So Mike Tomlin gets a $100,000 fine.
One hundred large is like a pimple on Casey Hampton’s butt when compared to Tomlin’s annual salary of $5.75M. But Tomlin’s salary isn’t the real issue. The real issue is, does the punishment fit the crime?
Now we’ve learned that the NFL has not considered intent in determining Tomlin’s punishment.
“Intent is not a factor in discipline because it cannot be determined,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Pro Football Talk via email. “An individual is fined for an action that is a violation.”
Doesn’t intent count in determining the egregiousness of the violation?
Doesn’t premeditation count for something in criminal court?
Now if you listen to coaches both past and present around the league, none think that Tomlin intentionally disrupted the game. Forget what Tomlin has been yapping about regarding the integrity of the game and the embarrassing blunder and how the behavior was inexcusable. Blah, blah, blah…
It WAS inexcusable and regardless of what his coaching fraternity thinks it was also intentional.
You’ve seen the video. We’ve all seen how he has his back to the play.
Why? Why is his back to the play?
I know one thing, folks will be watching from this point forward to see if Tomlin’s back is to the play during kick returns and you can bet the farm that someone will unearth video to see if he’s done it in the past.
“I always watch the returns on the Jumbotron,” Tomlin told reporters. “It provides a better perspective for me.”
C’mon man…there’s a JumboTron at the other end too. Wouldn’t it make more sense to watch in the direction of the play AND the JumboTron? Wouldn’t that give the “better perspective” that you say you sought coach?
Ok, so he’s looking at the JumboTron and gaining that better perspective and what does he see…Jacoby Jones breaking free along the sideline upon which he happens to be illegally standing.
Keep in mind that Tomlin is on the league’s Competition Committee and he helps ESTABLISH the rules.
So here come Jones, speeding along as Tomlin watches on 2400 square feet of High Def. And what does he do? How about the Cha Cha Slide to the right. And then with his foot IN PLAY, he looks over his right shoulder while awaiting Jones’ arrival.
And just as Jacoby shows up, Tomlin buckles his knee further towards the field and then hops back.
Mission accomplished…he disrupted the play just enough to slightly break Jones’ stride and force him to change direction towards the pursuit.
If you are startled, do you move TOWARDS the thing that startles you?
If Tomlin was surprised by Jones’ sudden arrival, why is he looking over his shoulder?
He did it! He did it! He did it!
Look Tomlin IS a good coach and deservedly commands respect. He comes off as a professional and as a likable no-nonsense guy. As someone who despises just about anything and anyone connected to the Steelers with just a few exceptions, Tomlin being one of them, it wouldn’t bother me that if through some strange twist of fate someday, Tomlin becomes the skipper on the Ravens sideline.
I like the guy. He’s a good guy.
But you know what – GOOD GUYS MAKE MISTAKES TOO!
In the heat of the moment, sometimes things don’t go as you might like. Tomlin is an EXTREMELY competitive guy – he has to be. It’s an occupational hazard.
So here he is in a near must win situation on the road on Thanksgiving Night as the nation watches. If Jones goes the distance the season is pretty much done. The will to win gets the best of him and in a few fleeting seconds he has a momentary lapse of reasoning – so he cheats.
Ravens stadium operations busted him, showed it on the JumboTron (how was that perspective coach?) and he was so “embarrassed” he smiled a wry smile – a Cheshire cat grin that suggested he got away with one. He did then (no penalty was called) and he is now.
“Obviously, I lost my placement as he broke free. I started at the last second and saw how close I was to the field of play.”
Mike Tomlin, you are lying!
You acted as a desperate man, suffered a brain fart, committed a heinous violation of league rules – rules that you help to foster mind you, and now you’ve gotten away with it. One hundred thousand dollars is hardly a fitting penalty. Heck the Rooney family may slide it back to him in the form of a Christmas bonus.
But really, is that all the game’s integrity is worth?
Tomlin should count his lucky stars that the Ravens won. Otherwise his career would be forever linked to Jacoby Jones in the same embarrassing way that Roberto Alomar’s is hitched to that of spitting target, umpire John Hirschbeck.
And it still may be, because Tomlin lied.