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Monday, December 30, 2013

Tomlin refuses to play what if

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin watched the events of the Kansas City at San Diego game unfold Sunday night in his basement with his two sons.

And according to Tomlin, he immediately recognized that the Chargers were in an illegal formation when Kansas City placekicker Ryan Succop pushed a potential game-winning 41-yard field goal attempt wide to the right with four seconds remaining.

San Diego went on to win the game, 27-24, in overtime, sending the Chargers into the playoffs at 9-7 and ending the Steelers season at 8-8.

What did Tomlin say as the foul was occurring?

"I'll leave that between myself, my sons and our basement," Tomlin said.

The NFL issued a statement Monday that said referee Bill Leavy’s crew erred in not penalizing the Chargers five yards for having too many men on the right side of the ball at the line of scrimmage, a violation of a new rule instituted this season to help increase player safety. The Chargers overloaded the right side of the line with seven players.

“On the play, San Diego lined up with seven men on one side of the snapper,” the NFL said in a statement. “This should have been penalized as an illegal formation by the defense.

“Rule 9, Section 1, Article 3(b)(1) of the NFL Rule Book (page 51) states that ‘No more than six Team B players may be on the line of scrimmage on either side of the snapper at the snap.’ The rule was adopted this year as a player safety measure.

“The penalty for illegal formation by the defense is a loss of five yards. This rule is not subject to instant replay review. Had the penalty been assessed, it would have resulted in a fourth-and-7 from the San Diego 18 with 0:04 remaining, enabling the Chiefs to attempt a 36-yard field goal.”

Leavy’s crew also blew a play dead on a fake punt by the Chargers in overtime as Eric Weddle continued to fight forward for yardage. The Chiefs stripped Weddle of the ball and returned it for a touchdown.

Former NFL head of officiating Mike Pereira tweeted Sunday night that he felt the play should not have been blown dead and the fumble and touchdown should have stood.

Game officials have made a number of crucial errors this season, and Tomlin, who is a member of the league’s competition committee, feels those issues will be addressed in the offseason.

"Obviously, there is a lot of work that needs to be done from an officiating standpoint," Tomlin said. "I think it has been played out and well documented over the last several weeks ... I look forward to being part of the process in helping it improve.'

Had Leavy's crew made the correct call in either of those situations, the Steelers would be preparing to play the Bengals this weekend in Cincinnati.

Instead, they're preparing for their offseason.

"We stepped into 16 stadiums this year with an opportunity to state our case, and we didn't state a strong enough case, so I am not going to lose a lot of sleep over something that went on in a stadium that we weren't even in," Tomlin said.

@ The Steelers went 6-2 in the second half, the best record in the AFC. Only Carolina, at 7-1, had a better second half record.

@ Cornerback Curtis Brown will have surgery to repair his torn ACL on Friday. Tomlin said Brown had to wait until his MCL healed before he could undergo the surgery.

@ Tomlin spoke highly of Kelvin Beachum's play at left tackle but said he'd like to continue to see him improve. It definitely sounds, however, as if the Steelers are preparing to go into 2014 with Beachum at left tackle.

@ Tomlin refused to comment on the future of any players or coaches, but unless somebody really wants to leave, I doubt there will be any big makeovers on the staff.


Anonymous said...

If the NFL starts talking about taking away a draft pick from the Tomlin on the field incident, they should be reminded of this ref flub keeping the Steelers out of the playoffs. I think one balances out the other.

Anonymous said...

I think every play should be available for review at any point in any game period.

adamg said...

Replay is a joke if the idea is to get the calls right.

The NFL should take a cue from the NHL and have a replay HQ where all reviews are done and the head ref would be buzzed to stop play. No red flags and every play is reviewable. No more endless time spent trying to figure out a spot or when exactly a player's helmet came off. Get the blatant mistakes right and I can live with the occassional bad in/out, down by contact, etc. calls.

joe said...

adamg, i have long agreed with what you say about replay. replay is, and has been a joke since day 1.

the gam is played by humans, players drop easy passes, linemen miss blocks, qb's throw terrible passes, refs miss things.

when the nfl has meetings about this in the off season, invite a couple of refs for their point of view also. no more looking under the hood to watch seinfeld reruns. do it up in a booth, or at a central location immediately. college does it better than the pros, yet the nfl can't seem to swallow it's pride and do it that way, or end it.

in the end, the steelers stunk it up the first month, then laid a couple more eggs later in the season. on to next year, hopefully with some lessons learned.

Anonymous said...

Agree on the college version being superior, it's absurd the NFL still has field refs crawling under a stupid hood. I think it'd be far more efficient as well.

Steelers may be staring at a choice of OTs at their pick. They don't often find themselves in that position. I hope they give it consideration.

Dale Lolley said...

Pereria said today that he'd thinks the 17 referees should be full-time employees. That's fine - if the league would then have the ability to fire guys who aren't doing the job correctly.

As it is now, there's very little accountability, other than the highest-rated guys getting playoff games, etc. What kind of system is that?

You continually see the same crews botching calls left and right. But they're protected by their union.

As for drafting an OT in the first round, I think that would be a mistake by the Steelers. They can contend in 2014 with the addition of a game-breaking receiver, ie. Watkins or Evans or TE such as Ebron. Or a defensive playmaker such as Dennard.

Anonymous said...

Beating a dead horse, but how can the league consider taking away draft pick that did not affect playoffs (even though intentionally sitting players iltimately did this time) or draft position? And, I believe, the ravens have a better pick anyway.

Dale Lolley said...

Actually, the Steelers select 15th in the first round. Baltimore will flip a coin with Dallas for 16 or 17

Steve-O said...

I find it odd that the Steelers rank second in the division (over the 3rd place Ravens) yet they pick one spot ahead. I guess the tie breakers outweigh the standings.

Anonymous said...

Tie breaking procedure for the draft ("Selection Meeting") differs from the playoffs/division rankings. It is based on strenght of schedule. Basically the Steelers were 8-8 with a weaker schedule, so they pick higher. Dallas and Baltimore must have had the same SoS, so they go to a coin flip.

Dale Lolley said...

Strength of schedule matters in the draft. But the Steelers split with Baltimore and had a better division record, hence their second-place finish

Steve-O said...

Got it, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I think the steelers should consider two moves. First, move jarvis jones to inside linebacker. All the talk has been about him bulking up. I see a guy who is great in space with incredible instincts. Reminds me a lot of Derrick Johnson of the chiefs. This assumes they keep worlds and woodley. Secondly, I think they should move Gilbert to left guard. As much as I like foster, he is not the athlete that Gilbert is. Watching him blow defenders off the ball the last few games has been awesome. Mike Adams showed his rookie year that he could be a good right tackle. Thoughts?

Anonymous said...

Ramon Foster was one of the best pass blocking Guards in football this year. No way he should be moved.

Gilbert and Adams need to fight it out for RT.

We need to keep Valesco or Wallace around so they can replace Pouncey when he wants top center money next year. He isn't worth it.

Anonymous said...

I'd try to move pouncey, get a 1st or 2nd for him and move on with velasco and Wallace. Both of those guys played great and anchored the line the 2nd half of the season. 7 total sacks in the final 7 games is lights out. They actually looked better w/o pouncey

Anonymous said...

Foster played well but is heavy footed. He doesn't move well and Gilbert does. I think the move would really improve the run game without sacrificing anything in pass protection.

Dale Lolley said...

Hard to judge how the line looked with/without Pouncey considering he lasted just eight plays.

Foster was solid this season. No reason to jerk him around.

Dale Lolley said...

Hard to judge how the line looked with/without Pouncey considering he lasted just eight plays.

Foster was solid this season. No reason to jerk him around.

Anonymous said...

Velascoo has a torn achilles tendon. He likely wouldn't even be ready to play in Sept not to mention the unknown impact of the injury on his mobility.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to judge how Pouncey ever looks on the line considering he spends 2/3 of every season on the bench. I agree trade him!