It appears that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been asked about the communication issues at the end of the game with the New England Patriots one too many times. The following was reported by ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler:
“Ben Roethlisberger on why [there were] communication issues at end of Patriots game: ‘I don’t really remember, to tell you the truth. Because it’s so long ago now.’”
So long ago is actually just a couple days, so there’s no chance he actually doesn’t remember. He just doesn’t want to keep rehashing it. Yes, there were communication problems. Yes, they perhaps impacted the outcome of the game. But that’s all in the past now.
The issues themselves were varied. For instance, Roethlisberger was apparently signaling for a time out, but then said he was just trying to ask the coaches if he should call one. They didn’t make a choice, but the refs granted the time out anyway, making it for them.
There are also reports that they were not at all ready with what plays they should run as the seconds ticked off. That’s why there was so much confusion on that last critical play, where the tipped ball was intercepted. It’s also perhaps by Roethlisberger did not spike the ball and give them a chance for a tying field goal.
“On last night’s Inside the NFL, the NFL Films cameras picked up Mike Tomlin instructing Todd Haley to run another play if the Steelers get tackled in bounds,” wrote Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. “’If it’s in the field of play, we got to play. You follow me? You got me?’ Yet they didn’t have a second play call ready. Tomlin is then seen telling Haley, ‘Give him a play. He can’t clock it. Give him a play,’ after [wideout Darius] Heyward-Bey was tackled in bounds. Amazing that the Steelers didn’t have a play already set up after that long replay break and were forced to scramble. Bad look for Tomlin and Haley.”
It was a mess, and the overturned Jesse James touchdown was certainly not the only problem.