Posted November 29, 2013

Did Mike Tomlin prevent Jacoby Jones from a kick-return touchdown?

AFC North, Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Patriots-Jets finale to the NFL’s 2012 Thanksgiving Day gave us the infamous “butt fumble” by Mark Sanchez. This season’s third and final holiday contest, between Pittsburgh and Baltimore, provided another extremely bizarre moment.

After the Steelers put their first touchdown of the game up in the third quarter, Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones broke free on the ensuing kickoff and appeared headed for a score. At the last moment, though, Cortez Allen caught Jones from behind and hauled him down at the 27-yard line, saving a touchdown; the Ravens eventually kicked a field goal.

But did Allen have a little illegal help?

Despite having no defenders in front of him as he tiptoed the sideline, Jones turned slightly back in toward the middle of the field, allowing Allen to haul him down. And it appeared that Jones did so to avoid Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin, who was standing — for some reason — at the very edge of the sideline, staring up at the end zone video board.

Tomlin glanced back over his shoulder as Jones approached, then hopped to his left away from the Baltimore kick returner. Here’s a shot of Jones headed up the sideline, with the spotlight on Tomlin courtesy of NBC’s broadcast:

Tomlin 2

And another look, showing Jones and Tomlin narrowly avoiding a collision:

Tomlin Jones

“I always watch the returns on the Jumbotron to provide a better perspective,” Tomlin said after Pittsburgh’s 22-20 loss, “and I obviously lost my placement.”

Even if it was deemed that Tomlin was near (or in) the field of play by accident, he could have been flagged for sideline interference for blocking the official’s path. The Jets were penalized for just such an infraction last week.

The officials even could have awarded Jones a touchdown, had they ruled that Tomlin had impeded Jones’ path to the end zone. Without the two making contact, that call would have been difficult to make.

Tomlin smiled as the replay of his odd move was shown inside Baltimore’s M&T Bank Stadium, to the disdain of the Ravens faithful. For his part, Jones appeared to point out the possible interference to the officials after he was tackled by Allen on the play.

79 comments
JMP878
JMP878

Stop acting like little girlfriends!

I AM DONE WITH $28GOODELL AND THE NFL.  I URGE EVERYONE TO SAVE THEIR MONEY AND SAY F --THE NFL..

 IF YOU DON'T PAY ATTENTION, THEY WILL RAPE YOUR CITY OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS -- PAY ATTENTION -- CLEVELAND, OH WAS JUST RIPPED OFF BY $30 MILLION.

As a citizen of Cleveland, I am tired of getting F over.

BarrySoetoro
BarrySoetoro

Tumlin bees black so he bees unaccountable fo he actions.

herculesunique
herculesunique

Might he be obamas other illegitimate brother? Lying runs in the family.

BobKurtz
BobKurtz

After video review the officials must have the option to make any team/player whole after a questionable incident.  If they don't correct mistakes, it may be time to bring back the replacement officials. Ha ha ha. The affected coaching staff also has the obligation to challenge if they can.  I don't remember if there were any challenges left, but they should at that point.  Of course adding an official in the massive video replay booth would correct this and other mistakes.

Fifilo
Fifilo

I thought if it was an error he should get a one to four game suspension because it is such wildly irresponsible for a HC to be this clueless. After seeing the video coming out of the Pittsburgh CBS affiliate, it is intentional and deserves a full season suspension. Outrageous doesn't cover it.


TomBiddle
TomBiddle

If this man has the spacial awareness of a child and didn't realize that he was in the field of play as he claims (which I don't buy for a moment), then how can he expect his players to play at the level required to know where they are on the field during a game.  Shows a great deal of disrespect for the game and the intelligence of the fans and the league.  They need to send a clear message to this joke that this kind of non-sportmanship will not be tolerated.  If they don't, then a precedence  has been set that opens the door for these shenanigans to continue.

Dat-Mobile
Dat-Mobile

That was a classless move. He deserves much more than what is being discussed. The Ref should be fined as well.

drdanobgyn
drdanobgyn

Win if you can, lose if you must, but always cheat. Ask Tomlin and Kidd

heardhimsay
heardhimsay

Don't you love it to watch people try to lie with a straight face even when they have been caught red handed?


heardhimsay
heardhimsay

Hope NFL films goes back and reviews other returns to see if Tomlin has a pattern of doing this.

heardhimsay
heardhimsay

Too bad he got out of the way, it would have been hilarious to see Jones hit Tomlin in the back at full speed.


heardhimsay
heardhimsay

At the very least this was really bad sportsmanship.  At the most, it was cheap shot cheating.


heardhimsay
heardhimsay

This play is what nearly decided the game. 

levelheaded
levelheaded

Glad that a number of people have pointed out the obvious.  Tomlin, at the last moment, did not step away from the field, he stepped onto it first and then stepped back!! If you suddenly realize you are in the wrong place you don't step further into it, your first step is to move away in the opposite direction.  That large step onto the field makes it obvious that he intended to do that.  

What I find so amazing is that all of the announcers and reporters are downplaying this and protecting Tomlin.  The general public who know football and sports all know that this was a deliberate action.  Yet the media continues to protect Tomlin and, more importantly, the NFL.  It seems that they are afraid to point out the obvious for fear that the NFL and their sponsors will pull advertising from their station or newspaper.  

Why should we not just move on and leave Tomlin and the NFL be?  The reason is that Tomlin and the NFL are setting a BAD example for future generations of players and coaches.  If the NFL does not come down on Tomlin, they are, by their actions or lack thereof, saying that the rules are made to be broken.  At the very least, they encourage people to break the rules  because you might get away with it.  Is this really the message we want to send?  Is money and winning more important than integrity?  If the NFL does not heavily penalize Tomlin (fine and suspension), we will have that answer.



j7apple
j7apple

The Ravens won, quit your whining everyone. Move On.

clu
clu

I feel bad for the next coach anywhere near Jones on a return, they're not going to get out of the way in time...

DavidWitcraft
DavidWitcraft

The ref is right there! How incompetent can they be? He's not even allowed to be in the white area during play, so he's 3 feet into where he's not supposed to be!

BruceBieber
BruceBieber

My friend coined the phrase "Jet things." It was an effort to help explain why there is no logical explanation for how something could only happen to the Jets.At the time, I was asking about the Broncos Jets playoff game. In the second half the Broncos kicked off to the Jets. The Jets had outplayed the Broncos and had a lead, but during the kickoff a mysterious gust of wind held the ball in the air and the broncos recovered an unplanned onsides kick that changed the rhythm of the game and ended the Jets' hope. I asked him, "What the hell was that?" He just looked at me and said, "Jet things."Further examples of Jet things include Vinny Testverde's blown Achilles, Revis and Holmes untouched injuries, and of course, the butt fumble. As any Jet fan can tell you, this is a very abbreviated list. You say you don't believe in Jet things? Ask yourself this: How come standing in the white to yell at a referee about a cheap shot that ends a Jets special teamer's season, is a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty on the Jets, and yet, a week later on the same field, the head coach for the Ravens' chief nemesis is beyond the white, on the field of play, alters the path of the Raven's returnman, and not only was no penalty called, but it's laughed off by the national media? How can this be?The way I see it, there's only one explanation: JET THINGS.

Samwise1948
Samwise1948

Wonder what the officals who watch each and every pplay of weach and every game will have to say about that one.

josebier
josebier

If Tomlin wasn't caught on camera smirking and trying not to laugh too much after this particular play, then I might buy his story.  Unfortunately there are many, many cameras that prove that what he did was intentional. It is just a shame that a coach decides to take matters into his own hands when he has 53 players being paid to do a job and he undermined his entire roster by acting like an idiot. I have lost all respect for Tomlin after these shenanigans

MontBlanc
MontBlanc

Roach Tomlin turns a venerable Pittsburgh team with his lone effort into 

the Pittsburgh Stealers. 

Way to goo Mike Tomlin a leach on the moral fiber of professional athletics

and the NFL.

He should donate 10 to 50 percent of his annual take to charitable organizations which

strive to instill good morals and ethics in young kids. What a way to sully the name of a good team

and destroy all that it stands for. 

johnarden
johnarden

What an idiot. He was looking over his right shoulder, waiting for Jacoby, and nimbly jumped out of the way, without a look of surprise. It's pretty low of him.

j7apple
j7apple

Does Tomlin get an assist?

mishmosh
mishmosh

LOL.  He wasn't even looking at the Jumbotron in the replay!

NEsports27
NEsports27

The reaction after says it all.  His right foot was clearly on the field.  Suspend for the rest of the year for this nonsense

johnkostrubal
johnkostrubal

The smirk on his face says it all . He should be not only fined, but relieved of his job .

There is no place for this type of action in sports .

tehbobb
tehbobb

Id love to go back and see how often Tomlin looks at the Jumbotron during returns..I have no opinion either way, but i think that will show if hes being honest.

SnarlyYow
SnarlyYow

Why are all the articles on SI, NFL.com, and ESPN questioning whether Tomlin was on the field? They all seem to suggest that Tomlin was on the white line when it's perfectly clear to anyone with one half decent eyeball that he entered the field of play in an awkward attempt to impede (or trip) Jones. He wasn't simply on the "White Line," he stuck his foot out on the field as Jones passed.

therednorth1
therednorth1

Jones should've plowed right into him.  Might have gotten the touchdown awarded from interference.

inthepresent
inthepresent

 "dont wanna in any way that was something intentional". 

i do. i wanna say exactly that. it was something intentional.  

it was cheating. and anyone in their right mind saw it. and it should have been called. 

sushant
sushant

It seems pretty easy to figure out if Tomlin intentionally got in the way.

1 - where was he when the kickoff started?  Was he was standing at pretty much the exact same spot watching the jumbotron (and doesn't move closer) to the field during the runback?

2 - where was he standing for the other (previous) kickoffs?  Was he standing at nearly the same spot in relation to the field and was he watching the jumbotron?

There should be enough video evidence to answer these questions.  Light, not heat :-) 

doublejtrain68
doublejtrain68

Tomlin is a great coach, but that is so obvious. There is no way he wouldn't have been paying attention to that. I'm surprised at him -- that's a pretty bush league move on his part. I hate to say it, but he should be fined and reprimanded by the league. 

jamie11230
jamie11230

I generally like and respect Tomlin, but this was totally bush.  Not to metion dangerous.  What would happen to a middle aged man without pads who gets hit head on by a kick returner at full speed?  the injuries would likely keep him off the sideline the rest of the year.

Jean
Jean

Tumlin expects a pass cause he bees black.

ridelacruz
ridelacruz

@levelheaded Let me undertand one thing. The NFL is in charge of setting example to new generations? I thought that was a parenting thing, I thought the NFL was just a business. I have to re-check my priorities in parenting: more NFL for the kids, less trying to set a good example at home. 

Thanks for the tip, you just made my life easier. 

DryHeave1
DryHeave1

@levelheaded agree with everything you wrote EXCEPT that the media is "downplaying it" to "protect the NFL"...the media didn't downplay "spygate" that's for sure...no, the media is downplaying it because they view Tomlin as a "good guy" and they like him....If Belichick pulled this stunt the media would be going WILD because Belichick is "mean" to them (in their view)

birdsgirl
birdsgirl

@j7apple What does the RAVENS winning have to do with the act itself?  The outcome of the game isn't as important as the unsportsmanlike behavior shown by a HEAD COACH.  That's just a ridiculous statement.  We can speculate and guess all we want, but the truth is that we will now NEVER know if JONES would have ran all the way in for a touchdown.  That would have made the final score very different.

itsthinking
itsthinking

@j7apple  

Shut your mouth (or chop off your fingers).  This is a discussion we can say whatever the hell we want and talk about whatever we want until we're blue in the face.  The ravens winning has NOTHING to do with the problem here AT ALL, obviously you are to busy trying to tell people what to do to understand this.  It was obviously on purpose, if he say's differently he's a liar.  I think people show their true colors when they are desperate.  I lost a lot of respect for Tomlin after this.  Very childish and classless.  Honestly as somebody who is supposed to set an example (same guy who took away games from the clubhouse when they were losing) he deserves a suspension...  The NFL is becoming more and more of a joke. 

Samwise1948
Samwise1948

@NEsports27 

Tomlin actually stuck his foot out in front of the runner. If he was truly trying to get out of his way, why did he need to do that? If a person is trying to move, they do not have to put one foot out like that in order to jump!

Pat11
Pat11

@inthepresent I hate cheaters, premeditated all the way notice how his foot jumps further into the field of play as Jacoby approaches. Fine him for actions detrimental to game. I wanted Pitt to win that game but now glad they lost.

bobcamp1
bobcamp1

@doublejtrain68 I think a one game suspension is consistent with how other coaches have been punished for this in the past.

Also, if I were Jones, I would have not avoided making contact with Tomlin.  If he hits me, I get awarded the touchdown anyway and also maybe get him ejected from the game.

Vinny Cordoba
Vinny Cordoba

@Jean , tell us your real name, Jean. Let us know where you live. Throw up a phone number. Show us how much of a man you are by saying insulting things without hiding behind a fake name.

levelheaded
levelheaded

@DryHeave1 @levelheaded 

I certainly won't argue that the media would have crucified Belichick and you are right, the media has favored Tomlin and the Steelers over the years.  I still think there is a bit of NFL protection also.