Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin fined $100,000

1:11 PM, Dec 4, 2013   |    comments
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin (Getty Images)
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(WXIA) -- Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 over a controversial kickoff Thanksgiving night against the Baltimore Ravens.

Tomlin, positioned illegally with part of one foot on the field of play and the other on the white stripe near the Pittsburgh 38-yard line while staring at the M&T Bank Stadium video board, jumped out of Jacoby Jones' path at the last second - but not before Jones cut inside, which probably helped allow him to be tackled at the 27.

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Jones was running up the sidelines toward what looked to be a touchdown, before cutting back inside to avoid Tomlin.

The Ravens eventually won the game, 22-20.

The sanctions were imposed by NFL executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson.

The potential impact on Pittsburgh's draft choices "will be considered after the final order of the 2014 draft has been determined," the league announced in a statement.

Tomlin apologized for his "embarrassing, inexcusable and illegal" blunder Tuesday but said it was not intentional and that he had lost his place along the M&T Bank Stadium sideline. He was interviewed Sunday by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and spoke Monday with Anderson and VP of football operations Merton Hanks.

Tomlin violated Rule 13, Section 1, Article 4 of the NFL Rule Book when he crossed into the six-foot restricted white border that surrounds the playing field during Jones' 73-yard, third-quarter return. Jones was tackled at the 27-yard-line, about 11 yards past where Tomlin jumped out of the way to avoid him.

Because Tomlin set foot "on the playing field during the play," Jones was forced to veer back away from the sideline to avoid the coach, whose back was to the play as he watched it while facing the end-zone big screen video board.

Anderson noted that Tomlin's positioning during the play should also have resulted in a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct, which wasn't called by the officiating crew.

The $100,000 fine is equal to the amount levied against the New York Jets when former Jets strength coach Sal Alosi tripped Miami Dolphins gunner Nolan Carroll during a 2010 game. After consulting with the league, Alosi was suspended without pay for the rest of that season, which included three regular-season and three playoff games.

(USA Today contributed to this article)

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