NFL VP of Officiating: Mike Tomlin should have been flagged for sideline incident

Wednesday December 4th, 2013

Mike Tomlin (Rob Carr/Getty Images) Mike Tomlin is expected to receive a heavy fine for his actions Thanksgiving night. (Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Mike Tomlin was contrite on Tuesday when talking about his near collision with Jacoby Jones — calling it "embarrassing," "inexcusable" and a "blunder."

On Wednesday, NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino said on NFL Network that it was also a blunder on the part of the officials, as Tomlin should have been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

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“Anytime a player or a coach from the sideline is in this white area, that’s a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct,” Blandino said. “If they interfere with the play, it could be what’s called a ‘palpably unfair act.’ In that instance, the referee could basically penalize the team whatever he deems equitable, which could include giving the Ravens a touchdown. That’s not the case here, but certainly coach Tomlin was in the white. He should have been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

Tomlin is expecting a heavy fine for the incident. He could also be suspended, and the team could lose a draft pick.

Still, Blandino's admission is another in a series of errors, acknowledged by the NFL, that referees made on Sunday, most notably the confusion regarding a potential first down for the Redskins in their game against the Giants. SI WIRE: Prosecutors: Aaron Hernandez's girlfriend lied 29 times to grand jury

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