- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Roethlisberger would be in better position to know than any of us watching the game from safer vantage points. Watching every play on video in no way replicates what Roethlisberger experienced staring down Justin Smith, Aldon Smith and the San Francisco defense.
Nothing stood out as unusual when I re-watched every play, including some key plays from the coaches' tape featuring wider camera angles.
The 49ers sent four or fewer pass-rushers 80 percent of the time, consistent with their averages for the season, according to Keith Hawkins of ESPN Stats & Information. They did not appear to be going out of their way to pressure Roethlisberger. They trusted their four-man rush.
The Steelers used shotgun formations 77 percent of the time, up from 35 percent earlier in the season. That took pressure off Roethlisberger's injured ankle. It also gave Roethlisberger a better chance to protect himself.
The comments Roethlisberger made were pretty harmless. The current climate regarding player safety threatens to distort. Of course the 49ers wanted to test Roethlisberger's injured ankle. That doesn't necessarily mean they did anything outside the rules.
Case closed? I don't see much more ground to cover from this game, at least.