Tomlin Says He Didn’t Go For Two Points Because He Wanted To Keep Plays In His Pocket

The Pittsburgh Steelers chances of overcoming a 24 point deficit Sunday in their loss to the San Diego Chargers were slim, but head coach Mike Tomlin didn’t help matters when he chose not to go for two point conversions after third and fourth quarter touchdowns, which if converted, would have made it a two possession game in both instances.

Tomlin was asked about the decision to not go for two twice after those scores during his post game press conference and his answer certainly did not make good sense.

“Until we stopped them it was going to be insignificant,” said Tomlin. “I was holding the two-point plays for that reason and that reason only. Now, we still have them in our hip pocket. Those specialty plays we didn’t want to put on tape unless we had an opportunity to close the gap. As you can see, we didn’t”


Following the 40 yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to wide receiver Mike Wallace with 2:33 left in the third quarter Tomlin decided to kick the extra point instead of going for two. That decision meant that the Steelers were three scoring possessions behind at that point instead of possibly being down just two.

The Chargers did answer back with a touchdown of their own to build the lead back to 24 points, but the Steelers would answer back with another drive resulting in yet another Roethlisberger to Wallace touchdown with 6:07 left in the game. Following that score Tomlin once again had a chance to make it a two possession game, but chose not to.

Not wanting to put down a two point conversion play on tape is not a good enough excuse by Tomlin, especially considering that he chose to allow Roethlisberger to stay in the game. Either you are trying to win the game or you are not. Can’t offensive coordinator Todd Haley design a few more two point plays moving forward? Isn’t that what his job description is?

Tomlin said after the game that they coached poorly and played poorly on Sunday. Sadly those were the two statements that he made during his talk with the media that made the most sense. He should have just got up out of his chair after uttering those words.

  • Reader783

    Then just don’t use your plays….run an iso play for once.

  • Matt Lipner

    Everyone loves the “Tomlinisms” when we are winning, but when you really listen to what he says it is pretty much gibberish. Absolutely no excuse for not trying to make it a 2 possession game with 6 minutes left.

  • Chris92021

    I love Coach Tomlin but that answer made no sense whatsoever.

  • Mike Carroll

    Wow. Just lost a lot of respect for Tomlin. Admit your mistakes. Worse yet, he may not even know it was a mistake. Throw a simple fade pattern to Plax Burress!! Anything. Just give your team a chance to win.

  • Mike Carroll

    I like to think Tomlin has been learning as coach. But he clearly is not regarding the usage of 2 pt plays. Every Steeler fans remembers his debacle in the 2007 playoff loss to the Jaguars. Now today, with a ridiculous explanation to boot.

  • Bradys_Dad

    Tomlin and Co. were out-coached and slapped around like bad children today. This was more embarrassing than an 8 turnover day on the lake.

  • JT

    I wish the internet existed back when Cowher went 7-9 and then 6-10.

    I bet we all wish we had Whiz or Grimm running a tight ship like they have in Arizona.

    Step away from the ledges everyone.

  • Matt

    This is just a poorly thought out “article.” You’re asking Tomlin to
    give up essentially money plays(such as in the Wildcard round last year)
    in a game that has already been lost. I could see if the defense had
    shown it could stop San Diego on 3rd down. Or if the offense could
    sustain drives. But neither had shown either. And you want them to give
    up plays needed for the post-season in HOPES that the Steelers MIGHT be
    able to convert THREE 2-point conversions in one game? Despite not
    maintianing drives or stopping the opponent’s offense? Anyone proclaiming they should have displayed what was in their aresenal in HOPES that they could come back doesn’t understand situational football despite how much you’re purporting you do saying it would have been a 2 score game this, and comeback that.

  • Mike Carroll

    Maybe you should not be reading this “article” if it’s so beneath your football knowledge.

    Dave: Keep up the good work. Always love reading your work, even when I disagree (which I don’t in this case). A simple fade pattern to Burress is no state secret. Would’ve been nice to see if Plax could still make the play.

  • Tomlin is a complete idiot. I don’t believe he held anything back he just lacks between the ears. How do you expect the players to give 60 minutes when you don’t put them in the best possible position to win? Mr Rooney, your Rooney rule failed. Face it, admit it, and hire the best man for the job.

  • The Steelers just played like crap….the offensive plays were terrible in the first half, they didn’t attack the chargers secondary until it was too late. Antonio Brown had a brainfart trying to pick the ball up instead of kicking it out the end zone. We just got to regroup despite all the injuries and bad plays.

  • Guest

    Obviously Whiz and Grmm are much better coaches.

    OH WAIT!! They suck too even though they’re white!

  • Dan

    I would agree that the commentators, reporters and sportwriters suggesting that a coach should go for two, in the hopes that they’ll have the opportunity to go for two twice more in the same game and make three consecutive two-point conversions is rediculous. A two-point conversion is less than a 50% chance, and three consecutive conversions would be less than a 12% chance. And even this would only be to tie (for a 50% chance to win in OT) if SD didn’t score again. Much better to go for a third score.
    I will concede, the response that Tomlin gave to conceal some genious conversion play (essentially like any other 4th and 2 play) is a bit silly. I think Tomlin is an above average coach, but sometimes it does seem his play calling and clock management is not flawless.

  • Patrick

    What’s he holding onto the play for? You can have all the special plays in your pocket that you want, it won’t matter a lick of anything if you don’t win.

  • Patrick

    I can’t stand the Tomlinisms when we’re winning, or when we’re losing. Hearing this guy give excuse after excuse for anything is tiring.

  • Matt

    So throwing a fade to Plaxico Burress is now a money play? Because he has shown so much since returning to Pittsburgh right? Please… You people are complaining because the Steelers didn’t go for two in a game in which they showed no semblence of a comeback. Ridiculous. People will find the most ridiculous things to nitpick Tomlin on. There are at least 25 other fanbases that would kill for the guy.

  • Cowher went 7-9 and 6-10 … Yea he didn’t have Ben. Imagine what his records would have been with Ben at QB. Imagine Ben playing instead of Neil (interception) O’Donnell. Or Cordell Stewart. I beleieve soon as Cowher got Ben they went 15-1 that season.