Mike Tomlin wasn’t interfering with the game—he was dancing.
Smith posted a picture to his Instagram account showing Tomlin getting down Soul Train-style, which was spotted by David P. Woodson of TheScore.com.
This isn’t “interference.” This is the “stanky leg,” according to Smith.
For the blissfully unaware, the picture is a reference to a big play Tomlin made on special teams Thursday night.
Down 13-7 in the third quarter, the Steelers kicked off to Ravens return man Jacoby Jones and nearly allowed a back-breaking return for a touchdown—until Tomlin entered the picture, that is.
Shooting through a hole in the special-teams coverage, Jones streaked up the sideline seemingly bound for a touchdown. That moment would never come, however, as Jones found himself dodging an unlikely obstacle—Tomlin.
Standing on the edge of the field, Tomlin jumped out of the way just in time to avoid contact with Jones, who appeared to slow down/shift direction to avoid the coach. Jones was then caught by Steelers corner Cortez Allen.
No flags were thrown on the play, however, and Ravens players and fans viewed Tomlin’s presence on the field as deliberate interference.
Here’s the original version of the photograph Smith posted, which was created by Twitter user @MackDaddyWayne.
Did Tomlin purposely step onto the field? The Ravens certainly believe so.
According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, Joe Flacco told reporters that Tomlin’s interference was the exact thing he himself once kidded about during the Super Bowl this past February.
Flacco was referring to the end of the 2013 Super Bowl, when he jokingly suggested to his teammates on the sideline that they should run onto the field and tackle kick returner Ted Ginn Jr. during the final play of the game.
“That’s exactly what he just did,” Flacco told reporters after the game. “He was looking at the big screen the whole entire time, he knew where he was, he knew where Jacoby was. He pulled my move.”
Tomlin maintains that the interference was an accident, according to Natasha Paul of BlackSportsOnline.com. After the game, Tomlin told reporters he always watches returns on the Jumbotron and simply “lost [his] placement” during the play.
Sometimes, you lose your placement, and other times, you do a two-step in front of a kick returner.
Perhaps next time Tomlin should do “The Hustle” and get off the field earlier.
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