NFL must come down with a heavy fine for Steelers coach Mike Tomlin

NFL must come down with a heavy fine for Steelers coach Mike Tomlin

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In the NBA, coaches fake having their drinks spilled on the court in order to get a timeout that their team doesn’t have.

And in the NFL, coaches apparently claim to watch a big play on the Jumbotron while impeding the progress of a kick returner.

Well, at least that’s what Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin claims happened when he was caught with his back turned while standing in the zone along the sideline where coaches and players are banned from standing — right at the same time that Baltimore Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones was trying to bust a run that could have broken last night’s game wide open:

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Jones was eventually tackled by Pittsburgh’s Cortez Allen on the 27-yard-line. And Tomlin’s reaction afterward? He had the look of a guy who just elbowed his way past a couple of old ladies at the Best Buy Black Friday event to cop the last discounted big screen TV:

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On Wednesday Brooklyn Nets coach Jason Kidd got away with spilling a drink on the court, and getting a timeout that he didn’t have. There are reports that Kidd will be fined $50,000 for an action that he claims wasn’t purposely done.

Expect the NFL to do the same, and come down with a heavy fine against Tomlin, whose team lost the Thanksgiving night game to the Ravens, 22-20.

Tomlin said he was doing what he always does on returns: watching the play on the Jumbotron.

And Tomlin says he was doing what all coaches do: occupy the white space along the sidelines, which is a forbidden zone.

Now it’s time for the NFL to have its say.

Fine Tomlin. Heavily.

That will send a message to coaches and players that they can’t get away with antics that could possibly dictate the outcome of a game — and a team’s season.