TOMLIN TAKES THE CAKE
It's official. Pittsburgh Coach Mike Tomlin is the winner of my first annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey award.
I don't really have a Turkey award, but if I did, Tomlin would have easily clinched the award Thursday night when his Steelers took on the Ravens in Baltimore.
Here was the situation: Pittsburgh had just scored to cut the Baltimore's lead to 13-7 with 6:26 left in the third quarter. Pittsburgh's Shaun Suisham kicked off and Baltimore's Jacoby Jones received the ball at the goal line.
Jones had a big return going as he headed up the left side of the field. As he was streaking up the Steelers' sideline he approached Tomlin, who was on the sideline. The official who was tracking Jones, had to angle away from Tomlin, who had actually taken a step on the field at the Steelers' 38-yard line. Jones was tackled a few yards later at the 27-yard line.
No foul was called on the play, but there should have been.
There is no question in my mind that Tomlin should have been penalized. Granted, the official didn't run into him, but he was forced to go to the inside and he was hampering his ability to officiate the play.
One might make a case that Jones had to move further in on the field to avoid Tomlin, but I think that's a stretch.
Regardless, Tomlin has to be aware he can't be in the solid, six-foot wide white borders that rim the field when the play is coming that direction. And the fact that he was turned around watching the play on the Jumbotron is no excuse.
A 15-yard penalty should have been called and added on to the end of the play and I wouldn't be surprised if the league looks at this and considers some discipline. I'm not 100 percent sure, because I've never been involved with this situation before.
At the end of the day, my biggest disappointment is that the official didn't buck up and throw the flag.
I bet if you ask Jets coach Rex Ryan, he'd share my opinion. Ryan had a coach penalized against in their game against the Ravens just last week because an official ran into him in the white on the sideline.
So it would have been gravy if I did have Turkey award. Tomlin would have been an easy runaway winner