clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ravens coach John Harbaugh cracks a joke about Mike Tomlin's special teams prowess

Baltimore's coach found the humor in Mike Tomlin's lack of field awareness on a Jacoby Jones kick return in Week 13, cracking a joke, but also generally stating "these things happen."

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

A sure way to silence a group of NFL coaches is to ask them to speak up if they've never set foot on a field, even during a play.

Ravens coach John Harbaugh has been Baltimore's head man since 2008, and while no research was done, it's a good bet he's been a foot or so onto the field while the ball was in play. So has his brother, Jim Harbaugh, and Saints coach Sean Payton and any one of the 42 coaches Cleveland has had in the last decade.

Harbaugh seemed to recognize that when he was asked about Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's now-infamous "two-step-and-avoid" shuffle out of the way of Ravens return man Jacoby Jones.

Mike Tomlin hopped out of the way. on Twitpic

Tomlin has been crushed by Steelers fans for most of this season, and he's usually the last one fans credit with any success the team may have had.

Harbaugh joked about it, as millions of others have, wondering if Tomlin was credited with a tackle on the play. He also added the most reasonable reaction, saying "hey, that stuff happens. It happens."

The matter is under investigation with the league, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, and it appears likely Tomlin will be fined for it.

That's a reasonable solution (along with some kind of disciplinary action on the official, who Tomlin comes within a foot or two of hitting on his slide-step to his left. How he fails to notice Tomlin is well past where he is supposed to be could explain several things in this game).

No sacrifice is necessary, no suspension is warranted. It's clearly a "Tomlin beating Steelers" kind of mistake.


Harbaugh seems to have the right take on the matter, and even injected some humor into it.

Had Tomlin actually hit Jones, then it's a different matter. He might even face a suspension, not to mention the backlash of SteelerNation for having directly assisted in putting seven points on the board for the Ravens.

More from Behind the Steel Curtain: