the ploy during the year and conspired to use it. SMH

  27. Joemontanaflacco says: Dec 1, 2013 8:16 PM

    I wouldn’t be surprised if Tomlin is on the field during every return by Jones. Review the tapes. The truth is out there. This scandal has legs!

  28. shaunypoo says: Dec 1, 2013 11:49 PM

    As another Bengal fan, if his presence on the stripe caused the runner to alter his path, then he had an effect on the play. If the returner had run into him we would be talking about how a Raven player ran into a coach on purpose. The fact that he was on the stripe would have been secondary to the outrage that a player ran into the coach on purpose. Here the player had to make an effort to not run into Tomlin; how could that not be an effect on the play?

  29. buzzbeaubank says: Dec 2, 2013 6:51 AM

    It’s funny when you read these explanations from Yinzers, then imagine their reaction if Harbaugh had done it.

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