Tomlin takes responsibility for interference

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sidelines during the first half...

Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on from the sidelines during the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium November 28, 2013. (Rob Carr/Getty Images/AFP)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 1:46 PM ET

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said he reached out to the league office over the weekend when his two sons pointed out that his near-interference with Baltimore Ravens return man Jacoby Jones was a trending topic.

Tomlin summed up his position on the sideline -- with his right foot on the field during a Jones kickoff return in the third quarter -- as a bad mistake.

"My actions are a lot of things -- embarrassing, inexcusable, illegal, a blunder," he said. "I take full responsibility for my actions on that play."

With his back to the play, Tomlin was facing the M&T Bank Stadium jumbotron. Two local stations in Pittsburgh released footage that showed Tomlin taking a step toward the field during the return. Intentional? Tomlin said it was nothing of the sort, because he would never compromise the integrity of the game.

No penalty was called on the 73-yard kickoff return that led to a field goal. The NFL is determining intent and necessary punishment, which reportedly could include a six-figure fine and loss of a draft pick.

Tomlin said he hopes his mistake doesn't harm the team. The coach said in the NFL review, the league found that he is typically standing at the kickoff point -- as he was Thursday at Baltimore -- watching the play unfold on the video board.

"I will take this unfortunate incident -- this blunder on my part -- and in doing so, I will honor to stand up and champion our game, and in particular, the National Football League, and the integrity of that," Tomlin said. "It's all that I have professionally. It's been very good to me in my life, and to be honest with you, quite frankly, the winning of any game is not important enough for me to jeopardize that."

Tomlin said his sons are still holding the gaffe against him, but he is trying to remain good-natured about it.

"I did see the Soul Train picture. That was interesting," Tomlin said. "I've heard all the jokes. And I've got it coming."


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