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League not concerned about coaches on the field behind the play

Harbaugh AP

Coaches on the field — and in the white stripe that borders the field — became one of the dominant story lines in 2013, with multiple incidents and fines and the still-possible loss or downgrade of a draft pick for the Steelers.

But coaches still continue to stray onto the field from time to time.  During the divisional round, photos emerged of Seahawks coach Pete Carroll on the field, as well as 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh.

But since both Carroll and Harbaugh were behind the play, the league doesn’t see it as a problem.

“The practical application of the rule is that unless there is interference with a player or game official, it is not going to be called,” an NFL spokesman told PFT via email on Monday.  “The officials will not turn and look for this behind the play.”

The problem arises only when there’s interference with the official or the play on the field.  So look for this kind of stuff to continue, and look for it to become an issue only if/when a coach wanders toward the edge of the field and nearly trips a guy returning a kickoff.

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23 Responses to “League not concerned about coaches on the field behind the play”
  1. Slackmo says: Jan 13, 2014 11:33 PM

    Is there a problem with only worrying about issues that are problems?

  2. jayniner says: Jan 13, 2014 11:36 PM

    No need for concern. It’s already handled.

    Anquan Boldin pulled Jim aside after that incident and scolded him….in front of millions of people….on national TV….

  3. Steeley McBeam says: Jan 13, 2014 11:42 PM

    However, there’s no practical application to other rules such as roughing the QB, PI, unsportsmanlike conduct or my favorite hitting a defenseless receiver.

    What a joke.

  4. dmartin17 says: Jan 13, 2014 11:44 PM

    Behind the play can quickly become in front of the play….

  5. dmartin17 says: Jan 13, 2014 11:45 PM

    So you’re not going to enforce the coache’s box rule? Or just enforce it arbitrarily?

  6. fancyleague says: Jan 13, 2014 11:59 PM

    There is no such thing as “behind the play” in football. A fumble or interception quickly flips the direction of the play and makes all those innocent field-encroachers suddenly in the way.

    These coaches and players INTENTIONALLY wander onto the field to get a better view of the action. Tomlin ACCIDENTALLY wandered onto the field, but he’s the they punish because he got unlucky with how the play unfolded. His actions had no affect on the outcome of the game or the season, but Roger Goodfella will punish him and his team because he knows Rooney will just take it. He wouldn’t dare punish a Harbawler because either or them would throw a tantrum and probably punch him in the face.

  7. thestrategyexpert says: Jan 14, 2014 12:10 AM

    The coach should get in the huddle too and line up for a pass to confuse people and then run off the field just before the snap. Send a few coaches out there why don’t you. And have them wear shirts that look like the uniforms.

    Is it ok if a coach runs a route as long as he can avoid any contact with any player or official or the ball? Just pretend he’s not there and it shouldn’t bother you if you are playing defense.

  8. meatcarroll says: Jan 14, 2014 12:39 AM

    Thanks for clearing that pressing issue up, we were almost worried.

  9. contra74isloosbuthole says: Jan 14, 2014 12:45 AM

    Harbaugh comes off as a crybaby, Carroll comes off as an arrogant POS. What do both have in common? Oh yeah super boring offenses.

  10. billybone says: Jan 14, 2014 12:55 AM

    He already wears cleats so it’s only a matter of time before the passionate Harbaugh grabs a helmet and gets in there for a play or two. He reminds me of my dog trying to inch his way onto the carpet…at first it’s just a paw and before you know it he is in in the middle of the room.

  11. z06vision says: Jan 14, 2014 2:34 AM

    The rules only get applied to the Steelers when the NFL wants the rules applied.

  12. wjarvis says: Jan 14, 2014 2:35 AM

    While I don’t actually think this is that much of a problem, since the league feels the need to fine players for wearing the wrong socks or shoes (things which have no potential to alter play) I think they should make coaches follow the rules too.

  13. joetoronto says: Jan 14, 2014 3:23 AM

    Both these nut jobs will be on the field a lot this Sunday, that’s for sure.

  14. majormeatcurtains says: Jan 14, 2014 6:37 AM

    NO! The coach coaches.From the sidelines. Old as dirt. Keep that khaki wearing twerp where he’s supposed to be! You want a bunch of blue haired beotches bringing Chunky Chicken in every play ? Get out Harby

  15. doublebro says: Jan 14, 2014 6:57 AM

    College coaches.

  16. halbert53 says: Jan 14, 2014 7:23 AM

    I have two conflicting trains of thought on this .

    The sensible side of me says no penalty on the play if the coach being on the field doesn’t alter the play.

    The fair side of me says that if a penalty is not going to be called because it doesn’t alter the play, then other penalties such as holding or clipping or face mask away from the action shouldn’t be called either.

  17. nokoolaidcowboy says: Jan 14, 2014 7:24 AM

    That play right there is the poster child for instant replay. The refs on the field getting it wrong is understandable because it was an incredible split second catch.

    It’s up to the other safety valves in the stadium to know that play was reviewable and correct the call.

    Coach let his emotions get the better of him. It was embarrassing to have his player pull him aside like a drunk girlfriend at your family’s Sunday dinner.

  18. jpb12 says: Jan 14, 2014 7:36 AM

    And he’s wearing cleats…. So there’s that.

  19. billbraskyisasonofabitch says: Jan 14, 2014 12:24 PM

    Harbaugh is on the field plenty, as are others. But in this situation, he was right. He was actually out there to tell the ref about the clock not being stopped after the (incorrect) call of incomplete pass on VD’s catch in the corner of the endzone. The home team clock operators let the clock go from 11 to 6 while the idiot refs were trying to decide on, what should have been, and ultimately was, a clear TD. The refs get it wrong all to often and Harbaugh was just trying to preserve another opportunity before having to kick a FG if they were to ultimately fail. Amazingly they got it right and it had zero affect on the game. He will be fined about $15K, and he should.

  20. melikefootball says: Jan 14, 2014 2:30 PM

    Always excuses by the NL front office. These coaches were flagged but still not get fined as one coach in Pittsburgh. Gödel has been as willy nilly as the officials on the field and continues t take the game backwards. If you make rules than enforce them, not when convenient but every time.

  21. koenig61 says: Jan 14, 2014 2:44 PM

    So where was the fine for the Dolphins assistant coach who was on the field and ran into a player? This incident occourred immediately after the Tomlin incident. This is the problem with the NFL and their fine system. Its not whether or not Tomlin deserved a fine, its the double standard and the excessivness of the fines. 15k for socks or uniform violations, $7,500.00 for a horse collar? I’ve seen the Tomlin replay a few times and the key thing is, every time they show it from the beginning, they show him standing there near the edge of the field even before the ball is kicked off. So unless he is clarevoyant, and knew Jacoby Jones was going to end up at that exact spot, I think him standing there, isnt as bad as a coach deliberatly running onto the field, especially after the leauge has placed so much emphasis on it.

  22. bayballtim says: Jan 14, 2014 5:11 PM

    Coaches should stay off of the field, I agree.

    Also, Steelers fans: It is extremely naive to say that Tomlin didn’t do that on purpose. When you are watching the play unfold and step further into the way, it was on purpose. PERIOD.

  23. jimvlv says: Jan 15, 2014 1:40 PM

    The only way Goodell can get his New World Football Order is to create equality. Pittsburgh’s 6 Super Bowls represent inequality in the league. Therefore Pittsburgh is be the nail that must be pounded down.

    I might be able to justify them losing a draft pick if …
    A. Tomlin’s presence altered the game against Baltimore.
    B. That in turn caused Pittsburgh to reach the playoffs.
    C. Pittsburgh goes on to win the Super Bowl.

    Until Roger Goodell is removed these situations will be the norm not the exceptions.

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