Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tomlin, Steelers To Be Fined But Won't Forfeit Draft Pick

 “I lost my placement as he broke free, and (I) saw at the last second how close I was to the field."

This was Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin's apology and explanation for what happened Thursday night against the Ravens. Tomlin possibly interfered with Jacoby Jones' 73-yard kickoff return in the third quarter by being on the field, which is not permitted.

That's the part of this that is old news. The part of the story that has Steeler Nation up in arms is the talk of the Steelers possibly losing a draft pick over this. Now, allow me to delineate my rebuttal to this as eloquently as I possibly can.


The concern over the loss of a draft pick is with the Steelers, is in-house. They are the ones mainly concerned that it will cost them a draft pick in the late rounds. Per Fox reporter Jay Glazer, the NFL isn't actually discussing it to that degree.

Now, don't get me wrong, Tomlin will be fined. The NFL rule regarding such potential incidents and what are deemed "sideline interferences," per Glazer, had been reiterated before the game earlier this week. So, yes, a fine is forthcoming.

The last time something like this happened was with the New York Jets in 2010. In that happening, an assistant coach, Sal Alosi, actually tripped a Miami Dolphins as he ran up the sidelines. After admitting intent, they were fined $100,000 and he himself received a $25,000 fine.

Let me emphasize that he actually tripped the Dolphins player and all they received were the fines. No draft picks were forfeited.

Fast forward and the Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s near-interference is the subject of what has been called “an aggressive review” by the league office and is likely to result in similar stiff financial penalties for the coach and the team.

The trump card in this, though, is that Tomlin was recently appointed to the NFL’s powerful Competition Committee. Therefore, he knows better, and the league could take that into consideration regarding any action along those lines.

They may, therefore, also be the ones who leaked the draft pick-threat information to the Adam Schefters, Ian Rapaports and Jason LaCanforas of the NFL world in an effort to put a little fear into Tomlin as well as other teams to ward of anyone who may have an inkling to try something like this again.

But to honestly believe the NFL will actually take the quantum leap from a fine (knowing their true main objective is money) to taking away a draft pick is as viable as me walking into my closet and walking through it into a land where I find myself conversing with a talking lion.

To go to that length would mean the league knew his intent and that he was in the "white area" to purposely deter Jones. Which they cannot. How could Tomlin have known Jones would be coming that far up that sidelines in order to be perfectly positioned to get in his way just in enough time to jump out of the way? Just as the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Mark Kaboly brought out in his article:

This is in now way equivalent to the black eye the New England Patriots gave the NFL with SpyGate. That garnered a fine for the team, for the coach and the forfeiture of a draft pick. Is this in any way, shape or form as egregious as that deplorable fiasco?

No, I didn't think so, either.