NFL head of officials admits another major error

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A rough week for NFL Vice President of Officiating Dean Blandino continued when he explained that Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin should have been flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the game against Baltmore when he was on the white stripe that separates the field from the sideline area.

“Anytime a player or a coach from the sideline is in this white area, that’s a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct,” Blandino said on NFL Network. “If they interfere with the play, it could be what’s called a ‘palpably unfair act.’ In that instance, the referee could basically penalize the team whatever he deems equitable, which could include giving the Ravens a touchdown. That’s not the case here, but certainly Coach Tomlin was in the white. He should have been flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

The obvious miss of that penalty comes in the same week that Blandino admitted that referee Jeff Triplette should have called timeout to fix a problem with the first-down markers at the end of the New York Giants-Washington game. Beyond that, Arizona coach Bruce Arians complained loudly about a series of calls in his team’s loss to Philadelphia and Tennessee coach Mike Munchak said the league admitted to three mistakes in his team’s game.

Tomlin is expected to be fined heavily by the NFL for being close enough to the field that he interfered with an official and nearly collided with Baltimore return man Jacoby Jones.

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