Tomlin wants league to fine him, not the team

AP

Mike Tomlin’s weekly press conference drew slightly more attention than usual on Tuesday.

Tomlin, who is expected to be disciplined by the league at any time for wandering into the field of play on Thanksgiving night — and into the path of Ravens receiver Jacoby Jones during a long kickoff return, told reporters that he hopes the league fines him and not the Steelers.

That’s the message from one of the various tweets posted in real time by Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

What Tomlin wants may not matter.  Three years ago, the NFL fined the Jets $100,000 after former strength coach Sal Alosi erected a wall on the far side of the white stripe, aimed at interfering with gunners from the opposing punt team.

While Tomlin occupies a higher position than Alosi did, Tomlin is the head coach.  When the head coach breaks the rules, the coach and the team typically get punished.

Tomlin also reiterated his acceptance of responsibility for the situation.

“I don’t know what a just punishment is,” Tomlin said, via Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.  “I’m not nervous about it.  My money and wallet is what it is because of football.”

Maybe he should be nervous, given that he has helped make the case for a strong punishment from the league.

“My actions on that play are embarrassing,” Tomlin said, via Wilson. “I take full responsibility for my actions.  I understand there are repercussions that come with a blunder of that nature. With my position comes the charge of preserving and protecting the integrity of football.

“That play jeopardized the integrity of the NFL from a competition standpoint.  That’s a mistake on my part. I was focused on the blunder itself and the embarrassment it produced.  As a head coach in this league we are held to a higher standard of conduct. Based on that, my actions were below the line.”

Tomlin also expressed “shock” that some viewed his actions as intentional.  Via Bouchette, Tomlin said he had adopted a false sense of security regarding his placement on kick returns because none all year had made it past the 50 yard line.

And while the question of intent remains relevant in the court of public opinion (and KDKA-TV angle that emerged on Monday tends to make Tomlin’s movements seem like something other than meandering), a league source tells PFT that, when it comes to the punishment to be imposed, intent is irrelevant.  The rule was violated; whether Tomlin meant to do it doesn’t matter.

Arguably, it should — especially if Tomlin isn’t being honest about the situation.  And while we (or at least I) believe Tomlin is being honest, the league should look at all available video in order to determine whether it was an accident.  As we understand it, the league will indeed review all available video.

For now, the good news for Tomlin is that the NFL doesn’t care if he’s telling the truth.  Then again, that may also be the bad news.  They don’t care if he’s telling the truth because, regardless of the reason or the excuse, he ended up with a foot in the field of play, just as the action was coming toward him.

99 responses to “Tomlin wants league to fine him, not the team

  1. After the media is done pandering to the Ravens fans and blowing this out of proportion until Tomlin is fined, they’ll dig up the old tape of Cowher making a much more blatant swipe at a passing runner and not receiving any sort of punishment. Then they can begin pandering to the Steelers fans by pointing out the inconsistency. Yay!

  2. The fact that he’s not nervous about it is exactly why they need to punish the team as well. If fining Tomlin isnt a big deal to him, then there’s nothing stopping him from doing it again. If the team is punished, he might think twice.

  3. ” the league should look at all available video in order to determine whether it was an accident.”

    What video could there really be that shows Tomlin’s intent, other than video of him saying “hey watch me screw up this return?”

  4. His tune has changed significantly since speaking with the NFL investigator yesterday…

    It’s more egregious that this guy is on the NFL competition committee. Embarrassing on a number of levels.

  5. Just an over-rated coach who was given a team that already had ALL the places in piece to continue to compete. He should be fined & penalized HEAVY. Take money, a draft pick, and make him play O-Line for the Steelers.

  6. Sounds like damage control to me – the look on his face at the time is clearly not one of shock or surprise he had “lost his place” on the field. Not the first time you’ve been down on the field, Coach. Sorry, not buying what you’re selling.

  7. “Crucify him, crucify him. He’s a liar and a cheater! He clearly didn’t get out of the way (even though he only had tenths of a second to do it)! He clearly stepped towards the field (even though it was obviously it was a flinching reaction and not an intentional step)! It clearly affected the play and the game (even though Jacoby doesn’t return it and BAL won anyways)!”

    —PFT blogging conspiracy theorists.

  8. Sorry Mike. You can make demands when you do stupid things. You are part of the team and the team deserves to be punished because of your actions.

  9. duster1982,

    Please, you act like he committed some sort of crime against humanity. Why should that logic not apply to every player or coach who does something wrong? This is just providing a nice distraction for sad Ravens fans who know it’ll be more than a decade before they win another SB this time.

  10. Yep keep crying big babies….we LOVE it….your tears taste delicious!!!

    Sincerely,
    Steeler Nation

  11. Alosi didn’t just build a wall of players – he personally tripped and injured a gunner during a punt by intentionally sticking out his leg.

  12. steelers have a long history of cheating.

    SEE: 1970’s steroid abuse
    SEE: dr. rydze (1985 – 2007)

  13. @logicalvoicesays
    Shanahan a top 5 HC?
    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA…O and lmao hahahaha he’s not even a top 20 but that was funny!!! GO COWBOYS!!!

  14. Yea ok mike, we see now you’re leading by example. You’re still denying it? You were caught on camera for crying out loud. We know if this hadn’t been caught with that other camera angle, you’d still have that cutesy smirk on your face. Well now there’s egg on it. Keep on denying while the world knows better. You remind me of someone else in a leadership position that won’t take any responsibility for his actions either. Different opinion of you now, I may not be the fastest learner, but I got you now.

  15. A reasonable understanding of human nature coupled with the many years we’ve seen Coach Tomlin in the countless opportunities he’s had to make excuses – he never has. Ever.

    When his players go down, Coach Tomlin is the originator of the now widely used line, “Next man up.” Coach Tomlin further states, “The standard is the standard” in reference to not expecting any fall-off in performance/production. When faced with botched officiating, Coach Tomlin never ever uses it as as excuse or to shirk blame or responsibility.

    In my mind, he has EARNED the benefit of the doubt based on his lonnnnng track record of not shirking accountability.

    Who he is, and has been for an extended period of time in the public eye, makes it certain in my mind he had no intent. Having said, he should be fined for violating the rule – intentionally or not.

  16. A fine, even a six figure fine, for any NFL team is peanuts. It’s so small compared to how much they make that they would all probably pay that much for one regular season win anyway.

  17. Tomlin made a dumb and embarrrassing mistake, and should get an appropriate penalty. Taking away a draft choice is not appropriate. I agree with him, you would have to.be crazy to do something like this intentionally, it malkes no sense. Yet, so many posters are wetting their pants talking about it and using capitals letters to yell! Just shows how some can’t wait to criticize one of the top franchises in history. Hope you all are enjoying this blundar by our head coach. It will.blow over.

  18. $750,000 fine for Tomlin. $500,000 team fine and suspend him 1 game and a draft pick.

    #sendthemessage
    #upholdtheshield

  19. it’s all bs says:
    Dec 3, 2013 1:32 PM
    Yep keep crying big babies….we LOVE it….your tears taste delicious!!!

    Sincerely,
    Steeler Nation
    ===========================
    That’s what the rest of the league will be saying when you Steeler fans are crying about your punishment for cheating!
    4 game suspension
    $200,000 fine for Tomlin
    $250,000 fine for the team
    Lose 1st round pick 2014
    That seems fair

  20. “I’m not nervous about it. My money and wallet is what it is because of football.”
    ———————————————-

    wow – contrite AND a total d-wad. Nice maneuver Mike.

  21. Hey TOMLIN, the TEAM starts at the President/GM and then HEAD COACH. You are the FACE of the franchise and YOU set the tone for how things go there. What you just did is let the world see that the cheating in Pittsburgh starts at the top with the likes of the Head Coach. The more you speak the guiltier you become and if you were half the coach you think you are you would come clean and suspend yourself.

    Good news is YOU STILL LOST!

    Black and Purple!

  22. There is a HUGE difference between accidental and on purpose.

    There is also a HUGE difference between telling the truth and lying.

    The Saints were penalized as severely as they were for Bountygate because they continued to lie and lie and lie about it.

    This should be no different.

  23. This was fun for a minute (because watching sanctimonious Steelers fan squirm is priceless) but it needs to go away. 50K fine and let’s be done with it.

  24. Culprits aren’t allowed to choose their punishment. Fine them both and give the team incentive to fine him again or to fire him. He makes the NFL and the Steelers worse than they would be without him.

  25. The article states that he had a false sense of his placement on the field because none of the kickoff ever made it passed the 50 yard line. So he knew where he was? Because he kept claiming he had no idea where he was in the field. It’s just such a huge coincidence that he sidestepped right on to the field just as Jones was running down the sideline. It’s funny how the smugness is missing in his most recent explanation. I’m guessing the team and league let him know how they felt about what he did.

  26. gallopinggilmore says:
    Dec 3, 2013 1:22 PM

    After the media is done pandering to the Ravens fans and blowing this out of proportion until Tomlin is fined, they’ll dig up the old tape of Cowher making a much more blatant swipe at a passing runner and not receiving any sort of punishment. Then they can begin pandering to the Steelers fans by pointing out the inconsistency. Yay!
    ———————————————————-
    Well said Gall.

    You think Tomlin killed someone in a DUI accident the way the media and all these minions are reacting.

    Move on!

  27. the league should look at all available video in order to determine whether it was an accident.

    So now you believe video is a method for proving intent. Do you actually think about what you write?

    I have NO love for the Steelers but that a lawyer would say this is pretty strange.

  28. First off a fine is the starting point. Next, he should be relieved of his duties on the competition committee since it is obvious he is pretty cavalier with the rules and thus unqualified to serve as its arbiter.

  29. Many are judging Tomlin not on what he did or what he has said since but on the grin on his face after the fact. I admit that I saw that grin and wondered if he did do it intentionally… but as he explained(and in further consideration I concur) he was em-bare-assed by his action and he was grinning to cover his normal human reaction to him being caught being unaware of the events about him.

    Let he who has never been caught unaware of what was going on around him cast the first stone….

  30. Tomlin actually lost a contact lens therefore meandered onto the field looking for it and could not see Jacoby Jones as a result of said missing lens. A slap on the wrist is order to the tune of 5k.

  31. This is just providing a nice distraction for sad Ravens fans who know it’ll be more than a decade before they win another SB this time.
    _______

    No this distraction is HELPING the Steelers get better, right?

    You realize the Ravens just won a SB, and could be headed to the playoffs for a 6th consecutive time, after cutting a ton of old, HOF players, right?

    In this same time, the Steelers have held on to old, underperfroming players, been Tebowed, and are now staring at 2 years without the playoffs

    I’d worry about your own shop.

  32. @lovethelions, you do realize that the punishment will not be retroactive and take away the beating the Steelers laid on your weak team, right?

  33. So much for this head coach to preach on field awareness and discipline. How they won a Super bowl with this guy is beyond belief. One other thing head coach Tomlin…HIRE THE: “GET BACK COACH!”

  34. Sorry Mike. You shoulda thought about that before you hatched your Dr. Evil plot on the sidelines. That one move hurts the name of the Steelers …..and the NFL for that matter

  35. jmf says:

    This will haunt the Steelers for decades.
    ——————————————————–
    Decades? I wonder who’ll recover first, the Steelers from this issue, or the Ravens from their $120M mistake.

  36. steelersaregodsteam says:
    Dec 3, 2013 1:36 PM
    This is a true leader of men. So proud to have him lead the Holy Ones through the Storm along the March.

    Here we go.

    This “march” you keep talking about… have you and your pals crossed the River Styx yet? Because your playoff hopes and national respect for your coach certainly died on Thanksgiving.

  37. If Tomlin always stands at that spot on kickoffs ,like he says he does, then there must be video of him standing in that spot on other kickoffs as well . Look up that film to see if he is telling truth about where he stands and that will tell the story .

  38. 69finfan says:
    Dec 3, 2013 1:33 PM
    OK, so Mike Tomlin wants the NFL to fine him and not the team for something that he didn’t do on purpose. Got it.
    ———————-
    It’s clearly stated that his intent has nothing to do with it. He broke a rule and he will get punished.

  39. SPORTS
    Forgive Me
    October 27, 1997
    PITTSBURGH STEELERS coach Bill Cowher apologized Sunday to Jaguars defensive back Chris Hudson for feigning a tackle on him last month in Jacksonville.As Hudson ran alongside the Steelers’ sideline to score on a blocked field goal that finished off the Jaguars’ 30-21 victory on Sept. 22, Cowher took a step onto the field and raised an arm before pulling back. Cowher said later he momentarily contemplated tackling Hudson, but thought better of it. ”It’s nothing against you . . . you’re a good football player,” Cowher told Hudson during a 10-second on-field meeting before Sunday’s game.

    Just sayin’…..even the greatest make mistakes!

  40. Oh so some tv angle now makes it look like he did not wait until Jacoby got close and THEN steps not AWAY from the field… But ONTO the field?

    K, glad we now have that tv angle. It was so unclear what had happened from all the other angles.

  41. Well duh, its not like anyone on the team pushed him out onto the field. Go get your checkbook Mike

  42. pillowporkers says: Dec 3, 2013 1:29 PM

    “Crucify him, crucify him. He’s a liar and a cheater! He clearly didn’t get out of the way (even though he only had tenths of a second to do it)! He clearly stepped towards the field (even though it was obviously it was a flinching reaction and not an intentional step)! It clearly affected the play and the game (even though Jacoby doesn’t return it and BAL won anyways)!”

    —PFT blogging conspiracy theorists.
    _____

    Oh…you mean like virtually every nonsensical post on here about spygate? A story about filming hand signals that were always in plain view to 70,000 people in the stadium every Sunday turned into “they film practices!”, “they knew every play that was coming!”, “Brady is only good with cameras!”…well, misery loves company my friend.

  43. Steelers are IRRELEVANT in 2013!! Teams that aren’t in the playoff race shouldn’t be the topic of discussion this late in the season.

    Next time I see another headline about the Steelers, it MAY read a little like this…”Steelers fans NOW have toilet towels for 2014″

  44. I understand that most non-Steelers fans really hate them and have bizarre conspiracy theories about the NFL letting/helping them cheat. (E.g. Steroids in the ’70s…do you think anyone else was using them? ). I also understand that many of the comments here are off-the-cuff and often not completely serious. With that said, ask yourself if this happened to your team would taking draft picks really seem fair? Seriously? Even if it was intentional (which seems ridiculous), how is this equivalent to a systemic, long-standing practice seen in “bounty gate” or “spy gate”?

    The guy screwed up and is now owing up to it. Have you never seen someone laugh when they were embarrassed over doing something boneheaded? Especially when it didn’t affect the play or the game?

  45. crownofthehelmet says:
    Dec 3, 2013 2:13 PM
    jmf says:

    This will haunt the Steelers for decades.
    ——————————————————–
    Decades? I wonder who’ll recover first, the Steelers from this issue, or the Ravens from their $120M mistake.

    __________________

    BOOM!!!!

  46. What should not be overlooked is the fact that once again, Joe Flacco faded in the second half of a big game. One patented moon ball first-half score, then FG’s all the way! Just like the Super Bowl, come to think of it! And once again, Jacoby Jones called on to bail him out. But this time, no TD and the Ravens almost lose. No WONDER Flacco was so up-in-arms after the game with his comments. Why, thanks to Tomlin he almost got exposed again!

  47. This could have changed the game outcome. Coaches will see $100K as a bargain to change the outcome of a game. Suspension and or turn a 4th round draft pick into a end of the 7th round pick. That will stop the cheating.

  48. the only time I have EVER seen Tomlin smiling was right after Jones got tackled… he had that gross Cheshire grin… when I saw that, I KNEW he did it on purpose

  49. Hope I do not have to hear about this anymore till the NFL decides what the punishment will be. To me what it should be is the same as what they gave that assistant coach earlier in the year for obstructing an official. That guy got suspended for the rest of the year. How can Tomlin get less?

  50. A video that shows his intent?

    How about the one that shows him pulling his feet together and standing like a statue.

    Nobody stands like that unless they are doing it intentionally, it is not a natural pose.

  51. pillowporkers says: Dec 3, 2013 1:29 PM

    “Crucify him, crucify him. He’s a liar and a cheater! He clearly didn’t get out of the way (even though he only had tenths of a second to do it)! He clearly stepped towards the field (even though it was obviously it was a flinching reaction and not an intentional step)! It clearly affected the play and the game (even though Jacoby doesn’t return it and BAL won anyways)!”
    =====

    Ever stop to think maybe it is fans like you that make fans of other teams hate the Steelers so much and therefore want to see him crucified? Whoa, mind blowing, isn’t it.

  52. Of course the team must be punished for the coach’s actions. The team BENEFITED from his cheating ways and he is a representative of the team. If the NFL didn’t punish teams for their employee’s actions then everyone would cheat and teams could claim they “didn’t know”.

    It’s the same situation as punishing college teams for recruiting violations even though the coach was fired. The team still benefited from the cheating if they won during the violations. They gained millions in TV, donations, and merchandising. Tomlin is even dumber than he looks.

  53. Why you keep comparing this to Alosi?

    In that case, coaches (plural) conspired to line up in the wrong spot, and Alosi deliberately tripped the gunner, who was injured.

    In this, one dingaling stood in the wrong spot, didn’t come into contact with a player, no one was hurt, and the outcome of the game wasn’t affected.

    Hit Tomlin hard–but don’t keep trying to connect the dots to Alosi.

  54. I see a lot of people accusing me of being a frenzied Steelers fan. I’m actually a Vikings fan who happened to also have the Ravens defense in fantasy playing (6 points would’ve been nice).

    But I’m also a sane individual that doesn’t actually believe an experienced HC who already understands he’s scrutinized for literally everything he does, knows there’s 1 million cameras watching him, and cares enough about this game to have a career coaching it would actually intentionally ruin the game’s integrity and screw a game up this blatently.

    The biggest question I have, is if he wanted to trip him, why didn’t he just do it? He easily could have.

  55. We all do stupid things, that when we look back later we would like to erase. This was a very stupid mistake by Tomlin. I am sure that he wishes he had not done it.

    I am not a Steelers fan, but have a great deal of respect for Tomlin. His apology does not get all the way there though. He absolutely did this intentionally and you would have to be an idiot to not see what he did, how he positioned himself, how he used his peripheral vision out the field side and jab-stepped his foot onto the field.

    Not coming completely clean continues the embarrassment and frankly that is as bad or worse. Being a liar about his intention is just ugly. Respect lost as he is not just a cheater, but now he is a liar. He should be removed from the competition committee and fined.

  56. hawkforlife says: Dec 3, 2013 2:03 PM

    the league should look at all available video in order to determine whether it was an accident.

    So now you believe video is a method for proving intent. Do you actually think about what you write?

    I have NO love for the Steelers but that a lawyer would say this is pretty strange.
    ———–

    The NFL’s idea of intent is BS anyway. They probably had a big meeting Friday morning and decided how they were going to handle this then.

    For fans of the game, and those who detest any kind of cheating in sports, yes, intent CAN be determined from watching the videos of this shameful display by Tomlin. Ultimately is is WE who decide Tomlin’s guilt, not the NFL.

    The videos, one in particular for me, and that is the one that shows his face turning to look at the approaching runner, stick his foot out and then juke it back real quick like, that video says it all for me. He definitely knew what was going on, what he was about to do, and what he did. Every other video I’ve seen just enforces what I saw in that one.

  57. Way to keep it trashy Pittspuke. Your team and coach are trashy. No surprise he was smiling when he knew he was in the wrong.
    Cheaters never win and winners never cheat.
    I hope the NFL fines him and the team, they know the rules and it starts with the head coach.
    Typical Steeler trash, looking for ways to win against a good team, cheated and still lost and I hope you get a hefty fine to smile about now.

  58. uscoach says: Dec 3, 2013 2:53 PM

    Are there any Tomlin defenders who are not Steeler fans?
    ————–

    I would say that the only defenders of Tomlin are Tomlin fans, not Steeler fans.

  59. Deb says:
    Dec 3, 2013 4:13 PM
    Why you keep comparing this to Alosi?

    In that case, coaches (plural) conspired to line up in the wrong spot, and Alosi deliberately tripped the gunner, who was injured.

    In this, one dingaling stood in the wrong spot, didn’t come into contact with a player, no one was hurt, and the outcome of the game wasn’t affected.

    Hit Tomlin hard–but don’t keep trying to connect the dots to Alosi.

    4 4
    Report comment

    Deb, the last time most of the commenters were able to connect the dots was a picture they colored in kindergarten. I agree Tomlin needs to get fined……but the outrage is too much and too raven driven.

  60. The fake outrage is going to be hilarious when he gets a fine and a slap on the wrist. Sorry, this will not be the kill shot that leads to the Steelers relocating to London or LA or anywhere else. Seriously, I saw one of you mongoloids calling for a first round draft pick and Tomlin’s head on a pike. Yikes such fear of an old slow 5-7 team!

  61. If Tomlin, didn’t have that “cat that ate the canary” grin on his face and his eyes looking towards the field, “after” the incident, more people might believe him. Plus, the slo-mo shows him to be quite relaxed as he hops to his left, as if it was a planned move. A sudden “OMG” moment of someone truly alarmed and jumping from that reaction, would not have produced the same body language.

    Fine him if that’s what you feel that you need to do, but what you really need to do is keep non-players and game officials off that stripe. What could coaches possibly lose by being required to stand back a couple of feet?

  62. Coach Tomlin went to the Bill Clinton school of responsibility. ” I did not intentionally. Step onto the field in order to…”

    Man-up Coach and take some responsibility. You know what you did and we know what you did, so end the charade. The tape rarely lies…

  63. johnnydom says:
    Dec 3, 2013 5:00 PM
    Way to keep it trashy Pittspuke. Your team and coach are trashy. No surprise he was smiling when he knew he was in the wrong.
    Cheaters never win and winners never cheat.
    I hope the NFL fines him and the team, they know the rules and it starts with the head coach.
    Typical Steeler trash, looking for ways to win against a good team, cheated and still lost and I hope you get a hefty fine to smile about now.

    2 2
    Report comment

    @johnnyduh, I guess you majored in the theater arts in college and flunked out….his smile in case you can’t figure it out is one that you see when someone is nervously aware they he just messed up and got caught. Oh, sorry that type analysis is above your duh attitude.

  64. Bmorelikeray52 says:
    Dec 3, 2013 1:20 PM
    Today’s headline: Ndamukong Suh fined 100k for Mike Tomlin stepping on field.
    __________
    Tomorrow’s headline: Lions fans sing woe is me together in unison as they endlessly defend their dirty player till they grow hoarse.

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