PITTSBURGH (AP) — Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s ill-timed two-step has cost him $100,000 and could cost his team a pick in next year’s draft.
The league fined Tomlin $100,000 on Wednesday for interfering with a play against the Baltimore Ravens on Thanksgiving.
The NFL also said it would consider docking Pittsburgh a draft pick “because the conduct affected a play on the field.”
Tomlin was not penalized during the game for a rule violation. He called the play “embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal and a blunder” on Tuesday but stressed it was not intentional.
“I apologize for causing negative attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization,” Tomlin said in a statement Wednesday. “I accept the penalty that I received. I will no longer address this issue as I am preparing for an important game this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.”
In the third quarter of the Ravens’ 22-20 win last Thursday, Tomlin was standing on the restricted white border between the sideline and field during Jacoby Jones’ kickoff return. Jones had to swerve to avoid colliding with the coach and was tackled after a 73-yard return that might have gone for a touchdown if not for the obstruction. Tomlin briefly stepped onto the field before he jumped back.
Tomlin said Tuesday he was “mesmerized” by watching the return on the video board and would accept any repercussions for his actions.
“I don’t know what a just punishment is,” he said Tuesday. “I have no idea. I’m not acting in a way to preserve my wallet and my money. My wallet and my money is what it is because of the game of football.”
The NFL fined the New York Jets $100,000 in 2010 when cameras caught strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi tripping a Miami player on the sideline. Alosi was suspended by the Jets and eventually resigned after the season.
Tomlin’s job is not in jeopardy and he said Tuesday he had not spoken to team owners Dan and Art Rooney II about the situation.
“I would imagine if the Rooneys thought that I was capable of that or they thought my intentions were that, I wouldn’t be sitting at this table talking to you guys,” he said.
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