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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tuesday with Tomlin

Mike Tomlin didn't have a lot to say at his weekly press conference Tuesday, less than 12 hours after his team defeated Houston, 30-23, Monday night to improve to 4-3.

But he did say that he expects both linebacker Ryan Shazier and safety Shamarko Thomas to return this week from injuries.

Shazier has missed the past four games with a knee injury, while Thomas has been out a couple of weeks with a hamstring issue.

Getting Shazier back for Sunday's game against Indianapolis will be a big boost.

The Colts throw more to their receivers and tight ends than perhaps any team in the NFL, especially near the goal line. Tight ends and running backs account for 14 of the Colts' 19 touchdown passes this season and 17 of the team's 25 total touchdowns for the season.

Shazier's speed and explosiveness could be a factor in helping defend those kind of plays.

@ On his weekly radio bit with a local station, Ben Roethlisberger said that it was Tomlin who called the end around option pass by Antonio Brown that resulted in a 3-yard touchdown pass from Brown to Lance Moore.

I'm told that was not the case, and Tomlin brushed off questions about who made the call to run that particular play, saying only that he takes responsibility for all of the play calls.

It seems silly, but A. That's a play that the Steelers work on all the time because it's one of their core 2-point conversion plays. And B. Offensive coordinator Todd Haley made the play call.

Some have taken issue with the Steelers calling that play at that time.

But this was a team that had been struggling in the red zone. Why not put the ball in the hands of your best playmaker - who was a high school quarterback, by the way - and let him make a play?

Brown is smart enough that he knows to throw the ball away or tuck it and run in that situation if nothing is there.

Sometimes, Roethlisberger baffles me with the things that he says and why he says them.

@ Tomlin said he felt that Brown's touchdown catch in the fourth quarter should not have been overturned.

The play was originally ruled a catch and there didn't seem to be enough to overturn the play. In fact, Brown later tweeted a photo that showed some separation between his feet and the sideline.

A photo by Pittsburgh Tribune-Review photographer Chaz Palla also showed Brown had both feet in bounds cleanly with the ball in his possession.

But Brown stepped over the line when he tweeted the photo and also made a derogatory comment towards the officials.

He will likely draw a fine from the NFL for that.


Hey_Jakey said...

I agree on the Brown TD pass. The Steelers have had no luck at all from that distance, why not? Especially on first down.

My question Brown a lefty or did he throw it from the opposite hand due to pressure from the right side?

I think the offensive play calling from the second quarter on was really quite good. Although they should have gone for it on 4th & inches. BB has shown no ability to draw defenses offsides with the tricky count (although he's quite good at drawing the offense offsides with it). Run it up the middle & get the first. They were on fire at that point.

I really don't like Gruden as an announcer. You've got his non-stop fawning over elite QBs and other superstars (maybe TImmons only puked after hearing Gruden & Tirico praise Watt for the first three quarters), plus he's citing the Steelers' "Randall Gay" and "Mike Holgrem." That said, the best comment I've heard in a long, long time was, "I used to like football," which Gruden said when they reversed AB's touchdown. He summed up the frustration of everyone over 40 with that single statement. I don't care if it's the Steelers or our opponent, I truly don't, but when they start removing the beauty of a catch like that over millimeters of turf that no one can possibly see, it detracts from the game in a big way. I'm convinced game plans are made around drawing penalties, and the game has become simply 3+ hours of legal interpretations.

Anonymous said...

AB is left handed... He has thrown the ball before and it's all with his left arm..

I can't believe that more Steeler fans aren't upset at the late hits Ben took from JJ.. One really stuck out at me.. JJ had his head down while he was rushing, he then looked up to see Ben throw the ball, took two long steps and then buried Ben.. All the while the ref is looking right at him.. that was BS!!

I don't have a problem with the pass into the endzone, if we ran the ball all three times there would be people complaining.. I like taking a shot, seal the game and get some confidence all at the same time.

It was great to see the momentum swing our way and how the guys responded, I haven't seen that kind of fire for some time now..

And how about Ben moving around in the pocket, it was good to see and a little painful to watch..

I though for sure they were going to torch us with nine guys up in the box, I think if it was another QB in those situations we would have been torched and I don't plan on see that this Sunday.. This game is BIG!!!


Anonymous said...

Dale, I think AB retweeted someone else's picture of his feet, and I think the comment about the refs was part of the original tweet. I'm not sure AB gets fined for retweeting someone else's (very accurate) comment about the refs.

Dale Lolley said...

Brown is a natural lefty.

And he admitted tonight on his radio show - on which I am a co-host - that the comment was his. He expects to be fined but is OK with it. He didn't back down from the comment, respectfully, of course.

Steve-O said...


I don't want to nitpick the play calling, especially after a win like that, but I have to question the pass plays at the end of the game. The incomplete pass at about the 3:40 mark left 40 seconds on the clock for the Texans that shouldn't have been there. If Michael Palmer hadn't recovered that elusive onside kick everyone would be questioning it but I guess a win erases that gaffe. Your thoughts on that?

On a side note I'm with AB on his tweet. Even former director of officiating, Michael Pereira, thought the refs didn't have definitive information to overturn it... I guess we can chalk that up to the human factor but when they get it wrong then criticism is fair play. Just my two cents.

Anonymous Brian said...

I like playing for a TD there to make it three scores. Don't like the particular call on second down - a low percentage pass to a rookie, and a chucked-up throw. Makes it look less like a situational game decision and more like Ben and/or Haley couldn't resist playing with the new toy. But I don't think it was a bad idea in general at all.

It's not like they were up four points on third-and-five and called a play that let the defense decide whether or not Ben throws for the game-winning first down, in a situation where the defense is highly unlikely to leave 83 or 84 "uncovered," which makes it effectively a run call.

(I'm still angry about something Cowher decided in 2003.)

I think the offense's new game plan should be for the defense to force three turnovers every game, two inside the opponents' ten.

Great throw, staying tall in collapsing pocket, from Ben to DHB out of the end zone. Big play.

Kudos to Brown - he should have got the TD, but at least he got his 4-for-48 streak continued.

adamg said...

DHB came to the Steelers with a rap as an inconsistent pass catcher, but so far I think he's grabbed every catchable ball that's been thrown his way.

Anonymous said...

there were actually two calls the refs royally blew in that game.

brown's foot never touched white, so how in the world they overturned the TD was poor. additionally, I was beside myself when they ruled on the field that moore had fumbled the ball. not only did his knee hit the ground well before the ball came out, his body slammed off the ground as well before he was rolled over by the defender. it was one of the worst "real time" calls I have ever seen and cannot fathom how everyone of those refs missed that.

regarding the indy game, good luck to the steelers. the offense will need to score 30+ points to win the game.

interestingly, the steelers are averaging 6.04 yards per play this season while indy is averaging 6.01 yards per play. but, indy has 79 more offensive plays than the steelers this year, or roughly 11 more per game.

BlackNGold said...


I'm sure many are upset about the late hits, but not surprised they weren't called. Ben almost never gets those calls. Add the fact that it was NFL Golden Boy JJ Watt and you knew there would be no flag.

Anonymous said...

Watt hit him below the knees once too. The thing that infuriates me is that they called Harrison for it on Houston's last TD drive. As noted though they aren't calling that on him he is their poster boy (among other things).

adamg said...

The fumble call was unbelievable. Not only was Moore down, but the rule has always been that the "ground cannot cause a fumble" which is exactly what happened when Moore's outstretched hand hit the ground.

On ESPN, the showed an overhead shot where the endzone sideline turf had a drag mark that was both inbounds and out of bounds, but I think Brown's foot had to come inbounds first for it to then drag out of bounds.

Honestly if the refs were going to rule that not a TD, then they should have ruled the Foster catch not a TD as I didn't see his body actually cross the goal line, only him hold the ball across. I didn't think you could do that unless it's on a running play.

Anonymous said...

I believe foster had made the catch and taken a step or two, becoming a runner, then held the ball over the goal line for the TD.

I thought the "no call" when Watt hit #7's knees was bull s**t. not only was he NOT blocked into the QB, rather he broke through the line, put his head down and dove into the QB's knees. now, I'm not saying he was trying to hurt #7, but if they are going to make those calls for other QB's, then that play was egregious as it comes.

ultimately, though, there are too many rules and they are too complicated for the refs to be consistently good.