PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The NFL will reportedly fine Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin $100,000, and will consider taking away or downgrading a draft pick from the team.
The fine stems from a play during the Steelers and Ravens game played on Thanksgiving night.
Tomlin appears to step toward the field during the game as a Ravens player was running a kick return back.
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Mike Tomlin released a statement about the fine, saying: "As I stated yesterday, I take full responsibility for my actions, and I apologize for causing negative attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. 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 addressed the incident himself this afternoon during his weekly press conference , calling his actions, "embarrassing," "illegal" and "a blunder."
He apologized at length, saying he did not want to jeopardize the integrity of the game by defending his "inexcusable" actions.
Tomlin nearly collided with Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones after lingering too close to the field of play in the third quarter of a 22-20 Baltimore win.
"My descriptions of my actions on that play are a lot of things – embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal, a blunder would be a myriad of things I use to describe it.
I take full responsibility for my actions on that play," said Tomlin. "I acknowledge that my actions unfortunately became part of the play. I also embrace that as head coach, we're held to the highest standards of conduct and I realize that that blunder fell woefully short of that expectation; and in that vein, I embrace the responsibilities that come with my position and understand there are repercussions from a blunder of that nature, and I embrace it.
He then jumps out of the way when he realized the Ravens' kickoff return was heading his way.
Tomlin says he was watching the play on the jumbotron and got disoriented.
"If what he is saying is true, he didn't know, he was just watching the jumbotron, then I think he shouldn't be fined," one fan said.
"I think it's a little excessive, but I think he should have some kind of penalty for doing it," another said.
Steelers fans had mixed emotions about Tomlin's fine, but most agreed that the possible loss in draft pick is too much.
"The team didn't make a mistake, he did," said Lynne Jacobson of Squirrel Hill. "I don't know why they're being punished."
"I think the draft pick is kind of absurd, he's the one who made the mistake, not the team," said Teddi Horvitz of Squirrel Hill.
Famed Forensic Expert Dr. Cyril Wecht Analyzes Tomlin's Foot Fumble (12/4/13)
Steelers' Tomlin: On-Field Foray Was 'Inexcusable' (12/3/13)
New Video Angle Shows Mike Tomlin Incident, League Considers Punishment (12/2/13)
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