Thursday, March 20, 2014
Ravens couldn't expect Steelers to lose pick
By Jamison Hensley
The Pittsburgh Steelers won't lose a draft pick for coach Mike Tomlin's sideline interference, and the Baltimore Ravens can't be surprised by this.
While many Ravens players believe Tomlin intentionally stepped on the field Thanksgiving night to impede Jacoby Jones' path, no one can prove it convincingly. The NFL only takes away draft picks when there is indisputable proof like in the cases of Spygate and the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal.
“It’s not my job to figure out intent,” owner Steve Bisciotti said at the end of the season. “But, [it was] bizarre, weird, strange, unexplainable, and I think Mike was embarrassed about it.”
Tomlin was wrong and was disciplined. He was fined $100,000 during the season, which shows the league took this issue seriously. It's only the fourth time in league history the NFL has fined a coach that much. If the NFL wanted to discipline further, it would have removed him from the NFL competition committee, not threatened to take away a draft pick.
Of course, the Ravens might have pressed for more than a fine if they had lost to the Steelers that night. But I'm guessing the Ravens won't be too quick to forgive or forget the Tomlin incident. I would put good money on the Ravens showing a replay of Tomlin's sideline gaffe every time he steps into M&T Bank Stadium every year.
Reliving that embarrassment every year could end up being the toughest punishment of them all for Tomlin.