During his Monday press conference, New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan called the late-game dive over the line of scrimmage by Pittsburgh Steelers safety Mike Mitchell a “bush league” move. On Tuesday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin pretty much agreed with Ryan.
“It was not professional, I’ll say that,” Tomlin said Tuesday during his press conference. “Mike is an emotional guy. He’s new to us, learning how we do business and so forth.”
After the game, Jets offensive linemen Nick Mangold and Willie Colon were just a few players that made it known that they weren’t happy with Mitchell’s dive over the line during an attempted kneel-down with 1:13 left in the game. Mitchell, however, indicated during a recent interview that Tomlin gave him permission to attempt the dive. According to Tomlin, no such permission was granted.
“He came over and said something to me prior to that sequence on the sideline,” Tomlin said. “I couldn’t hear what he said. I just kind of acknowledged him and nodded and I guess that he assumed that I gave him those instructions or the OK for him to do that.
“We don’t want to play football like that. We had many snaps in which to secure victory in that football game and didn’t. We’ll educate Mike and move forward. I showed that play to the team yesterday and just wanted to be very clear about how we play and what it is we value.”
Mitchell’s actions apparently didn’t go over well with a few of his defensive teammates, either, as defensive end Brett Keisel and cornerback William Gay were reportedly unhappy with the flying leap. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Tuesday morning on his radio show that the team has moved on from the incident, however.
“When Mike did that it kind of surprised us all, but I think it will be a dead issue now,” said Roethlisberger.