Steelers coach Tomlin fined $100,000 for interfering

Wed Dec 4, 2013 1:05pm EST
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(Reuters) - Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has been fined $100,000 for interfering with a kickoff return in last week's game against the Baltimore Ravens, the National Football League said on Wednesday.

The penalty is one of three $100,000 fines ever levied on an NFL head coach and pales in comparison to the record $500,000 sanction against New England coach Bill Belichick in 2007 for using videotape to spy on an opposing team's defensive signals.

In the Thursday night play in question, Tomlin had his back to the action, watching a kickoff return by Jacoby Jones on a giant screen while standing on the edge of the playing field.

The coach, who at one point had one foot on the field, hopped out of the way just in time to avoid a possible collision with Jones during the third quarter of Baltimore's 22-20 win.

"I take full responsibility for my actions, and I apologize for causing negative attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization," Tomlin said in a statement.

"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."

The Steelers' organization was not fined for Tomlin's actions but could still feel a sting from his actions.

Because Tomlin's conduct affected a play on the field, a modification or forfeiture of choices will also be considered after the final order of the 2014 draft has been determined, the NFL said in a statement.

Tomlin, a member of the NFL's competition committee, told reporters after the Ravens game: "I always watch the returns on the Jumbotron - it provides a better perspective for me.   Continued...

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin directs his team's play in the third quarter of play against the Minnesota Vikings during their NFL football game at Wembley Stadium in London, September 29, 2013. REUTERS/Eddie Keogh