Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Hesitation for Tomlin in Making Winning Call

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

No Hesitation for Tomlin in Making Winning Call

Article excerpt

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin made the call to go for the victory against San Diego instead of settling for overtime Monday night because he doesn't "live in his fears." Had Le'Veon Bell been tackled short of the goal line, Tomlin would have been under fire this week for snapping the ball to his halfback and having him run with only five seconds remaining with a timeout still at his disposal.

"You have to have the courage of your convictions," Tomlin said. "You can miss a lot of life hesitating or not taking calculated risks associated with chasing greatness or living out your dreams. I've always been one to do that. I've always encouraged those around me to do that."

The victory meant the Steelers moved to 3-2 and remained in contention for an AFC playoff berth while playing without their starting quarterback for a second consecutive week. Backup quarterback Mike Vick struggled for 3 quarters before putting together two touchdown drives in the final 7:42 to help lead the Steelers to a 24-20 victory.

Vick was 13 for 26 for 203 yards and 72 of those came on one play - a touchdown pass to Markus Wheaton with 7:42 remaining. The other touchdown was scored by cornerback Antwon Blake when he returned an interception 70 yards in the third quarter.

After going 8 for 18 to start the game, with several errant throws that never came close to his receivers, Vick was 5 for 8 over the final two scoring drives, including 4 for 7 on the final 80-yard drive that was capped by Bell's 1-yard run.

"When you talk about veteran quarterbacks, as the game wears on they get comfortable with what they're looking at," Tomlin said. "The same can be said for both quarterbacks. Phillip [Rivers] got more comfortable. and Mike got more comfortable, and the offense picked up in the waning moments of the game."

The Steelers played another conservative game with Vick until the final stages of the fourth quarter. He has not committed a turnover in his two starts other than a meaningless interception on a desperation pass Monday to end the first half.

The Steelers ran the ball 27 times and let Bell, not Vick, run the show on the final play of the game. …

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