Footage that surfaced on Monday tends to undercut Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s explanation that he accidentally wandered into the path of Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones. The KDKA-TV footage shows a side-step maneuver from Tomlin, whichcould support a conclusion he deliberately put his right foot on the edge of the field and pulled the rest of his body to that precise spot.
Footage that surfaced Tuesday tends to support Tomlin’s version of the events.
The images come from the NFL Game Rewind service’s coaches film, which provides two “all-22” angles of every play from every game. The tape from Thursday night’s contest shows Tomlin in the white stripe before the kick, walking toward and then past the 50. He leaves the white stripe to duck behind an official positioned on the far side of the white stripe at the Pittsburgh 45 before the camera cuts away.
Tomlin is next seen standing at the Pittsburgh 38, with his back to the field. He’s apparently looking up at the Jumbotron.
After the play ends, Jones points at Tomlin.
Tomlin has said that he always watches kick returns on the video board, and that he simply lost his placement. On Tuesday, Tomlin said that he had gotten complacent because no returns had gone past the 50 this season.
Still, Tomlin had a foot in the field — and he actually flinched toward Jones before darting out of the way. While it appears that it was an accident, the NFL will still be taking action.
UPDATE 3:16 p.m. ET: Another new angle has emerged, filling the gaps in the coaches film. It’s possible Tomlin took a deliberate step to the right once Jones broke through the coverage.