Don’t blame Ben Roethlisberger.
Actually, we all should commend Roethlisberger for his part in the controversial decision to throw a pass to Antonio Brown late in a one possession game Sunday in Jacksonville to keep Brown’s obscure streak of 5 catches and at least 50 yards intact when three knees would’ve ended the game.
Roethlisberger is supposed to look out for his teammates.
Roethlisberger is supposed to fight for his teammates.
Roethlisberger is supposed to always have the best interests of his teammates in mind, and that what he had when he went to Mike Tomlin during the two-minute warning and suggested they call a play to keep Brown’s streak going instead of taking a knee.
Now, Mike Tomlin … he blew it.
Coming off a week in which he scoffed nationally at being called a player’s coach and coming off a week in which the Steelers discipline was being questioned because of the excessive penalties and the continued bonehead celebration penalties, Tomlin could’ve sent a loud and clear message with one word: NO!
The answer should’ve been ‘no’ not because of an irrelevant streak or even the possibility – although highly unlikely – of something going terribly wrong like a fumbled snap, an interception or even a fumble.
The answer should’ve been ‘no’ because there’s only one objective to football – win the game. Tomlin says just that enough, right?
Remember “style points don’t matter?”
I especially remember “every day I walk by five Lombardi Trophies, not five rushing titles. Willie (Parker’s) comments could be construed as selfish …”
The year was 2008 and running back Willie Parker told the media on a Wednesday that he thought the team was getting away from Steelers football by throwing the ball too much.
The next day, Tomlin called a press conference.
Now, Tomlin never called an impromptu press conference before that day and he never called one since.
His point was taken that day and the Steelers went on to win the Super Bowl a couple months later.
I’m not saying Sunday’s decision will prevent the Steelers from going to the Super Bowl this year, but it was a chance to hammer the point of team first once again, and he didn’t do it.
And, to me, that was the only issue.
Be sure to check out the Mark Kaboly Show podcast on TribLive Radio: http://files.triblive.com/podcasts/sportstalk/1006KAB14.mp3
Also, tune in to the Steelers Roundtable on Thursday at 9 a.m. on TribLive Radio featuring me (Mark Kaboly), Alan Robinson and Ralph Paulk.