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.