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Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Mike Tomlin's fine should satisfy Ravens

By Jamison Hensley



The Baltimore Ravens really couldn't have asked for anything more from the NFL's discipline of Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

The league fined Tomlin $100,000 for interfering with a kickoff return last Thursday night and will consider taking away draft picks because Tomlin's conduct affected a play on the field.

Tomlin's fine is the fourth of at least $100,000 given to an NFL coach, per ESPN Stats & Information. The biggest was the $500,000 fine given to Bill Belichick for Spygate.

This shows that the NFL is taking Tomlin's misstep very seriously. Many of the Ravens players have made it known publicly that they believe Tomlin intentionally tried to get in Jacoby Jones' way, and they should be satisfied with the NFL's ruling.

Anything beyond a hefty fine and possible removal of draft picks would have been excessive. The league shouldn't have suspended Tomlin over an incident where you can't prove his intent (and I know there have been 100 different angles showing this play). This still isn't like Spygate or the New Orleans Saints' bounty scandal.

If the NFL wants to send a further message, all the league has to do is remove him from the NFL competition committee, which would be a shot at Tomlin's integrity. But the league is reportedly not going to go that far.

"I accept the penalty that I received," Tomlin said in a statement Wednesday. "I will no longer address this issue as I am preparing for an important game this Sunday against the Miami Dolphins."

Tomlin can try to ignore this incident, but no one else will. In the end, fining Tomlin wouldn't be the severest punishment, no matter what the NFL was going to take from his wallet. Embarrassment is going to follow Tomlin for the rest of this season and every Thanksgiving.

How many times have you seen Leon Lett's gaffe replayed year after year? It's going to be the same way with Tomlin's right foot creeping onto the field of play, and there is going to be no way for Tomlin to hide from it, especially when he steps into M&T Bank Stadium every year.

This issue hasn't even been resolved this year, not with the NFL threatening to take away a pick after the draft order is finalized. But, at this point, a strong message has been sent and the Ravens should be pleased about it.