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Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin fined $100,000 by NFL for Thanksgiving incident

Steelers could still lose draft picks.

By Evan Bleier
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Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin fined $100,000 by NFL for Thanksgiving incident
Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin reacts along the sidelines during the second quarter of the Steelers 37-27 win over the Detroit Lions on November 17, 2013 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. (File/UPI/Archie Carpenter) | License Photo

Dec. 4 (UPI) -- Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin has been fined $100,000 by the NFL after he appeared to try and impede the progress of Baltimore kick returner Jacoby Jones during the third quarter of the Steelers' 22-20 loss to Baltimore on Thanksgiving night.

According to a statement issued Wednesday, the league is also considering modification or forfeiture of draft choices.

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Tomlin was not flagged by officials after the play, but NFL vice president of officiating Dean Blandino said Tomlin should have been penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct

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"Any time a player or a coach from the sideline is in this white area, that's a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct," Blandino said. "If they interfere with the play, it could be what's called a 'palpably unfair act.’ In that instance, the referee could basically penalize the team whatever he deems equitable, which could include giving the Ravens a touchdown. That's not the case here, but certainly coach Tomlin was in the white. He should have been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct."

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Despite video evidence indicating otherwise, Tomlin has said the play was not intentional. Still, he accepted to "take his medicine" for the play on Tuesday.

"I take full responsibility for my actions on the play," Tomlin said. "I acknowledge that my actions unfortunately became part of the play. ... I also embrace that as head coaches, we are held to the highest standards of conduct, and I realize that that blunder fell woefully short of that expectation, and in that vein, I ... understand the repercussions from a blunder of that nature.”

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Jones said Tomlin's presence near the sideline affected his return.

"I eased up," Jones said. "At the time when I was looking at him, I was like, 'I ain't going to run through him.' Everybody was like, 'You should've ran over him,' and I'm like, 'Man, good God, I'm not that type of person.'"

[NFL]

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