The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

December 4, 2013

Update: NFL fines Tomlin $100,000

PITTSBURGH — 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 on the play, though the NFL said Tomlin should have been flagged 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct for nearly colliding with Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones during a kickoff return midway through the third quarter of a 22-20 Ravens victory.

The seventh-year head coach called the play “embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal and a blunder” 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.”

Tomlin was standing on the restricted white border between the sideline and field during Jones’ kickoff return. Jones had to swerve to avoid running into 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.”

Tomlin’s players have defended him, noting it’s not unusual for players or staff members to find themselves on the edge of the field during a play. Safety Ryan Clark admitted to standing near the playing surface while watching the Steelers attempt a late 2-point conversion in the final minutes against Baltimore.

“I’m always on the field,” Clark said. “I sit on the field, but I try to sit on it away from anything.”

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger declined to discuss whether the loss of a draft pick would be too excessive but added he doesn’t think the furor over Tomlin’s near-trip will serve as a distraction for Pittsburgh (5-7), which is still in the playoff hunt.

“If anything, guys joke about it more,” Roethlisberger said. “They’re the ones pulling up the pictures online and joking with coach about something. If anything maybe it’s a light-hearted fun thing.”

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.

Tomlin makes $5.25 million a season and the fine constitutes less than 2 percent of his annual salary. He is far more concerned about the uncomfortable position he put the league and the Steelers in after failing to get out of the way with any sense of urgency.

“I will take this as an opportunity to strenuously defend the game of football and the NFL. I won’t defend myself,” Tomlin said. “The people that know me, I don’t need to do that. The people that don’t know me, they are going to make their judgments any way.”

The penalty is large for on-field conduct but a coach but is not among the heftiest in league history. The NFL slapped New England coach Bill Belichick with a maximum $500,000 fine in 2007 for spying on an opponent’s defensive signals.

New Orleans coach Sean Payton was suspended for the 2012 season for his role in a bounty system that awarded Saints players for injuring an opponent.

Tomlin’s predecessor, Bill Cowher, raised eyebrows but was not disciplined in 1997 when he feigned tackling Jacksonville’s Chris Hudson as Hudson ran back a Pittsburgh field goal attempt for a touchdown on the final play of the game in a 30-21 Jaguars victory.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/17/2014

    April 16, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads