After the Pittsburgh Steelers Monday night win over the San Diego Chargers, quarterback Mike Vick credited injured starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger with calling the fourth quarter pass play to wide receiver Markus Wheaton that resulted in a 72-yard, game tying touchdown in an interview with Alex Flanagan. Flanagan then proceeded to ask Roethlisberger to comment on his role in calling that play in the team’s locker room a short time later.
“It was more talking to the coaches and I said something to the coaches, ‘Hey, I think this certain play would work.’ And we had to kind of draw it up, if you will,” said Roethlisberger. “And we had it but we didn’t have it in the game plan. I told them to put Markus over there and boot and get Mike out of the pocket and run a stutter-go. And I told Mike, ‘Do you like it?’ And he goes, ‘I love it.” And so they called it and I’m just glad it worked, because if it didn’t, I would look pretty bad. So, I’m just glad it worked.”
So what did Roethlisberger see that caused him to think that play would be successful against the Chargers defense?
“I know that Mike likes to get out of the pocket and we hadn’t done it all day,” explained Roethlisberger. “I knew if he gets out and gets a little time, and some of their corners were press-bailing a little bit, and we were going to hit some comebacks on them and so I figured if they’re going to expect that, we might as well fake it and go deep.”
During his Tuesday press conference, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked about that play call and the role that Roethlisberger had in “drawing it up.”
“We ran that play, I don’t know, two or three times this week, so I don’t know what you mean by drawing it up,” said Tomlin. “There was a discussion regarding the play and Ben was a part of that discussion, but we didn’t draw it up in the dirt if that’s what you’re asking.”
Well, there you go. While the touchdown play to Wheaton wasn’t drawn up on the Steelers sideline, Roethlisberger did play a role in it being called even though it wasn’t in the game plan. It was obviously a huge play in the game and he should get some credit for being involved in the process.
Perhaps Roethlisberger will want to be the Steelers offensive coordinator once his playing days are over. If he does, he can certainly put that Monday night play call down on his resume. Not that he needs a resume, mind you.