Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Thought Five Yards Were More Important Than Timeout

With 1:51 left in the Sunday loss to the Oakland Raiders, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger completed a short pass to running back Le’Veon Bell, who went out of bounds for a seven yard gain. With the game clock stopped at 1:43, Roethlisberger lobbied for a horse-collar penalty, but in doing so, he lost precious time on the play clock that had already been reset. As a result, Roethlisberger was forced to take a much needed timeout prior to the second down and three play from the Raiders 12 yard-line. It wound up being a costly timeout and the quarterback talked about it after the game.

“The play clock was running down,” Roethlisberger said. “I ran over there because the ref was grabbing for his flag for a horse-collar call on Le’Veon [Bell], and then he didn’t (make the call). The ref asked (another official), ‘Was there a horse collar?’ They were kind of discussing it, and I guess they decided not to call it. By the time we got back to the huddle, you look up and there’s three seconds (on the play clock) by the time we break the huddle.”

Had Roethlisberger taken a delay of game penalty, the Steelers still would have had two downs to score from the 17 or get a first down, but he felt the five yards were more important than the timeout.

“You either take 5 yards (for delay of game) or you take the timeout,” Roethlisberger said. “I know timeouts are valuable but I thought 5 yards were, too, so I had to burn it.”

The offense did score three plays and 19 seconds later, but with only two timeouts left, the Raiders were able to run extra time off the game clock following their third down play after the onsides kick.

After the game, Roethlisberger said he and head coach Mike Tomlin would more than likely be discussing that time management situation this coming week.

“Maybe (today) Coach Tomlin will tell me what he wants me to do in that situation,” Roethlisberger said. “I know timeouts are valuable, but for an offense that wasn’t scoring touchdowns so are 5 yards.”

I am not sure what Tomlin will tell Roethlisberger, but I know I would tell him to let the officials do their job in situations such as that one. Burning that timeout really hurt.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Yep, burning that timeout at that point basically sums up the whole game

  • Impact3697

    Tomlin and Roethlisberger couldn’t smartly manage the game clock to save their lives. This kind of stuff has been going on for years, but we were winning so it wasn’t brought up. I’d be willing to bet they don’t even work on it, or strategize about it. They really need to hire someone, just to worry about the clock management stuff, because Tomlin’s obviously too busy running the defense, or umm I mean the offense.. Or wait a minute, he doesn’t run either of those units

  • Douglas Andrews

    This is surprising for a Veteran QB and a pretty good coach that clock management seems to be our downfall. I’m getting the impression if Ben can call TO’s without checking with the sidelines that no one really is in charge of clock management. As much as I like Tomlin he solely should be monitoring the clock and calling all timeouts with Ben checking with the sidelines before he takes crucial timeouts like this one.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Ben needs to use better judgement but the lack is in almost all area’s of this team. The first play of the game shows this.

  • Brendon Glad

    One of the most idiotic sequences of time by a franchise quarterback I’ve ever seen. “Maybe today Coach Tomlin will tell me what he wants to do in that situation.” Give me a break. Most 7th grade QB’s know what to do in that situation. They work on 2 minute drill every week. You are down 11, which makes it even MORE inexcusable…because you either need 8+3….or 3+8. The order is irrelevant. The only thing you DO know…is that you need the ball twice…not once. And getting it back with 15 seconds and 85 yards is not twice, in my book.
    And this isn’t the first time Ben has left me cursing at my TV for messing up the most elementary of clock-management 101. Just the worst.
    And the begging for the call to get him in the predicament…well what else can be said about that?…mind boggling.

  • Brendon Glad

    I suggest Ben write this on his wristband:
    35secsX1=35secs.
    35X2=70secs.
    70 secs= 1minute&10secs.
    35X3=105 secs.
    105secs=1 minute&45 secs.

    Maybe that will help him. Seems like this team (Lord knows, Ben’s not the only one) really needs the most basic of things outlined for them, step by step.

  • Brendon Glad

    And in case he actually needs that chart explained,
    It’s the amount of time wasted for each timeout that you DON’T have.

  • Dr. Doom

    I would have like to not have burned that timeout, I have seen other veteran quarterbacks make similar bonehead mistakes. But it should not have come to that if Suisham just goes 2/3.

  • Eric

    Everybody knows if the penalty is not called within a few seconds of its occurrence, it is not going to be called. That argument was childish and the clock management was bad, but the first half team performance and 2 missed field goals cost us the game.
    With the trade deadline looming, will Colbert make any moves?

  • Mike Sweeney

    bottom line is finish drives with TD’s. otherwise, we are on different rants.

  • Dr. Doom

    not with 1.5 million in cap room

  • dgh57

    Especially in the 2nd half timeouts are very important. The more times you have to score and the less time you have on the clock to win any game makes them even more important!! My nephew who plays Pop Warner style football probably knows that!

  • Shea Fahr

    You are correct. And chewing up 9 minutes on a drive and coming away with 0 points has to stop as well. We have witnessed this going on long before Haley got here too.

  • pdupuis

    My contention from day one of this abomination of a season was that Ben would just play bad enough to get the OC fired. I feel we’re seeing that happen.

  • ND_Steel

    Agree! Second half timeout calls should come from the HC, or at the direction of the HC.

  • r4kolb

    For all you Ben bashers 2 things…1) I wonder what you were saying during the Bubby, Neil ,Kordell, Maddox, pretty much anyone after Bradshaw years?
    2) What are you going to be saying when he’s gone and we have Landry throwing picks. Is Ben perfect no, but please, he’s the LEAST of our problems!!!!!

  • lone pistol

    cut him some slack he is frustrated as hell, no qb can play with that disgrace of a offence with out him there a division 2 college team

  • AndyR34

    I don’t know…Brady has gone 6-2 with an offense not any better…at least at the skill positions. And I have seen no evidence of frustration on Ben’s part…just a bunch of lame excuses and lame answers.

  • lone pistol

    Im not giving him a pass like he is playing flawless football, but what brady does have is better coaching and play calling wich has been pathetic on our side, our o-line is digusting, theres still no running game, besides brown and heath wich is still not 100% up to par we have no one, sanders is great 20% of time and below average the other 80%, wasn’t there a clear touchdown droped in each of the last 3 games?, so I don’t think our skill positions are really as great as people here think, Ben is our whole offence besides brown at this point in the season that’s all I am saying.

  • Ahmad

    Ben makes a point about the offense being unable to move the ball, but he failed to look at the bigger picture. Without 3 TO’s the offense would have little time to score if the defense forced a 3 and out which they did. He should have taken the 5 yard penalty and saved the TO.