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NFL to coaches: Don't go on the field during the game

By Josh Katzowitz | NFL Writer

See Jim Harbaugh on the field? Yeah, he shouldn't be there. (FOX)
See Jim Harbaugh on the field? Yeah, he shouldn't be there. (FOX)

During the middle of last week's win against the Panthers, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh vehemently disagreed with an official's ruling and ran out on the field to protest. He immediately was given a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, because he ran on the field when he wasn't supposed to be doing so.

In his weekly discussion, Dean Blandino -- the league's head of officiating -- reaffirmed that coaches aren't actually allowed to be on the field during a game.

“We've got to make sure that coaches can't come on the field after the play, during the play like this to get the attention of an official,” Blandino said (H/T to PFT for the transcription). “They've got to stay on the sideline. So we penalized him 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

The photo above (which somehow got my Twitter account nearly 1,400 retweets) wasn't the problem to which Blandino was referring. Though many commenters compared that Harbaugh picture to the Mike Tomlin situation from earlier this season, it's not a fair comparison since Harbaugh was so far behind the play and didn't actually affect the action on the field.

The problem the officials had with Harbaugh was that he ran on the field to protest the original no-touchdown call that was levied against San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis (it was eventually overturned and the 49ers got their six points).

In other words, Blandino basically says, don't do this.

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