VIDEO: Remembering When Mike Tomlin Stepped on the Field to Slow Down Jacoby Jones' Kick Return

Tristan Jung
Remembering when Steelers coach interfered with Jacoby Jones and got heavily fined..
Remembering when Steelers coach interfered with Jacoby Jones and got heavily fined.. / Scott Taetsch/Getty Images
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On Thanksgiving Day 2013, one of the strangest on-field incidents in NFL history occurred during a tense rivalry game between the Baltimore Ravens and Pittsburgh Steelers.

With 6:26 left in the third quarter, Jacoby Jones returned a kickoff for the Baltimore Ravens. In typical Jacoby Jones fashion, he broke free of the special teams coverage and looked headed for an instant red zone trip or a touchdown. Then, suddenly, he had to swerve to avoid a collision, not with a defender, but with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, who was just standing on the sideline directly in Jones' path.

Tomlin clearly interfered with the play and the swerve led to Jones getting tackled a few second later. The Ravens were forced to settle for a field goal and were, quite rightly, furious.

As you can see in the video, Tomlin tried to step aside when he saw Jones coming, but his presence anywhere near the play was an obvious breach of protocol. Whether the action was deliberate gamesmanship, or, as Tomlin claimed, an unfortunate mistake made in the heat of the moment, it quickly drew harsh criticism.

The NFL fined Tomlin a hefty sum of $100,000 — the same amount that a Jets' assistant coach had been fined for tripping a player on the sideline a few years before. While coaches are a frequent presence on the sidelines, interfering during a play like that is a clear violation of the rules and Tomlin is lucky the Steelers weren't penalized more for his mistake.

However, justice was served as the Ravens would go on to win the game 22-20. Both teams went on to miss the playoffs that season, but the bad vibes from the incident would only serve to heighten the rivalry between the AFC North teams. The Steelers did eventually claim Jacoby Jones off waivers in 2015, briefly putting both men on the same sideline. Hopefully there were no hard feelings.


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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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