Out, and to the left. That is what we see in this footage from KDKA in Pittsburgh in regard to Mike Tomlin’s sideline maneuver on Jacoby Jones’ kickoff return. As we can see here, Tomlin is already in his nutcracker pose for the holidays by the time kicker Suisham makes a diving attempt for Jacoby Jones. He stands like a statue until right before Jones arrives, and then sticks his right foot out on the field, right in Jones’ path, before jumping back to the left to avoid contact.
The league is assessing what penalties to assess against Tomlin and the organization now, with a decision by Wednesday. When did he first get to that spot? He positioned himself well in advance of the return, but this snapshot right before the kickoff shows (that’s him circled, with his yellow sleeves) on the other side of the 50 yard line as the Steelers are lined up, and just off the white sideline. He will end up at the Pittsburgh 38 (where the arrow is pointing). He can be seen starting to walk as soon as the kick occurs and the camera angle changes.
In my opinion, Tomlin is facing a lengthy suspension of more than one game, and a hefty fine. He had zero reason to be at that spot. It’s not like he was standing there before the play and lost track of where he was. (It should be a penalty anyway, but this shows that he moved there after the kickoff.) I would be surprised if it resulted in a loss of a draft pick, but that assumes this was a one time incident and a momentary lapse of judgment, and not something broader.
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