The Pittsburgh Steelers have probably moved on from their Thursday night road loss to the Minnesota Vikings and they really have no choice but to do just that. Even so, former Steelers great and Hall of Famer Joe Greene still hasn’t been able to fully get the taste of the Thursday night loss out of his mouth and that was evident during his Wednesday interview on “The Zach Gelb Show.” Greene especially hated to watch the first half that game against the Vikings.
“Let me say that in all the years that I’ve been watching my team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Black and Gold, Thursday night, that first half, was probably the saddest day that I’ve had in all of my years of playing and in all of my years since my retirement of watching the Steelers play,” Greene said. “That was a poor, poor example of the Black and Gold and it disappointed me and I’m sure it disappointed a lot of guys that love the Pittsburgh Steelers and the fans that love the Pittsburgh Steelers.”
Well, Greene certainly isn’t wrong as that first half of football was really bad from the Steelers, both offensively and defensively. In case you’ve tried to already erase it from your memory, the Steelers went in at halftime down 23-0. Their defense gave up 300 net yards of offense in that first 30 minutes of play Thursday night and their offense only managed 66 net yards against the Vikings.
While the Steelers did manage to somehow claw back into the game in the fourth quarter, their offense still wasn’t able to get the game tied on their final possession of that contest. That final possession also included second year wide receiver Chase Claypool foolishly signaling a first down with the fourth quarter clock running and with under one minute left on it.
As you can probably imagine, Greene wasn’t too happy with Claypool wasting precious clock time in that late-game situation by having himself a look-at-me-type moment. During his Wednesday night interview, Greene was asked to tell what he would have told Claypool after his first down signal had he been his teammate.
“Hey, man, I thought you were more educated – didn’t you go to Notre Dame?” Greene eloquently said.
Greene also had more to say regarding Claypool’s first down signaling.
“Why do you play this game, for you to show your butt or to win the game?” Greene said. “You made the play, give the ball back to officials. The clock is ticking. You’re costing your team valuable time. You know, I don’t know, it’s that youthful exuberance. I don’t know, maybe it was that. In college when you get a first down the clock stops. Maybe he had a throwback memory he was in college that the clock was gonna stop. I don’t know. But the game is not a about him pointing the first down. Hell, we can see. We know you made the first down. Get your tail back to the huddle. Give the ball back to the official. Very immature.”
I certainly don’t have anything to add to what Greene said and I think quite a few of Claypool’s teammates and fans of the team thought the same way the Hall of Famer felt Thursday night.
The Steelers players and coaches have apparently handled the situation with Claypool in-house since Thursday night and have seemingly moved on from the incident. We’ll wait and see if Claypool has moved on from it as well on Sunday at Heinz Field against the Tennessee Titans. I’m sure Greene will be waiting to see as well.
Claypool, by the way, won the award that was named after and for Greene in 2020. That Joe Greene Great Performance Award is presented annually to the team’s top rookie.