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Insider Only Monday Buzz Column on Fake Field Goal Call, Taking a QB high 16 draft, Penguins Labeled as Whiners

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MONDAY’S BUZZ COLUMN

Am I the only guy in Western Pennsylvania who had no problem with the Steelers fake field goal in Seattle?

Aside from Mike Tomlin, of course, who made the call.

Okay, offensive coordinator Todd Haley and special teams coach Danny Smith and most of the players were probably okay with it, too.

So, maybe I’m the only guy outside the Steelers’ locker room who liked the call.

It was the first play of the second quarter. The Steelers had the ball at the Seahawks’ 30 yard line, fourth and two.

They sneaked backup quarterback Landry Jones into the game to pose as the holder on what would have been a 45-yard field goal attempt.

They shifted out of field goal formation and Jones took the snap and rolled right. Then he threw a hideous pass intended for Alejandro Villanueva, who had lined up at right end and run behind the line and was wide open running down the left seam.

Based on what I’ve heard and read, everybody is focusing on the play call. I’m focusing on the hideous pass.

If Jones had made a good throw, the Steelers would have had a touchdown and a 10-0 lead. Maybe 11 if Tomlin had gone for two.

As you probably know, Jones’ hideous pass was intercepted and returned inside the Steelers’ 30 and led to a Seahawks touchdown.

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So, I blame Jones for not making an easy throw.

If you want to blame Tomlin for calling for the fake, be my guest.

Tomlin’s decision to kick a field goal with three minutes left in the game is a different story and much worse than the fake field goal.

The Steelers were behind 32-27 and had fourth and goal from the four.

I’m assuming that Tomlin had been watching his defense for the first 57 minutes of the game and might have noticed that the Seahawks were having no problem moving the ball.

So, what made Tomlin believe that his defense was going to get off the field without giving Seattle at least three more points?

Based on what he had seen, Tomlin should have assumed that he was going to have to score at least one more touchdown to win.

He had gone for two points after the Steelers first touchdown and has shown a confidence in his offense’s ability to get into the end zone from inside the five by going for two many times.

Russell Wilson’s fifth touchdown pass ended the game four plays later.

Tomlin’s game management wasn’t half as bad as the Steelers’ secondary.

Ben Roethlisberger lit up the Seahawks’ defense for 456 yards, but only one touchdown.

That seems to happen a lot with Roethlisberger and Haley. Lots of yards, not enough touchdowns.

And when Roethlsberger throws the ball 40 times or more in a game, you can be pretty sure it’s going to be a Steelers loss. He’s now 11-26 in those games.

Haley’s game plan that included 59 passes actually looked like a good one if you take away the Seahawks’ five touchdowns.

If the Steelers had gone into Seattle and won, they would have been talked about as a serious Super Bowl contender.

Now, with Ben Roethlisberger dealing with concussion symptoms and the defense looking like it can’t stop anybody (the Browns’ third string quarterback put up 372 yards against it in its last game), there are serious doubts about the Steelers making the playoffs.

TIME TO IDENTIFY COLLEGE QB’S WORTH TAKEN HIGH IN DRAFT

— It’s still way too early to start talking about offseason moves but, with the beating Roethlisberger has taken this year and Landry Jones’ performance, the Steelers should be spending a lot of time identifying college quarterbacks who are worthy of being taken high in the 2016 draft.

It also might be a good idea for them to start looking around for an experienced quarterback who could be brought in as a backup next season.

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TORTORELLA FOR COMMISSIONEER

— Columbus Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella should be commissioner of the National Hockey League. He’d be a lot more entertaining than the nerdy Gary Bettman and he has the perfect cement head attitude.

After watching Brandon Dubinsky cross check Sidney Crosby once to the back of the neck and again across the base of his spine after Crosby went down, somebody at the league office in New York decided it was worthy of only a one game suspension because it was, “Not overly violent or forceful. But it is a blow to an opponent’s head using his stick.”

Dubinsky’s decision to cross check Crosby again when he was lying face down on the ice apparently wasn’t a factor.

Or, who knows, maybe if he hadn’t cross checked Crosby the second time, Dubinsky wouldn’t have been suspended.

Tortorella, of course, took the cement head road instead of the high road when asked about Dubinsky’s suspension: “We’re not going to whine here. Pittsburgh can whine. Pittsburgh whines enough for the whole league, so there’s no room for any other team to whine.”

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t hear any whining from Pittsburgh.

Crosby just said that he’s come to expect that kind of stuff from Dubinsky

Dubinsky said he never tries to hurt anyone.

Picture this: Tom Brady throws a pass while standing tall in the pocket. A second or two later, James Harrison leaps into the air and clubs Brady in the head. Then, with Brady lying face down on the field, Harrison purposely falls on him and gives him a little elbow in the small of the back.

Think he’d get more than one game?

Think Mike Tomlin would make any references to whining?

Would the NFL say it wasn’t violent or forceful?

It’s too bad that NHL stupidity makes it useless for the Penguins to make a public statement Want the Full Story? Get "Inside Access"

About The Author

John Steigerwald

TIOPS Columnist

John Steigerwald, a life long Pittsburgher, has been covering PITTSBURGH sports since 1977 as a TV anchor/reporter, columnist radio reporter/commentator and talk show host. He is also the author of one of the best selling local books in Pittburgh history, "Just Watch The Game."

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