Tomlin should have been flagged, TD could have been awarded

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So what should have happened after Steelers coach Mike Tomlin entered the field of play during Jacoby Jones’ long kickoff return and jumped out of the way at the last instant, forcing Jones inside and possibly keeping him from scoring a touchdown?

Per a league source with knowledge of the appropriate procedures, no coach or player may be in the white area during a play.  Tomlin, who actually had a foot on the field, should have been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct, especially since the field judge had to run around Tomlin while covering the play.

The source pointed out that, just last week, the Jets were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after the line judge ran into the coaches in the white sideline stripe.

If a player or coach on the sideline interferes with the play, a “palpably unfair act” occurs.  The referee can do whatever the referee determines to be equitable, including awarding a touchdown.

And that’s not the end of it.  The Steelers and/or Tomlin now face potential discipline, to be determined initially by the office of executive V.P. of football operations Ray Anderson.

116 responses to “Tomlin should have been flagged, TD could have been awarded

  1. His little smirk on the sidelines after is a giveaway that he knew what he was doing. He likely saw it on the jumbotron and edged out. He should get a one game suspension for doing something from the sidelines that had a significant impact on the game.

    It’s a shame Jacoby wasn’t just a little faster to have plowed into him, knocked him on his behind, and gotten the flag & score he deserved.

  2. And the wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round….I can’t wait to watch games this weekend to see which ref screws up each game. Nothing new here to see.

  3. Again, you’d expect more from a guy like Tomlin. It’d be one thing if it was accidental, but take a look at the GIF floating around the web and you can clearly see two things —

    1. Tomlin is eyeballing the scoreboard and thus well aware of where Jones and the play is heading

    2. Tomlin takes an unnecessary step INTO Jones path, before feigning surprise and stepping away.

    Total amateur move by an otherwise well respected coach.

  4. They should suspend him a game or two.
    Injury potential aside what a bush league move. At least the Jets guy was a special teams assistant. This clown is the head coach!
    Stay classy Pittsburgh.

  5. You’re busted , Tomlin. That was flagrant. What head coach is looking away from a play as it is happening? Watching the jumbotron, buddy? But because he works for the Rooneys, don’t expect more than a hand slap from Goodell.

  6. Yeah the refs are pretty much trying to give this game to the ravens (see the helmet to helmet hits on bell that caused his helmet to come off and took the points off the board) and this is what the pundits cry about

  7. The Ravens benefit from helmet to helmet contact (touchdown taken off the board), just as they did against the Pats in the championship game last year (Ridley fumble). The Steelers scored anyway but why do the refs not call a penalty on loading the head and using the helmet as a weapon?

  8. Automatic TD. No question about it. But the official has to see it or there has to be a system in place to make sure proper outcomes are arrived at. You can only do that if you monitor every play as they unfold and have an appropriate check for everything that is going on in real time. But the NFL has failed to adapt to the challenges that this potentially professional style of game demands.

  9. The officials have micro-managed this game to death. They should start reviewing every play and check for penalties. The games will take at least six hours…. What a joke.

  10. Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?

    Some team got the screwjob because the stealers cheated and the refs let them get away with it?
    Shocking. Unless you live in Seattle.
    Or Houston.
    Or Baltimore.
    Or Dallas.
    Or Cleveland.

  11. Tomlin used to be the only respectable member of that organization, but that shine’s gone off the apple as soon as the team’s started losing the last few years.

    Having a drama queen of a QB who’s game has dropped of since he stopped chasing women at bars hasn’t helped…but this was 100% blatantly intentional and classless.

  12. That rule about the play being over when the ball carriers helmet comes off is the worst rule in a sport full of terrible rules. Why should a player be punished because he gets hit so hard his helmet comes off, but he holds onto the ball and gets into the end zone?

  13. How many plays did the refs just look the other way? … Ravens deserved to win! First bomb on the first drive… Jones, I think, was run over before the ball ever arrived, CB never looked back… ref didn’t even think about throwing the flag… Ravens overcame more than just the Steelers tonight.

  14. Absolutely awful, blatant CHEATING by the Pittsburgh Steelers. More like the Pittsburgh CHEATERS!

    This immediately brings into question all 6 Super Bowl rings, and essentially nullifies their 2008 Super Bowl win. Goodell must strip the 2008 Steelers of those rings and hand deliver them to the Cardinals. Filthy cheaters.

  15. And Jimmy Smith leading a tackle with his head straight into Bells head drew no flag. I mean it only knocked the dudes helmet off. Refs were on it tonite.

  16. I don’t see “Tomlin didn’t really know he was in the way” as a very defensible position in a debate.

    I usually try to give people the benefit of the doubt, but Tomlin looked as if he knew what he was doing while he was doing it. He also appeared to be smug about it directly after the play.

  17. I would say no less than 15 yards. Probably not a TD though. Either way, pretty crappy move on his part. That’s something I expect to see from Jim Swartz and maybe Jim Harbaugh.

  18. Of course this happens. The ref is literally running down the sideline and is nearly hit by Tomlin when he jumps back out of bounds and he does absolutely nothing about it. Players and coaches continually dog these refs because they can.

  19. This has got to be one of the cheesiest moves in the history of the NFL. Should be fined and suspended for a couple of games.

  20. Some cheating, a loss and an invisible curly haired Trojan with little above the Head and Shoulders. Would expect nothing less from “God’s” team.

  21. I love this rivalry, one of the best in sports and I absolutely respect the Steelers but they need to seriously look at whether Tomlin is worth it. Prior to today he seemed like a class guy but now he’s proven to be a disgrace to the game on the same level as Sal Alosi. No respect left for the man.

  22. Big fine at a minimum and I think the league should consider a suspension. If they don’t suspend they should make it clear if any coach or player does it again they will face a suspension. But if they say that, they should just issue a suspension right now.

  23. I’m a Steelers fan & that was completely classless. I hope the League fines the Hell out of him. It’s too bad Jones didn’t lower his shoulder & drill the moron. He’s an embarassment to this team & city.

  24. Get out the checkbook Mike
    That little piece of cheating and that telltale smile
    after will cost you about 25 large
    And of course the zebras are clueless
    What else is new

  25. The steelers have a deal with certain officials.. How else could they have pulled off that Super Bowl win against the Seahawks without help?

    Good thing it didn’t affect the outcome of this game though. That’s all that matters in the end

  26. Just curious — why was the blatant and vicious helmet to helmet that nearly took Bell’s head off not called?

  27. They lost guys. Guess what it doesn’t matter. And it didn’t affect the outcome of the game because . . . They lost. So it doesn’t matter. Jones was still eating a turkey leg. So did it matter? No. We should probably make a big deal out of it though. Really shook the foundation of the NFL. Oh and it most certainly makes Tomlin a bad Christian and most likely a terrible father. So yes let’s forget how great of a game and rivalry this is and talk about one tiny aspect that actually didn’t change anything in the game at all.

  28. Even as a Ravens fan, I actually had a lot of respect for Tomlin. That is, until tonight.

    It was a total bush league move, and I cannot believe that a penalty wasn’t called. Not only is Tomlin not allowed on the field of play (obviously), he’s not even allowed on the white out of bounds portion! So this wasn’t some mistake where he was barely out of position. He was a solid 10 feet or so from where he legally should have been. And the ref was literally right there! How does that get ignored?

    Tomlin is a joke, and so are the officials.

  29. The screen shot suggests that Mike Tomlin appears to be using his coaches right side peripheral vision to monitor exactly where the oncoming runner (Jacoby) was – so he could step out of the way at the last second to avoid collision.

    Wonder if he and Bill Bellichek look at the same playbook of how coaches can help their teams….

  30. As a Ravens fan, I was more disappointed than anything. Obviously Pittsburgh is a rival, but at least there was a level of respect for Mike Tomlin’s honest approach to football and accountability. This is really a shame.

  31. I never want to hear a Squealers fan call New England or the Jets cheaters after THAT move by Tomlin!
    Can you imagine if Rex, Belichek, or Billick was caught anywhere near the white path against Pittsburgh?.. but now it’s a laughing matter on NBC and NFLNetwork because it’s their dear little Steelers!
    I hope to see some reprimands for Tomlin AND that referee. RIDICULOUS!
    And why was the Ravens first TD taken away on the field and other TDs studied to death?

  32. Seriously was Jimmy Hart distracting the ref on that play? You almost have to wonder if refs have too many rules or penalties they have to pay attention too, that when a rare occurrence like what Tomlin did was something they couldn’t process.

    Either way its hard to believe they didn’t make a call on Tomlin.

  33. How would an awarded TD have been scored for fantasy? Would it count as a 90ish yard return and TD by Jones, or return yards to Jones but no extra yards and the TD going to the ‘team’ on penalty, or would it have wiped out Jones entire return and replaced it with 90ish penalty yards and a team TD?

  34. While I don’t know what Tomlin’s motives were for standing there, in the Jets game last Sunday, the Jets were hit with a 15 yard penalty for standing in the that same 6 ft white strip during a play. Considering there was a referee standing right there during this play in this game, they should have at a minimum called the same penalty on the Steelers. I did not know they could award a touchdown for actions like that even though they did not in this instance.

  35. He had a “Woody Hayes moment” for sure, but was more sneaky about it. Woody actually came onto the field to slug a defender on the opposing team who had intercepted a pass and was making a great return down the sideline right in front of him.

  36. I like Tomlin (as a Ravens fan) but he looks guilty of something.

    All I can say is can you imagine the uproar if the tables were turned and Harbaugh did that with a Steelers returner. They’d be calling for John to be removed from the league.

    Steeler fans, you know I’m right.

  37. If that were John Harbaugh there would have been 3 flags thrown and an awarded touchdown.

    It is just like Torrey Smith’s catch was closer to being a touchdown than Miller’s. However Torreys they first rule a TD then put it on the 1 with no review, forcing Harbaugh to challenge. Miller’s catch, they rule a TD, and it gets overruled by the booth on any scoring play.

    Steelers = Patriots
    Different Rules

  38. He knows the Refs won’t flag him, they never do. The Stealers would have misssed the playoffs at least three years if they got called for just half of the things they do.
    For the good of the game, Goodell needs to go.

  39. He wasn’t just in the way of Jacoby, he was also impeding the side judge himself who runs down the white portion of the sideline to keep and eye on the ball carrier. That was a missed flag by the refs.

  40. That little smirk was really revealing, cardmagnet; and totally classless. I always admired Tomlin, and even though the rivalry between our two teams is among the most intense in the NFL, I always respected the way he always had his teams prepared. It’s like “The Color of Money” concept — you want your rivals BEST. To see him sink that low was a real shock. He should have been penalized; the ref, WHO WAS RIGHT THERE, should be disciplined; and the league needs to hand down a fine.

  41. Tomlin is an overrated hack. Time for him and that bumbling old man LeBeau to hit the road. So where is that shmuck, “steelersaregodsteam”? I thought they were going to win 10 games with the best this and that in football? Oh that’s right, now that the Cowher supplied players have gotten old/moved on, the Pittsburgh Steelers are nothing more than whipping boys for the rest of the NFL.

  42. He should get an Oscar for that performance!
    The subterfuge was priceless…getting the Raven’s fans worked up by showing it 8 times was good too…
    But, as always, the league will smack him with a fine.
    Devious bugger….

  43. Whenever you consider that the Ravens have had 5 touchdowns taken away by the referees against the Steelers since 2008 and the Steelers none, and then you see a play like this somehow go uncalled, makes you wonder what about the rivalry makes them so loopy at their jobs.

    Those 5 touchdowns include a punt return touchdown by Webb in a playoff game that was simply not holding at all.

    And a 77 yard touchdown run by Ray Rice (god I miss when he was still good) called back for holding on Smith that on a scale from 1-10 on holding might have been a .75.

    Meanwhile very obvious pass interference on Gay was missed on a deep throw in the game earlier this season, Holmes was given credit for a game-winning touchdown on which there’s no way in hell there was conclusive evidence, and Maurkice Pouncey even got away with moving the ball a half yard forward before a 4th and 1 play. Harbaugh saw it and was screaming at the refs to do something but they ignored it.

    Also, in the 2009 Heinz field game, Roethlisberger threw a pick at the end which gave the Ravens a great shot to win. They called illegal
    contact which gave the Steelers a first down to run out the clock. The problem was that Pryce immediately flushed Roethlisberger out of the pocket, and illegal contact does not apply if the quarterback is out of the pocket. That’s a part of the rule that’s rarely mentioned.

    This coupled with the Steelers getting an objectively counterfeit win against the Dolphins in 2011, which gave the Steelers the division title and the home playoff game, makes it pretty annoying how the referees get so loopy. Hopefully they can start concentrating better and learn how to cope with the Steelers mystique that makes them mess up.

  44. Should have been flagged & the idiot ref who had to run around him should be suspended for not throwing the flag on him. How could he not have seen Tomlin, he was looking right at him. I guess the refs pick & choose what they want to call!

  45. You can tell by watching his eyes he knew exactly where that runner was. That is a bunch of horse crap. The runner would have had to slow down and that step out was on purpose. This coach should be suspended without pay the rest of the season. There was no excuse for what he did.

  46. please. Nothing significant will happen. The Rooney’s never get punished. They and the pats probably lead the league in getting off easy. Remember when the Rooney’s were in violation of the league’s anti gambling policy? What happened then? NOTHING!

  47. Tomlin says he wasn’t aware of his OWN position on the field. Everyone hear says he was staring at the tron? Then he wasn’t looking at where his feet were.

    He should have been flagged, but there was nothing dishonest in it. Coaches and players step out too far all the time.

    Blame the refs, as usual, for not doing their jobs.

    And Tomlin was smiling afterward because he realized what had happened and how lucky he was a flag wasn’t thrown.

  48. I’m so glad Blakeman’s crew got another chance to officiate a high profile game. They are awesome with knowing the rules and catch all the fouls that happen right in front of thrm . /sarcasm

  49. Take away a draft pick and what teams clear those sideline boundaries…

    And Suspend the violator two (2) games and checks…

    Problem will be solved…

  50. I haven’t seen anything so sleazy since the jets coach formed a picket line and tripped a Dolphin player on the sideline.

    Hard to be of fan of this poor sportsmanship

  51. The most egregious part of this is not that or even why Tomlin did it. It is the fact that the official never bothered to throw a flag for an obvious infraction that he must have seen. The official kept shifting his gaze from the runner to Tomlin and even had to adjust his own route around Tomlin to follow the play.

    He saw it and chose to not throw a flag. That takes away from the integrity of the game and allows for speculation as to the competence/integrity of the officials and the legitimacy of the contest.

  52. Let`s see, last week it was the “unnoticed” blow to Jason Campbells head that would have negated a fumble and return to the four yard line, resulting in a penalty first down for the Browns on the Pittsburgh 26. Now this unflagged “misplacement” of an otherwise highly aware coach. There is no doubt in my mind that the destiny of certain teams is being aided, either by the league or by wagering interests.
    Look out NFL, your product is starting to STINK!

  53. I find it funny how many posters here have criticized Tomlin for his bush league tactic yet at the same time making it seem like everybody else is defending him (if coach so-and-so had done it, people would be screaming for his head). Do they even read the thread before posting comments? I ask that because if they did, they would surely see that many posters have been screaming for Tomlin’s head. More significantly, I have not seen one person even attempt to defend Tomlin.

  54. derekgorgonstar says: Nov 28, 2013 11:42 PM


    Some team got the screwjob because the stealers cheated and the refs let them get away with it?
    Shocking. Unless you live in Seattle.
    Or Houston.
    Or Baltimore.
    Or Dallas.
    Or Cleveland.


    Or Indy.


  55. @tigerlilac

    Know the rules. Running backs are not protected by the same rules as a QB or defenseless receiver.

    However, there is a rule that prevents a running back from lowering his helmet and using it as a weapon. If anything Bell should have been flagged on that play, but I think it was a good no call.

    In no way can you compare the Bell play to Tomlin’s classless cheating. Tomlin should be suspended for a year and the Steelers should lose a high draft pick to send the league a message that cheating will not be tolerated. This is no different than SpyGate.

  56. In no way can you compare the Bell play to Tomlin’s classless cheating. Tomlin should be suspended for a year and the Steelers should lose a high draft pick to send the league a message that cheating will not be tolerated. This is no different than SpyGate.

    Ya, that’s right treat him like the deer antler spray dude last year…..oh wait nothing happened. Your bias is showing not good logic.

  57. steelersaregodsteam says: Nov 28, 2013 11:40 PM

    Tomlin is a leader of men. This is just another crusade against our honor, our pride, our prestige, our legacy. We will prevail!

    Other leaders of men who would probably say the same thing: Idi Amin, Joseph Stalin, Caligula, Butthead (he lead Beavis).

  58. Nofoolnodrool says:Nov 29, 2013 12:32 PM

    In no way can you compare the Bell play to Tomlin’s classless cheating. Tomlin should be suspended for a year and the Steelers should lose a high draft pick to send the league a message that cheating will not be tolerated. This is no different than SpyGate.

    Ya, that’s right treat him like the deer antler spray dude last year…..oh wait nothing happened. Your bias is showing not good logic.

    So your “good logic” is to try and change the subject.

    What a homer………………….

  59. Coach Tomlin’s eyes tell the whole story and he should be suspended at least two games. And start fitting him with a turd-brown Hall of Shame jacket. First ballot and unanimous!

  60. i really do love you haters…i cant believe pft even considered getting rid of the comments

    on a serious note…can we say over-reaction? alosi’s PREMEDITATED wall and subsequent sticking his knee out is not even in the same ballpark as this. no excuse for ANY coach to be anywhere near interfering with a live play, but $100,000 and a draft pick? using a GIF as EVIDENCE of premeditation and intent? you all arent really serious are you?

    No problem with a fine, but this was so egregious that it merits a penalty that jeopardizes the organization’s ability to build for the future?

    If Jones was smart, he would’ve run into him

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