During the Pittsburgh Steelers 17-9 win Sunday over the Jacksonville Jaguars, veteran wide receiver Lance Moore was penalized five yards for delaying the game as a result of him spiking the football following a 26-yard catch on third down with 11:09 left in the third quarter. Moore then proceeded to get a talking to from head coach Mike Tomlin when he came to sideline.
During his Tuesday press conference, Tomlin was asked if Moore spiking the football was some sort of defiant act.
“No, I didn’t think that he did it in any form of defiance,” said Tomlin. “Lance is a quality veteran player that wants to be a positive contributor to our efforts and I think it was an expression of frustration. “I don’t even think that he realized that he got a penalty. I had to point it out to him as he was coming off the field.”
I think Moore’s actions were indeed out of frustration that are linked to the lack of playing time he’s received so far this season. After missing the first two games of the season with a groin injury, the former longtime member of the New Orleans Saints has only played a total of 28 snaps in the last three games because the team considers second-year wide receiver Justin Brown to be a much better blocker.
Moving forward and despite what happened Sunday, I think Moore’s snaps will be dictated mostly by game situations. In other words, I expect him to mostly be used on obvious passing downs as the team just isn’t happy with what he brings to the table when it comes to run blocking.
Moore has only caught two passes for 38 yards so far this season and baring any injuries, it’s hard seeing him catching more than a couple of passes every game. Hopefully that won’t lead to more frustration and post snap penalties moving forward. If that happens, Tomlin won’t be happy at all.
“Obviously, we want him to be a positive contributor to our efforts,” said Tomlin of Moore. “He’s capable now that he’s specifically healthy, but we can’t tolerate that even in frustrating moments.”