FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick can sympathize with Mike Tomlin.
The Steelers’ head coach got a bit too close to the action during the Pittsburgh-Baltimore Thanksgiving night game and had to jump out of the way before Ravens kick returner Jacoby Jones mowed him down. Tomlin could have been charged with a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty — especially since it appears the coach’s positioning made Jones change course before being run down from behind.
Belichick said the play could have happened to any head coach.
“I was like, ‘Oh my God, yeah.’ That could easily happen to any of us,” Belichick said. “It’s a good lesson, I have to be careful.”
Belichick has been too close to the sideline a few times. He recalled one time when he wound up underneath the Gatorade table.
“Yeah, I’ve been blown up a few times,” Belichick said.
“There’s one play in particular where I was kind of watching the pass rush of the front and the ball was thrown. I didn’t really follow the ball that quickly and all the sudden the guy caught it and was right on top of me and [I] ended up under the Gatorade bench. Obviously if you’re watching the ball, it shouldn’t be that big of a problem. But if you’re trying to watch something else. … Obviously we have to give the officials and the players room to play. Sometimes that just happens where you get guys caught up a little bit on the sideline.”
Belichick wouldn’t specify which game this was when prompted.