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Dean Blandino: Mike Tomlin should have been flagged

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin conceded Tuesday that his actions on Jacoby Jones' kick return last week were an inexcusable blunder.

Now the NFL's vice president of officiating has acknowledged that game officials should have penalized Tomlin on the controversial play.

"Anytime a player or a coach from the sideline is in this white area, that's a 15-yard penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct," Dean Blandino said on Tuesday's edition of NFL Network's "NFL Total Access." "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 entire issue of sideline placement will be addressed with the complete referee staff via video training this week, NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday on NFL Network's "Around the League Live," per a league source.

Blandino also weighed in on the miscommunication between officials and coaches at the end of Sunday night's Giants-Redskins game.

According to Blandino, the key to the whole scenario was that the Redskins were out of timeouts in a two-minute drill, so there was no way for them to stop the first-down confusion.

"In looking at it in our review, the referee should have stopped the game at this point, quickly reset everything, make sure everybody knows that this is a third-down play," Blandino explained. "And then wind the clock back up again. So that's what should have happened. Again, in a hurry-up situation, you're trying to rush. You're not trying to give either team an advantage by stopping the clock, and obviously we had a breakdown in mechanics here."

UPDATE:The NFL announced Wednesday that Tomlin has been fined $100,000. The Steelers organization could face "modification or forfeiture of draft choices," but that won't be decided until the final order of the 2014 draft is set.

The latest "Around The League Podcast" recapped every Week 13 game.

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