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Sun, Feb 7, 2016

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Mike Tomlin: Anybody who thinks I'd do this on purpose is 'crazy'

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Did Mike Tomlin try to trip Jacoby Jones?
Unwittingly or otherwise, Mike Tomlin inserted himself into the game Thursday night. (Twitter.com)

Depending on who you ask, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin intentionally positioned himself on the field in an effort to slow the Ravens' Jacoby Jones' clear path to the end zone during their Thanksgiving night matchup. Instead of Jones celebrating six, he was tackled by Cortez Allen and the Ravens had to eventually settle for a field goal.

That sequence of events sent Twitter to DEFCON 1, complete with Zapruder-style, frame-by-frame breakdowns divining Tomlin's intentions from grainy television footage.

On Monday, Tomlin told FOX Football Daily's Jay Glazer, "If anybody thinks I or anybody else would do this on purpose they are crazy."

FOX Football Daily's Howie Long added, "It's a brain fart. That's what it is."

The court of public opinion seems to think otherwise -- Tomlin deliberately tried to impede Jones' progress and should be punished severely because of it. (Never mind that Jones, Joe Flacco or Jim Harbaugh appeared unbothered by it; in fact, all three made jokes after the game.)

Meanwhile, Tomlin told his players that they don't need to defend him.

"I was advised that he didn't need any help in this situation and I shouldn't say much," safety Ryan Clark said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"He didn't advise us not to speak, but coach 'T' said he didn't need any help," Clark continued. "He was like, he understands the situation, he understands the process that has to happen. He was like, 'So I don't need you guys speaking up for me and trying to defend me.' He'll be fine."

Monday came and went without a ruling from the NFL but one is expected this week, perhaps as soon as Tuesday. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reports that Tomlin and the Steelers could face a hefty fine though it is unlikely that the coach is suspended.

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