Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Tuesday defended his decision to leave quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the Miami game despite holding an 18-point lead but admitted he got “over-aggressive” and shouldn’t have called for a pass on the third-down play in which Roethlisberger injured his right foot, Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Roethlisberger was wearing a walking boot after the game, but Tomlin said he merely aggravated a foot injury and should be fine to practice and play this week.
“We felt Ben’s presence in the game would help us close the game out,” Tomlin said. “A lot of our run game was check-oriented, and he had a better part of the game to see those checks.”
But on third-and-3 at the Miami 46 with 4:23 remaining, Tomlin called for a pass play — a drag route to Demarcus Ayers similar to one the Steelers ran earlier in the second quarter. When Ayers ran the wrong route, Roethlisberger tried to extend the play and injured his foot when he was tackled from behind by Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake.
“I take responsibility for throwing it on third down,” Tomlin said. “I got a little over-aggressive there. I made the call, so don’t ask Todd (Haley), I take responsibility for it.”