Ben Roethlisberger said what we’ve all been thinking. The Pittsburgh Steelers should’ve had two plays called after Jesse James touchdown was nullified. That’s what he told Ron Cook and Andrew Fillipponi on 93.7 The Fan Tuesday morning.
“I wish that I would have maybe mentioned that to coach,” Roethlisberger said, referring to calling another play. “Nothing got brought up. Hindsight on a lot of situations at the end. I wish we would’ve called two plays, I wish we would’ve had two plays ready to go.”
Instead, only one play was called and Roethlisberger told his team that if the next play finished in bounds, to get ready to spike the football.
So when that scenario played out, Darrius Heyward-Bey tackled before he could reach the sideline, the entire offense expected Roethlisberger to spike it. That’d what Roethlisberger intended to do before the coaches told him to run a play.
“I’m yelling ‘clock, clock.’ The second the team hears ‘clock, clock,’ the only rule is, the two outside receivers are on the ball, and everyone else is off the ball. There is no formation. It doesn’t matter if everybody is on one side. As long as you got one guy on the ball on both sides of the ball receiver wise. The line knows when they hear clock, snap it and protect it inside. There’s no protection, there’s no play, there’s no nothing.”
But when Ben was told to run a play, with the clock winding down, the chaos began. There wasn’t enough time to get everyone on the same page. All Roethlisberger could do is give Eli Rogers a hand signal, the only receiver who had an assignment on the play, and hope for the best.
You know the rest. The slant to Rogers was tipped and intercepted, ending the game. Roethlisberger says looking back, he should’ve gone with his instinct to just spike the ball.
“I wish I would’ve listened to my gut now, in hindsight, I should’ve listened to that instead of listening to running the play.”
But he also shouldered the blame for what he thought was a bad throw to Eli Rogers, not leading him enough away from the defender.
None of this is really meant to make Steelers’ fans feel better about what went down. It was a mess, just as we wrote yesterday. But it’s good to hear the players themselves acknowledge the mistakes and the colossal mess that, unfortunately, came at the biggest point of the season.