By Aaron Wilson
The Baltimore Sun
7:45 AM EST, January 10, 2014
The reaction from owner Steve Bisciotti undoubtedly would have taken on a much more serious tone if Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's sideline interference in November had cost the Ravens a football game.
Tomlin narrowly avoided a collision with Ravens kickoff returner Jacoby Jones during the Ravens' Thanksgiving night victory, jumping out of the way at the last possible moment. Tomlin was fined $100,000 by the league and apologized profusely for wandering onto the field, saying several times he didn't intentionally get in Jones' way.
Bisciotti weighed in on Tomlin's misstep for the first time during the Ravens' season-ending news conference Wednesday at team headquarters.
“It’s not my job to figure out intent," Bisciotti said. "I’m glad we won the game. My feelings for that move might have been a lot different [had we lost]. But, [it was] bizarre, weird, strange, unexplainable, and I think Mike was embarrassed about it.
"And I like Mike a lot. He’s a really good guy. So, his intent, that is completely in his court. He got fined for it, and again, he’s embarrassed as a competitor. Like I said, I’m glad we won.”
At the time of the punishment, the NFL announced that the Steelers might be impacted in terms of the draft in May through either a modification or forfeiture of draft picks to be determined at a later date once the final draft order was determined.
The Steelers organization wasn't fined, and Tomlin remains on the influential NFL competition committee after his violation of Rule 13, Section 1, Article 4 of the NFL rulebook for being in the restricted white border that surrounds the playing field and setting foot on the field during the play.
Tomlin issued a statement after the punishment was handed down.
"I take full responsibility for my actions, and I apologize for causing negative attention to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization," Tomlin said in a statement. "I accept the penalty that I received."