The NFL made it clear that Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin should have been flagged for standing on the field during Jacoby Jones‘ kickoff return a few weeks ago. Yet, the league’s officials still refuse to call the penalty.
49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh was guilty of the same crime as Tomlin on Monday night, standing on the field during linebacker NaVorro Bowman‘s game-clinching 89-yard interception return. Officials should have hit Harbaugh with a 15-yard penalty for the offense, but again they refused to make a call on the play.
Harbaugh was standing on the field at the start of the play, and he turned to run alongside Bowman as the linebacker returned the touchdown. His presence on the field actually forced the side judge, who was also running toward the end zone on the play, to alter his path to avoid running into Harbaugh on the play.
While Tomlin wasn’t flagged for his positioning either, he was fined $100,000 in the aftermath for impacting the play on the field. Harbaugh didn’t have any impact on the play, which makes his case slightly different than Tomlin’s, but his presence on the field should at least be taken under review if the NFL wants to remain consistent.