Sunday, October 20, 2013
Locker Room Buzz: Pittsburgh Steelers
By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH -- Observed in the locker room after the Pittsburgh Steelers' 19-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Oh so close: Mike Tomlin didn’t hide his displeasure about the late kickoff return for a touchdown that was called back after Emmanuel Sanders stepped out of bounds at the Steelers’ 37-yard line. Sanders, who brought a deep kickoff out of the end zone, came within inches of successfully staying in bounds along the Steelers sideline and scoring. What upset Tomlin is that the call could not be reviewed per NFL rules, which seems silly considering the impact the play had on the game and how close it was. “I’ve got to go back and look at it,” Sanders said when asked if he stayed in bounds. “I saw it on the replay board. It seemed like I tiptoed the boundary but it was so close.”
A new wrinkle: The Steelers ran the Wildcat offense four times with rookie running back Le’Veon Bell taking a direct snap from center. Bell, who ran three times out of the formation and once handed off to wideout Antonio Brown, said the Steelers had not practiced the Wildcat until last week. That’s right, the Steelers did not work on the Wildcat in any of their offseason practices or during training camp, which is why the Ravens didn’t expect it. “I’m comfortable with it,” said Bell, who ran the Wildcat at Michigan State and played quarterback at high school. “We can get better at it.”
Injury update: Steelers outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (concussion) didn’t dress even though the rookie passed an imPACT test on Friday. Tomlin said renowned concussion doctor Micky Collins expressed reservations about Jones playing against the Ravens following a check-up on Saturday. “We didn’t second-guess it,” Tomlin said. “We moved on. It is my assumption that he’ll be ready to go next week.” Right tackle Marcus Gilbert aggravated a quadriceps injury early in the game and did not return. Tomlin opted for Guy Whimper over Mike Adams at right tackle because the latter had figured prominently into the Steelers’ plans to use a lineman as an extra tight end, and the coach did not want to disrupt that.
Welcome back: James Farrior, a stalwart on the teams that won a pair of Super Bowls and played in three of them from 2005 to 2010, shared a long hug with Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau. The former linebacker caught up with different teammates in the victorious locker room and said he is plenty busy even though he is no longer involved with football. Farrior and his wife have 12-week-old twins and are raising them in Houston. Since she works, Farrior, who retired in 2012 after the Steelers released him, is now a full-time dad. His smile suggests he is loving every minute of it.