Sunday night’s game was over, as a practical matter, after a pass interference penalty gave the Steelers an opportunity to kill the clock via victory formation. But the Lions had other plans.
Dipping into the Greg Schiano playbook, the Lions under coach Jim Caldwell opted to attack during the kneel-down plays, in the hopes of forcing a fumble — or in order to simply vent some frustrations. And Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey wasn’t happy about that.
“You have to show sportsmanship,” Pouncey said Monday, via ESPN. “You just lost the game. We’re taking a knee. What are you trying to prove right now? If anybody’s playing [dirty], that’s dirty [expletive] right there.”
Pouncey took exception not only after the game but during it, hitting defensive player in the face mask with an open hand after the overly aggressive effort, and sparking a brouhaha.
Five years ago, then-Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano angered some of his peers by going hard during game-ending plays to end games that are, as a practical matter, over. Schiano was hoping that the unexpectedly aggressive effort would cause a Joe Pisarcik-style turnover.