Blandino confirms Tomlin should have been penalized


Steelers coach Mike Tomlin explained again on Tuesday that he didn’t intentionally try to obstruct Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones on Thanksgiving night while he, the Steelers and the rest of the NFL waited to see what kind of discipline the league might hand down for his visit to the field while the game was in play.

One punishment that Tomlin should certainly have gotten was a penalty from referee Clete Blakeman’s officiating crew. NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino confirmed that the officials erred in not enforcing the rule that prohibits coaches from being on either the playing field or the white area on the sideline.

“Anytime a player or a coach from the sideline is in this white area, that’s a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct,” Blandino said on NFL Network. “If they interfere with the play, it could be what’s called a ‘palpably unfair act.’ In that instance, the referee could basically penalize the team whatever he deems equitable, which could include giving the Ravens a touchdown. That’s not the case here, but certainly coach Tomlin was in the white. He should have been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

That much was obvious on Thursday night. What remains unclear and what Blandino’s comment should include is some kind of explanation for why Blakeman and his crew didn’t make the call. The field judge has to run around Tomlin, eliminating any argument that he didn’t see the coach and making it seem that he simply doesn’t know the rules of the game he’s paid to officiate.

There’s been a lot of focus on Tomlin’s action and intent and rightfully so. The failure of the officials to do their jobs should be at least as significant an issue, especially for a crew that has dropped the ball continually this season.

27 responses to “Blandino confirms Tomlin should have been penalized

  1. Well, of course, the official should have thrown a flag. One should have been thrown against William Gay for his hit on Jason Campbell a few weeks ago and it wasn’t…what’s the surprise here?! This has been going on with the Steelers for many years now!!

  2. That is what makes it so odd thst their wasn’t a penalty called. The field judge having to run around him.

  3. Okay, so now I really do believe the refs suck if the NFL vice president of officiating is unable to see that the coach actually had his foot on the field when Jacoby was running down the same sideline. Thank you for confirming that!

  4. It’s crucial that the league office give out a very harsh penalties to both Tomlin and the officiating crew. The integrity of the game is at stake here, and if you can put a low price tag on what it will take to alter the course of the game, you set a precedent for more of this behavior down the road. The officials that didn’t award a TD are every bit as culpable, and they need to be made an example of. This is more serious than a missed holding call.

  5. Luckily the Ravens won. If they had have lost then the hellfire would be much more powerful because they didn’t score a touchdown on the drive that Jacoby Jones had the long return, they kicked a field goal.

    People talk about how Tomlin stepped further into the field when “seemingly” trying to trip Jones, but you can try it yourself as I did. A regular step, and a hurried step are different. A regular step to the side you just lift the left foot, put it down and slide the right over, but a hurried step lifts the right foot slightly and it comes down 2″-6″ to the right if attempt to push off that foot to move over faster. Like I said, try it yourself, because it works the same way as a cut does for a running back.

    Tomlin didn’t do this on purpose, but most players don’t make helmet to helmet collisions, or hit “defenseless” receivers on purpose, either, but they get fined nonetheless. The Ravens should have been awarded a touchdown, not because I am a fan, but because intentional or not Tomlin being inside the field of play impacted the play as Jones seemed to swerve to avoid tripping over him. The fine will likely be $100k, but it could possibly be more to make an example for other coaches to be more aware of where they are standing at all times because they are held to a much higher standard.

  6. Full time officials please. These guys need to be in the classroom Tuesday-Friday reviewing tape from every game each week and being drilled on the rulebook. The ineptitude displayed week in and week out is staggering.

  7. It would set a better precedent if they had just awarded Baltimore a touchdown on the play. If the idea is to stop a coach from interfering with a play, this would seem to work best. What coach would ever have the urge to potentially give their opponent a touchdown? Probably fewer than coaches who would give 100k to alter a play.

  8. I can’t believe that the ref who had to run around Tomlin didn’t throw the flag because he didn’t know the rule. It is a basic one. I think the refs have been slack on enforcing it, but will be doing it more often now.

    There should have been a flag thrown for sure and considering he had one foot on the field, shouldn’t it have also been 12 men on the field? 😊

    It is getting really bad for the refs when blandino and clete Blakeman are household names! They need to get their act together and learn the rules to stop this nonsense.

    It was pretty funny how hoculi explained calls in the Seahawks game on Monday especially the TD where they said the Seahawk player stepped out of bounds and then re-established himself to catch the TD. I saw 4 replays and non of them showed him stepping out of bounds, but the explanation was very good. LOL

  9. NFL refs are at all time level of bad this season. Partly because the NFL rules are stupid. The game has become throw deep and pray for pass interference. Aldon Smith still has not been punished by the NFL and he was arrested. Weapon, drugs & domestic violence. Nothing done. Big Ben… never arrested got 6 games. Tomlin is gonna get nailed… inmates are running the asylum at NFL HQ.

  10. Awarding a TD against team probably does mean more to a head coach than a fine.
    Especuially when they already earn millions.
    Since its too late to award a TD, a 6 figure fine and 1-3 game suspension for Tomlin should suffice.

  11. The sad part is that it wasn’t just one ref that blew it. One of the videos clearly shows a second ref running on the white stripe about 15 yards behind the ref who had to run out of the way of Tomlin.

    It’s time these referees put in the same effort and dedication to the game that the players do. What I mean by that is that these guys should be full time with referee practice and film study in between games.

  12. He did it on purpose. Sorry boxofwine330.

    He basically laughed about it after the play, then gave a bogus story about it after the game, and now admits it and even says something stupid about his wallet is what it is because of football.

    Fine him big time, fine the team, and give him at least a 2 game suspension.

  13. @ billiamsofdollars

    Full-time officials would not solve this because this was a judgement call on the officials, as most are, not to call the flag on this. Full-time officials are no going to make zero mistakes because they spend SO much time learning, because it is that one rule that is hardly ever needing to be called, like this one, that would cause a problem. It has been decades since a touchdown was “awarded” in the NFL. A touchdown is awarded when the officials deem that a person not inside the field of play interfered with the play and a TD is awarded on the spot, not a week later. When Flacco was talking about rushing the field if Ginn ran the kick back in last year’s Super Bowl they talked about the fact that had he done so a TD would have been awarded to Ginn and it hadn’t happened since a College Football game in 1954 when someone left the sideline to tackle a player (Tommy Lewis tackled Dickey Maegle).

  14. godofwine330 says:
    Dec 4, 2013 9:53 AM

    When Flacco was talking about rushing the field if Ginn ran the kick back in last year’s Super Bowl…


    OMG I remember that…..HYSTERICAL……I like Joe but seriously, like most NFL players he’s not the sharpest pencil in the box!!!

  15. It was not an accident. Why wouldn’t the head coach be watching the play anyway? How to you lose your place if you’re NOT distracted by watching the game?

    Much like Suh’s Thanksgiving stomp a few years ago, repeatedly claiming this was an accident is just hurting Tomlin.

    But… enough. Ravens still won… so it doesn’t matter. The media just loves rehashing crap when they don’t have any other leads to write about.

  16. Yes, it was an infraction. Yes, it should have been flagged. Yes, Tomlin should be fined. Yes, Blandiono’s a tool. Let’s move on.

  17. You’re an NFL coach. But you’re not too bright. You have no clue you’re on the playing field, even when you know there’s a player from the opposing team heading your way. Yeah, right.

    But you’re a pretty good actor.

    And a lousy liar.

  18. “That much was obvious on Thursday night. What remains unclear and what Blandino’s comment should include is some kind of explanation for why Blakeman and his crew didn’t make the call. The field judge has to run around Tomlin, eliminating any argument that he didn’t see the coach and making it seem that he simply doesn’t know the rules of the game he’s paid to officiate.”

    Let me clarify this for you. Your conclusion that this makes it seem the refs don’t know the rule is ridiculous and only included to finish the paragraph with a flourish.

    The reason they didn’t make the call is simple. All NFL coaches are wandering around on the white line and the field on every play. The only time they ever make the call is when someone on the sideline seriously impedes an official in his effort to follow the play, as was called on an assistant coach in the past few weeks. Apparently, they didn’t feel sufficiently impeded to flag tomlin, and failed to consider the larger question of impeding the player on the field.

    Up to now, the refs have given lots of discretion as players and coaches are moving in and out on every play. Its why each team designates an assistant to ensure personnel get back when instructed by the officials. As we all know, organizations are reactionary (NFL in particular); and now this will be the new point of emphasis.

    I think they will fine him and drop him from the competition committee, which would penalize him professionally while not damaging the steeler franchise.

  19. godofwine330 says:
    Dec 4, 2013 9:53 AM
    @ billiamsofdollars

    Full-time officials would not solve this because this was a judgement call on the officials, as most are, not to call the flag on this.

    There’s no judgment involved in this call. The NFL rules prohibit any player or coach on the thick white stripe during a play. The penalty is a 15 yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

    In this case, the ref had to RUN AROUND Tomlin. Not one, but TWO refs saw this.

    The only judgment is “Was Tomlin on the White Stripe during play?” The answer is clearly yes.

  20. Once again the NFL office wants to point the finger at coaches and players and once again the officials did not do their job and get zero fines. The officiating as been less than good this year and yet Gödel does not address this.

  21. Guess what Haters? 6. Need help with the math?

    First of all it is well to determine what is the differentia of a number—and of a unit, if it has a differentia. Units must differ either in quantity or in quality; and neither of these seems to be possible. But number qua number differs in quantity. And if the units also did differ in quantity, number would differ from number, though equal in number of units. Again, are the first units greater or smaller, and do the later ones increase or diminish? All these are irrational suppositions. But neither can they differ in quality. For no attribute can attach to them; for even to numbers quality is said to belong after quantity.

    Again, quality could not come to them either from the 1 or the dyad; for the former has no quality, and the latter gives quantity; for this entity is what makes things to be many. If the facts are really otherwise, they should state this quite at the beginning and determine if possible, regarding the differentia of the unit, why it must exist, and, failing this, what differentia they mean.

    We then conclude that 6 Is in fact greater than any you can provide. The Steelers own you. Thanks for playing

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