NFL from the Sidelines

Blogs NFL from the Sidelines

O-R Sports reporter Dale Lolley gets you the insider scoop on the NFL.

After hobnobbing around the NFL in the press boxes and sidelines, sports reporter Dale Lolley will let you know the insider scoop. Dale can also be heard on the Steelers radio network pre-game show prior to every game. Follow him on Twitter at dlolleyor.

Tuesday with Tomlin

October 3, 2017
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) looks for a open man during the second half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Baltimore, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Both Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger publicly chided Antonio Brown for his outburst on the sidelines during the team’s 26-9 win last Sunday at Baltimore.

The message from Tomlin wasn’t all that surprising. That’s what a head coach is supposed to do, though Tomlin has often kept his criticism of Brown behind closed doors.

Roethlisberger coming out publicly against Brown for his tantrum in Baltimore, however, was somewhat surprising. That was especially true since Roethlisberger hasn’t kept his displeasure, at times, with some of his receivers to himself, gesturing after plays.

Frustration, at times, is part of the game.

Certainly Brown throwing down a water cooler is extreme. Brushing off offensive coordinator Todd Haley while he tries to calm you down can’t happen.

But it’s part of Brown. He’s 29. It’s not like he’s going to “grow up,” anytime soon when it comes to being demonstrative on the field.

Brown’s competitiveness is one of the things that helped make a former sixth-round draft pick perhaps the greatest receiver of his generation. But you have to take the good with the bad.

The biggest problem the Steelers have with it is that it sets a bad example for some of the younger players, particularly the younger receivers.

@ Tomlin said James Harrison was inactive Sunday because he was sick Friday and Saturday. Even though Harrison felt better Sunday, Tomlin said the linebacker had missed too much prep time to be active on game day.

He also said Eli Rogers wasn’t active Sunday because once the team had determined he was not going to return punts, it came down to who they wanted out there as a receiver against the Ravens.

But, that could change.

Given the fact Martavis Bryant also missed time last Wednesday and Thursday while ill, it wasn’t that surprising Justin Hunter was active, just in case Bryant wasn’t up to speed.

Hunter, after all, got all of the reps Bryant would have on Wednesday and Thursday.

@ The Steelers had eight more penalties against the Ravens, giving them 37 for 315 yards through four games. That is second in the league and way too many.

Then again, Kansas City is right behind them with 36 penalties despite being 4-0.

Perhaps equally important is that the Steelers’ opponents have committed 31 penaltlies for 320 yards, both of which rank top five in the league.

Tomlin chalked up last week’s penalties to the fact Walt Anderson’s crew worked the game against Baltimore. Anderson’s crew is known to throw more flags than others.

But overall, it seems the Steelers have been in some games where the crews have been flag happy.

It happens.

@ This week’s opponent, Jacksonville, has committed 35 penalties and has seen 36 called against its opponents.

Be prepared.

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