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Mike Tomlin regrets a challenge not taken

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has taken some criticism this week for failing to throw a challenge flag when running back Rashard Mendenhall appeared to score a touchdown against the Saints, but was ruled down just short of the goal line.

Now Tomlin says he regrets not challenging the play, too.

Tomlin, who had already lost one challenge against the Saints when the Mendenhall play came up, said the Saints’ scoreboard operators never provided him with a good enough replay angle to convince him to use his final challenge.

“When you’re on the road, you don’t get the [good] looks at replays,” Tomlin said. “I didn’t get that sense from our guys, particularly Rashard that he thought he was in, so I didn’t challenge.”

A challenge likely would have ruled the play a touchdown, and the Steelers would have taken a 7-0 lead. As it turned out, the Steelers ended up settling for a field goal and a 3-0 lead in a game they would ultimately lose, 20-10.

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24 Responses to “Mike Tomlin regrets a challenge not taken”
  1. habibfromnewdehli says: Nov 2, 2010 3:57 PM

    Ummm, why would a challenge “likely have ruled the play a touchdown?”
    The replay never shows the ball crossing the endzone.
    Unless you’re implying that the officials cheat for the Steelers… then I guess you make sense. After all, that’s the only reason the Steelers got the win the previous week.

  2. scra22 says: Nov 2, 2010 4:07 PM

    Before anyone comes in saying refs screwed over the Steelers (LOL), Mendenhall was incorrectly ruled as having scored a touchdown prior to the goalline stand. Sean Payton challenged, and the ruling was overturned, as on replays, he clearly did not cross the plane. So that was a call that went against the Saints, but when you smartly use your challenges, you can overcome some ref mistakes.
    I have not seen a replay of the play Tomlin refers to, but if even Mendenhall didn’t think he had gotten in, then I don’t blame him for not challenging. Obviously it was not an obvious TD or there would be no question.

  3. los305 says: Nov 2, 2010 4:10 PM

    said the Saints’ scoreboard operators never provided him with a good enough replay angle to convince him to use his final challenge.
    Yea whatever. His assistants in the booth got all the angles they need. He just didn’t have his boy from Pittsburgh officiating the game like in Miami.

  4. CryptKeeper says: Nov 2, 2010 4:10 PM

    Squealers have gotten two wins this season as gifts from the officials…no sympathy here

  5. JohnVA says: Nov 2, 2010 4:11 PM

    He should regret to not adjusting to an all out blitz on every passing down. Ben in shotgun with 5 receivers out and nobody to back up/help the O-Line against an all out blitz isn’t going to work unless you throw right way.

  6. Deb says: Nov 2, 2010 4:12 PM

    I didn’t think Rashard crossed the plane and it’s tough to get those refs to overrule their field calls. That four points wouldn’t have made the difference.
    Now if you coupled that four points with Reed’s missed field goal and the touchdown we lost because #88 (just can’t remember that kid’s name) jumped up in front of Ward and blew up a sure TD play … that’s a different story.
    Instead of worrying about whether he threw the flag–which can’t be changed–I’d rather Tomlin focused on Reed’s week-to-week misses and making sure that kid never blows up another TD play.

  7. ChiBROtle says: Nov 2, 2010 4:15 PM

    @habibfromnewdehli
    You must be a Bungles fan. All you ever do is spew sh*t about the Steelers and Ravens. As a die-hard Ravens fan, I don’t like but I do have a lot of respect for the Steelers, so why don’t you comment on Bungles or Browns posts and just shut up or I’ll stop shopping at your family’s convenience stores

  8. somesome says: Nov 2, 2010 4:20 PM

    They replayed all of the attempts plenty of time on TV. Regardless of what was called on the field the replay did not provide enough evidence to overturn what was called. Always part of the play/ball was not visible from any angle.

  9. TD40 says: Nov 2, 2010 4:23 PM

    I think the reason Tomlin didn’t challenge the play is because people are starting to make enough noise now about the refs being in bed with the Steelers— and two BS calls in back to back weeks might have actually turned the tide to the point of having an investigation launched… and we know that neither the Steelers nor the NFL wants that!
    What coach would deny his team a chance at a TD? Maybe one that either, A) knew it was not a TD… or B) isn’t prepared to deal with the onslaught from everyone who is not a Steelers fan if the officials gave them another phantom score (or set them up for an easy score with some BS call).
    I guess the “magic” is wearing off. Actually, it’s probably not. The NFL just doesn’t want too much help for the Steelers too close together. It raises eyebrows. Give it another week or two for the Dolphins debacle to fade away and you’ll see the Steelers benefit from some other assinine call.

  10. djkeitse says: Nov 2, 2010 4:29 PM

    I say if your unsure on a non-touchdown call like this, you have to throw the red flag, but he didn’t…so…Who Dat!

  11. SomeFans says: Nov 2, 2010 4:45 PM

    Tomlin should feel lucky to have gotten out of Miami with a win. Don’t push it there Mikey.

  12. Spacemonkey says: Nov 2, 2010 4:48 PM

    Got the game on DVR, and the ball clearly crosses the plane (that means the white line, NOT the grass on the other side).
    What Tomlin says is legit, although he had people on his staff that were supposed to see whether the challenge was worth the effort – those are the people that failed, and he’s standing up for them and admitting that not challenging that play was a mistake.
    Has nothing to do with some insane conspiracy theory where the referees in the NFL cheat in favor of the Steelers. Would you like a side of elvis and a spaceship with that tinfoil hat of yours? Maybe all the answers are in Hangar 18. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

  13. Bdrunk says: Nov 2, 2010 4:50 PM

    TD40 says:
    November 2, 2010 4:23 PM
    I think the reason Tomlin didn’t challenge the play is because people are starting to make enough noise now about the refs being in bed with the Steelers— and two BS calls in back to back weeks might have actually turned the tide to the point of having an investigation launched… and we know that neither the Steelers nor the NFL wants that!
    What coach would deny his team a chance at a TD? Maybe one that either, A) knew it was not a TD… or B) isn’t prepared to deal with the onslaught from everyone who is not a Steelers fan if the officials gave them another phantom score (or set them up for an easy score with some BS call).
    I guess the “magic” is wearing off. Actually, it’s probably not. The NFL just doesn’t want too much help for the Steelers too close together. It raises eyebrows. Give it another week or two for the Dolphins debacle to fade away and you’ll see the Steelers benefit from some other assinine call.
    ———————
    Tin foil hats. Wear them. derpderpderp

  14. Holeinone09 says: Nov 2, 2010 4:59 PM

    Steelers beat themselves against Saints, quite simply. They really lost it in the first half. They couldn’t get a TD with a first and goal on the 1. With Ben at QB, it was worth a sneak try right off the bat, regardless of his fumble at the goal line the prior week.
    Then, after Taylor’s pick, they didn’t convert. A penalty killed them. Then they let the Saints come back for a field goal before the half.
    Those were worth at least 10 points by halftime.
    Let alone Miller’s second half fumble.
    No complaints from me about the refs or anything else. If the Steelers play well with their talent, they will beat anybody in the league, and probably easily.
    So, let the haters whine (about the NFL helping the Steelers win, Harrison being a dirty player, Ben being a rapist, etc), and then laugh your tail off when those same people accuse Steeler fans of whining. And THAT is true.
    It is good to be a Steeler fan, all things and history considered. We are blessed. Can’t complain at all!
    GO STEELERS!!

  15. blitz4848 says: Nov 2, 2010 5:31 PM

    I have the game saved as well and the ball clearly
    breaks the vertical plane that starts at the field side of the white goal line. That said it’s done and gone and time to move on.
    That ref conspiracy crap is just that. If there ever was a conspiracy it would be in the NFL/TV
    interest to favor large market teams. What ref wants to lose all his creability he has earned over the yrs by making a bad call that can be viewed/overturned and possibly jeopardise his career. Calls tend to even out and good teams find a way to win and marginal teams find a way to lose and then whine about it later.

  16. jennstergerscellphone says: Nov 2, 2010 5:59 PM

    The ball did cross the line, I have it on DVR too. This was the play AFTER the overturned review, not the reviewed call. Refs have a tough job, I do not blame them for missing it. All of those bodies in there makes it hard to see. IF Tomlin would have challenged, it would have been overturned. At that point, the momentum in the game may have changed, but cannot say for certain, of course. Either way, my Steelers lost fair and square. None of this “the refs blew it” bs, that is a sorry excuse lol.
    I commend Tomlin for coming out and saying that he should have challenged. Way to take the heat coach, THAT is just one of the reasons he is a great coach.
    FYI, Morons, the NFL nor the Refs have ANY interest in who wins the game!!
    GO STEELERS!!

  17. lawboy2000 says: Nov 2, 2010 7:08 PM

    The ratio of the time spent debating the officiating and rules of game to the time spent debating the quality of play and talent is truly sad.
    Did it cross the line? Didn’t it cross the line? Who was hosed by the refs? Who does the NFL love or hate?
    Seriously?
    These were the last two Super Bowl champions featuring young head coaches whose stars continue to rise. This game featured two of the best QBs in the game who ranked numbers 6 & 7 in passing yards last year (and who both won Super Bowls before Philip Rivers). One offense was missing two starting RBs and managed to beat one of the toughest blitzing defenses in football doing nothing but passing. The other offense features the WR with the highest YPC average in the league since 2009 and couldn’t beat a depleted secondary all night.
    This game featured two of the best defensive coordinators in the game today; two starting safeties that will likely be in the Hall of Fame; and two former first round draft picks of the New York Jets running the opposing defenses.
    All of that, and the only thing you can talk about is officiating, conspiracy theories and name calling?

  18. Wick says: Nov 2, 2010 9:31 PM

    (1) High def DVR’d this on a 52″ flatty – the ball broke the plance — it was a touchdown. As spacemonkey said to the seeming majority of confused masses (“that means the white line, NOT the grass on the other side”).
    (2) Secondly, why are we dependent on the video feeds provided by the home team? All the Steelers or any team needs is someone (with a brain) with easy access to the actual game broadcast. That shouldn’t be a big stumbling block for God’s sake.
    (3) Third, the 7 points does matter. Everything that happened after that point would have been different — NOT identical to what followed.
    In sum, the refs blew the call and we failed to utilize the tools to rectify matters. It shouldn’t be that damned hard to resolve if any a-hole watching the game on TV can see it. And it would’ve made an undetermined, but it assuredly would have had a positive impact on the Steelers’ chances.

  19. steelersmichele says: Nov 2, 2010 9:57 PM

    from NFL.com:
    “NBC replays appeared to show the ball touching the goal line before Mendenhall was tackled.
    “The TV sets in the Steelers’ booth apparently were tuned to the Louisiana Superdome’s scoreboard feed, which failed to show the NBC replays. Such replays typically aren’t shown inside the home team’s stadium if they might help the visiting team.
    “In some NFL stadiums, the visiting teams’ booths are equipped to receive only the scoreboard feed, rather than the network TV feed, thus limiting the number of replays.”
    So much for the refs helping us and giving us the game. That was two goal-line TD attempts we didn’t get from the refs–but you Steelers-haters will just breeze over this because it doesn’t support your theory.
    And Tomlin said that this didn’t cost of the game. He blamed the loss on quite a few things. Seems he doesn’t buy into the notion (like some of you do) that one play can lose a game. Neither do I.

  20. Deb says: Nov 2, 2010 11:24 PM

    @Wick …
    I, for one, know what it means to break the plane, and it looked six in one/half dozen in the other to me–however, I don’t have a 52-inch high-def TV.
    But it’s over. We can never get it back. And I hate listening to fans (like Miami’s) whine incessantly about a single bad call as though that alone determined their fate. Last week, Miami got back the ball with two and a half minutes and had only to drive into field-goal range. They get no sympathy from me.
    We lost to New Orleans by 10 points. That play accounted for four, and we had at least two quarters left. If our increasingly inconsistent kicker had done his job, we’d have had another three. If a rookie hadn’t disrupted our money play, we’d have had another six plus a probable extra point. If Heath hadn’t lost the ball driving toward the end zone, we’d have had at least another three and the Saints would not have gotten seven the other way. (Hate to lay more on a usually reliable player like Heath than he was laying on himself, but it is what it is.)
    Like the Dolphins, we have only ourselves to blame for the loss. No matter what impact that call had on the outcome, moaning about it now just makes us sound like sore losers.

  21. Jack Burton says: Nov 3, 2010 8:43 AM

    Deb says:
    November 2, 2010 4:12 PM
    I didn’t think Rashard crossed the plane and it’s tough to get those refs to overrule their field calls. That four points wouldn’t have made the difference.
    Now if you coupled that four points with Reed’s missed field goal and the touchdown we lost because #88 (just can’t remember that kid’s name) jumped up in front of Ward and blew up a sure TD play … that’s a different story.
    Instead of worrying about whether he threw the flag–which can’t be changed–I’d rather Tomlin focused on Reed’s week-to-week misses and making sure that kid never blows up another TD play.
    —————————
    I agree with it all. 88 is Emmanuel Sanders and I agree he blew that play but he has looked good and I see him being better than Holme was. Remember this kid has only been a WR for a year and a half, he’ll need more time.
    Reed on the other hand is too much of a liabilty at this point. Yeah he can kick better on the horrible field at Heinz but I bet there are some other kickers out there that could do nearly as good at home but way better on the road when points are harder to come by.

  22. midniterambler says: Nov 3, 2010 1:46 PM

    Bigger concern: 3 plays needing a yard. Maybe the Saints stepped up, but this problem has been an ongoing concern.

  23. Deb says: Nov 3, 2010 1:50 PM

    @Jack Burton …
    Sanders! Thanks. Can’t fault a guy who was trying to make a play. I couldn’t figure out what he was doing in that spot. It looked as though something had gone wrong–or perhaps he’d been confused about his role of distracting the defender.
    Agree with you on Reed. We’ve all focused so much on his ability to kick at Heinz, but visiting kickers score there, so it is possible for someone else to do that job and be more consistent on the road.

  24. Ilovefoolsball says: Nov 3, 2010 2:16 PM

    Saints > Steelers

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