Report: League Investigating Mike Tomlin Sideline Shenanigans

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports on Friday that league sources are saying Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin could be subject to a fine for his actions on the kickoff in the in 22-20 loss Thursday night to the Baltimore Ravens. According to Schefter, the play will be reviewed by the league for discipline over the next week.

Tomlin, who on the kickoff return by Jacoby Jones up the left sideline was standing inches away from the playing field, took an initial step onto the field in front of Jones before hoping back out of bounds. While we really don’t know for sure, Tomlin’s actions very well could have prevented Jones from scoring as the returnman did move back inside. Steelers cornerback Cortez Allen made the tackle on Jones after the sudden move inside, but likely would have hawked him down regardless.

After the game, Tomlin answered several questions about his actions and he accepted responsibility for them. Tomlin claimed that he usually watches returns on the big stadium screens as it gives him a better perspective of what’s happening. While he admitted knowing the rule about not being allowed to stand directly on the sideline during plays, he claimed his move onto the field and then off was not intentional.

If you watch the gif below, you will see that Tomlin’s first move is indeed onto the field before hoping back off of it. The Ravens players, for the most part, believe Tomlin’s actions were done with the purpose of interfering with Jones and it’s hard to disagree with them when you look at all of the camera angles.

Rest assured, Tomlin will be fined heavily for this and you can bet the league will be sending out a memo this week to not only the coaches, but the officials as well. I expect we will see a penalty or two called over the course of the remaining several weeks.

  • steeltown

    The dumb thing is Cortez would’ve caught him regardless… but whatever at this point, we lost and Tomlins rich, im sure he can handle any fine the League throws at him

    Had we won, this would be a HUGE story

  • Mihkel Bafter

    I think Tomlin take lying lessons from Bill Clinton. The intent couldn’t be any more obvious.

  • Douglas Andrews

    In all fairness J Jones is a fast guy he shouldn’t have gotten ran down by Allen which he probably does without the coaches help. Coach will get fined and he should no need to be anywhere close to that play and Coach Tomlin knows that. I was actually surprised that they didn’t award Jones with the TD on the play and I wouldn’t have disagreed had it worked out that way

  • HopalongCassidy

    Woody Hayes would have just clothes-lined Jones in that situation. Tomlin was a little more subtle but will still get a hefty fine. Had the Steelers won, this might have been funny but somehow I am not feeling it after the loss.

  • JohnnyV1

    I recall Coach Cowher almost tackling a player as he ran down the sideline right in front of the Steelers’ bench. Cowher made a slight lunge toward the player. 🙂

    Tomlin messed up, he deserves a big fine and it doesn’t look good. He’s supposed to lead the entire team, know the rules and keep order on the sideline.

  • dgh57

    I thinking if Allen or Golden wasn’t near making a play they would’ve thrown a flag.

  • Elijah Stevenson

    The point is the special teams didn’t do there job, I don’t think Tomlin did it intentionally he was just looking up on the play on the big screen.

  • Dan

    I’m not against criticizing Tomlin, especially this year, but I think we can give him the benefit of the doubt on this. You can’t logically think that standing at the edge of the field is going to stop anybody. He took that quick little step in to have a foothold to jump back off the field. However, the way he was looking over his shoulder until the last minute does make it look bad. See the ref right there I’m suprised he didn’t get flagged. And I believe they’re suppose to stay off of the white zone while plays are in action. So no doubt he definately deserves a fine and a dunce cap.

  • Jason Armes

    I guess I just don’t it that way most of you do. I agree Tomlin should be fined, but to me it looks like he is trying to get out of the way, not in the players direction first. He should have been flagged and fined, but to say he was doing it on purpose I Just don’t see that. Figures the ravens are crying about it, even though they won. They cried about the power going off during the Super Bowl even though they won.

  • Matt Manzo

    I am really impressed with ravens response! Harbaugh, Suggs both said it was no big deal, it’s a rivalry!!! Freakin love it! If we’d won though they’d probably have different view. Still, they had a chance to mock us and they didn’t, gotta respect that! Over here the 9ers and Seahawks cry like babies!

  • Anthony Hodge

    That’s why it pisses me off with all the “classless/no class” references made by some fans on Tomlin but remembering Cohwer doing exactly as you stated..He was referenced as being “passionate and caught up in the moment”, fans act as though it’s never been done before. Go back and look at some of the games and I’m sure you’ll find a few coaches and players on the field with questionable motives also.

  • Mihkel Bafter

    Doesn’t matter whether he would’ve caught him or not. At the very least, that’s 15 yards added to the end of the run

  • JohnnyV1

    You’re right Anthony, I agree. And when startled (or not), to react quickly and push yourself left, you push your right foot out to the right side a bit for leverage and push off. Tomlin was a receiver once upon a time, just instinct. It’s physics, not lack of class or sportsmenship.

  • GunsDontKillWoodleyKills

    So that makes it okay? Cowher wasn’t perfect and Tomlin sure as hell isn’t. No matter who does it, its a classless move. Tomlin is the head of this team and is supposed to lead by example. Its no wonderwe got a clown for a wide receiver going flips into the end zone, mocking retired linebackers but still dropping balls and playing hurt afterward.

  • rizzo29

    So his receiver instincts took over that,s why he was on the field during the play,ok

  • Anthony Hodge

    NEVER SAID IT WAS OK, none of our last 3 coaches were perfect. I’m sick of “fans” acting as though Cohwer and Noll never did “anything” but coach. I’ve been a fan since ’74 and seen plenty “leaders” do things on the sidelines and don’t get the airwaves like some favorite coaches and players do all the time. Announcers give some a pass and it’s obvious. On a side note,Tomlin called for no more end zone flips.Does he need to hold Sanders hand and say catch? I’m sick of the drops also but all I can wish for is for Wheaton and others to get a shot at it and sit Sanders down more.


    Tomlin is rich? Poor guy is only making about $125,000 each week. Mitt Romney makes four times that just from interest and dividends on his principal, and he isn’t even in the top 5,000.

  • JohnnyV1

    No, that’s what took his foot from the white area to the green area, which made it look like he intentionally caused the returner to adjust his path. Tomlin shouldn’t have been in either spot.

  • Gerald goldbach

    Obviously Tomlin was not following the “standard”.

  • Gerald goldbach

    Cowher only made a move like he was going to tackle the guy but did not interfere.

  • Gerardo Herrero Morales

    Tomlin doesnt belong in Pittsburgh, bad coach and worse loser.

  • steeltown

    Last year Forbes had Tomlin listed as the 8th highest paid coach in pro sports. Im sure that no longer applies, but h’s still making Millions of Dollars, that equals rich in my book


    I was just trying to illustrate that it is a false argument when people try to pit the top 1% against the other 99%. The political discussion should be how much power and influence is wielded by the wealthiest 5,000 to 10,000 individuals in the United States compared to the other 320 million.