The Pittsburgh Steelers won't face any draft penalties following a December incident with head coach Mike Tomlin and Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones, according to Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
Steelers won't lose draft pick for Mike Tomlin sideline incident in Baltimore.— Alan Robinson (@arobinson_Trib) March 20, 2014
The incident occurred during a game on Thanksgiving, when Jones was returning a kick and Tomlin was standing in the field of play, causing Jones to adjust where he was running before getting tackled by Cortez Allen.
After deliberating for more than four months, the NFL has clearly changed its mind on the draft fine. Tomlin was very apologetic following the incident, saying in a statement released by the Steelers (via NFL.com) that it wasn't intentional:
As I stated yesterday, I take full responsibility for my actions, and I apologize for causing negative attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization. I accept the penalty that I received. I will no longer address this issue as I am preparing for an important game this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said afterwards that he never felt Tomlin's actions were malicious:
John Harbaugh says he never thought Mike Tomlin's actions were intentional.— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) December 4, 2013
Few coaches have been more respectful of both the game and the players on the field in the last decade than Tomlin. He admitted what he did was wrong, while apologizing to the appropriate parties involved, so that should have been the end of it.
Losing a draft pick, even a late-round one, seemed a little excessive after the six-figure fine was announced. Now Tomlin and the Steelers can get back to business without this unfortunate incident hanging over their heads.
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