Mike Tomlin on sideline incident last year: 'Tell Jacoby he's safe'

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 by the NFL last season for sideline interference when he nearly collided with Jacoby Jones

September 09, 2014|By Aaron Wilson | The Baltimore Sun

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin displayed his sense of humor Tuesday when asked if Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones needs to watch out for him on the kickoff team Thursday night.

"No, I won't be," Tomlin said with a laugh during a conference call with Baltimore reporters. "Tell Jacoby he's safe."

Tomlin was fined $100,000 by the NFL last season for sideline interference when he nearly collided with Jones, jumping out of the way at the last moment to avoid colliding with the Pro Bowl return specialist.

With Tomlin's back turned to the play while watching the action on the Jumbotron at M&T Bank Stadium, Jones altered his path along the sideline to avoid Tomlin. Jones was ultimately tackled from behind by cornerback Cortez Allen during the second half of the Ravens’ 22-20 win last November.

"I'm actually going up to holler at him right before the game and go, 'Hey, what you got for me this time," Jones said of Tomlin. "See where his mind's at. I laugh at it. It's all fun to me. It is what it is. He was just trying to win. I would do the same."

The NFL decided against modifying or forfeiting the Steelers' draft picks last year after initially considering doing so. The Steelers organization wasn't fined, and Tomlin remains a member of the influential NFL competition committee.

During an apologetic press conference last year in which he called his actions embarrassing, Tomlin was adamant that he didn’t intentionally interfere with Jones.

Tomlin violated Rule 13, Section 1, Article 4 of the NFL rulebook for being in the restricted white border that surrounds the playing field and setting foot on the field during the play.

Tomlin said he's moved on from the incident.

"I really don't care, to be honest with you," Tomlin said. "It's a non-factor in terms of what I'm doing in terms of preparing for this opportunity and obviously what needs to happen for us in the stadium. I don't tote those bags."

Ravens Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs hasn't forgotten about the bizarre episode, wearing a T-shirt with images of Tomlin and Jones with the following message: "We Will Never Forget: The North Remembers."

"In the offseason, I took a pilgrimage to Ball So Hard University and Hogwarts," Suggs said. "I just dug deep within myself and this is the image that came up with this whole Steelers rivalry. We just wanted to let their head coach know we will never forget what transpired here in this game last year."

awilson@baltsun.com

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