ShareThis Page

Steelers notebook: Tomlin 'probably' would go for TD again

| Monday, Dec. 23, 2013, 3:06 p.m.

The Steelers' narrow escape in snowy Green Bay remained the hot topic of conversation Monday, especially coach Mike Tomlin's decision to forego a kneel-down near the Packers' goal line.

Tomlin said he would do it again. Probably.

“I just had a concern with kneeling under the circumstances with the weather conditions being what they were,” he said. “(Packers kicker Mason Crosby) had just had a kick blocked on that end of the field. To be honest, it wasn't anything we did. I just think it was a low-hit ball. ... Also, when they utilized their last time out, I was comfortable getting our defense out on the field.”

Instead of killing the clock and kicking a chip-shot field goal with the score tied 31-31 to end the game, the Steelers scored a touchdown with 1:25 remaining. Micah Hyde returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards to the Steelers' 31-yard line. The Packers got to the 1 but lost 5 yards on a penalty, and Matt Flynn's pass to Jarrett Boykin fell incomplete as time expired.

“If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably do it the same,” Tomlin said. “Obviously, if I knew they'd return the kickoff 70 yards, I'd probably have a different approach. But I don't anticipate them doing that, although they did.”

Despite three hours of sleep, Tomlin was in a good mood thanks to the win that kept the Steelers' playoff hopes alive.

“We still have a horse in this race,” he said.

But the debate continued. Tomlin was asked if a shotgun snap, which the Steelers used on Le'Veon Bell's deciding 1-yard touchdown run, posed as much risk as a kick. Tomlin's cheery disposition wavered a bit.

“There's a lot less room for error on PAT and field goal snapping than on shotgun snapping,” he said. “A shotgun snap can be wobbly, it can be off the location, but it's not gonna disturb the flow or the rhythm of the play at all. What I'm talking about in terms of field goals, you're talking about 1.0 or 1.2 seconds to get that ball on the ground and kick it. That is a totally different animal.”

The questions persisted. Finally, a frustrated Tomlin said: “I can't give you any more answers than what I've given you. Obviously, you and I disagree on it. That is your right. But it doesn't change my perspective on what I did in that stadium.”

Injury report

Tomlin said receiver Emmanuel Sanders is questionable for Sunday's finale at home against Cleveland with a lateral meniscus (knee) injury.

Linebacker Terence Garvin is questionable with a knee sprain. Receiver Markus Wheaton has a broken finger but will play.

The coach added that linebacker Jason Worilds suffered an abdominal injury, but his status was not given.

Bob Cohn is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.