View Full Version : NEWS: Tomlin able to skip out on tough decision

12-15-2008, 01:55 AM
Monday, December 15, 2008

Would Mike Tomlin have gone for the win had wide receiver Santonio Holmes been ruled down at the 1-yard line after a third-down catch late in the fourth quarter?

"We never have to say," Tomlin said with a smile after the Steelers' 13-9 win over the Ravens Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium.

Officials initially ruled Holmes down at the Ravens' 1 after he hauled in a pass in the front of the end zone and then got pushed out of it by safety Ed Reed. The Steelers were trailing, 9-6, at the time and could have tied the game with what would have been a chip shot for kicker Jeff Reed. The referees, however, changed the call to a touchdown after an official review.

"What would I do?" wide receiver Hines Ward said when asked what might have happened had the Steelers faced a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line. "I would go for it."

After the only touchdown of the game, Reed had to kick off from the Steelers' 15 because of the personal foul penalty he drew on his extra-point attempt. The Ravens took advantage of the good field position and moved inside the Steelers' 40 before William Gay intercepted a Joe Flacco pass in the end zone. Reed said he got the penalty because he took issue with Baltimore's Frank Walker nearly rolling onto his leg after he had kicked the extra point. Reed added that Walker spit in Mitch Berger's face after the Steelers punter tried to defuse the situation.

"He attempted to take out my knee, I don't care what he says," Reed said. "I'm frustrated because I put our team in a bad situation, but I'll get over it."

The Steelers weren't exactly sharp at the outset of yesterday's game. They were penalized three times in the first quarter the Steelers entered the contest averaging six penalties a contest and they dropped three passes, including two by Nate Washington. The Steelers also yielded a 46-yard punt return to Jim Leonhard on the final play of the quarter after they appeared to have the Ravens' safety bottled up inside Baltimore's 15-yard line. Leonhard's return set up the first score of the game, a 28-yard field goal by Matt Stover.

Fullback Carey Davis played yesterday despite a calf injury that had put his status for the AFC North showdown in question. The Steelers were without two starters defensive end Brett Keisel (knee) and left tackle Marvel Smith (back). Keisel has missed the past three games because of a sprained collateral ligament in his left knee. Smith hasn't played since early October because of back spasms. In addition to Keisel and Smith, cornerback Fernando Bryant, outside linebacker Bruce Davis, defensive end Orpheus Roye, offensive tackle Tony Hills, defensive tackle Scott Paxson and quarterback Dennis Dixon were inactive for the Steelers.

Ray Rice, the Ravens' third-leading rusher and second-leading receiver before yesterday's game, did not play against the Steelers because of a calf injury. Joining the rookie running back on the Ravens' inactive list were wide receivers Marcus Maxwell (hip) and Terrance Copper, cornerback Evan Oglesby, offensive tackles Oniel Cousins and David Hale, running back Jalen Parmele and quarterback Todd Bouman.

James Farrior left yesterday's game early with what he said was a stinger, but the inside linebacker returned before the end of the first quarter and played the rest of the way.

Willie Parker served as one of the Steelers' captains yesterday. Tomlin had rebuked Parker late last week for saying the Steelers weren't successful running the ball because the coaches had gotten away from a power running attack. Parker rushed for 47 yards on 14 carries against the Ravens.

Tomlin gave the players today off. They don't have to return to the team's South Side practice facility until Wednesday.


160 Consecutive regular-season games in which Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward has caught at least one pass.

202 Yards of total offense for the Ravens.

311 Yards of total offense for the Steelers.