Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin addressed the media regarding the incident in which he found himself on the field and in the way of Baltimore Ravens return man Jacoby Jones during the team's Week 13 matchup on Thanksgiving. The message Tomlin gave reporters on Tuesday was clear: he's surprised at the response to the incident.
Tomlin took questions from reporters and didn't appear to hold back, despite claiming that the NFL has yet to reprimand him or dish out any kind of verdict regarding the incident just yet. "I talked to the commissioner personally on Monday. I talked to Ray Anderson and Merton Hanks on Monday so I can be cooperative as I can be under the circumstances," Tomlin said.
Tomlin was surprised that people found his actions to be intentional. "Shocking to me that my actions have been perceived in any way as intentional," Tomlin said, "I have no desire to defend my character against things of that nature. I have become comfortable with the fact that in these positions, you get judged a certain way."
Still, Tomlin continued to refer to his actions as a "blunder" and made it clear that they were not intentional in any way. "Embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal, a blunder, being many of the things I use to describe it," Tomlin said, "I take full responsibility for my actions on the play."
"I acknowledge that my actions, unfortunately, became part of the play," Tomlin said. Jones seemed well on his way to a touchdown before he had to adjust to Tomlin being in his way as he ran down the sideline. The Ravens eventually won the game, which is fortunate given the circumstances.
"As unfortunate as my actions were ... it was a blunder nonetheless," Tomlin said. It sounds like expects some punishment one way or the other, but perhaps coming out and taking responsibility in the way that he did on Tuesday would help him in the eyes of the NFL.
The most recent news regarding this incident came on Monday, when a new video surfaced showing Tomlin stepping onto the field from a previously unseen angle.