Dolphins Notebook

Miami Dolphins coaches: Drama in Pittsburgh was comedy of errors

 
 
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown barely touches the sideline on the final play of the game, which negated what would have been a last-second winning touchdown for Pittsburgh. ‘I thought I had it clean,’ Brown said.
Steelers receiver Antonio Brown barely touches the sideline on the final play of the game, which negated what would have been a last-second winning touchdown for Pittsburgh. ‘I thought I had it clean,’ Brown said.
Don Wright / AP
WEB VOTE Who was the MVP of the Dolphins' win Sunday against the Steelers?

bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

Even if Antonio Brown hadn’t stepped out of bounds at the Dolphins’ 12-yard-line on Pittsburgh’s final play Sunday, defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said Monday the Steelers committed two penalties that should have nullified the play even if a miraculous touchdown had been scored.

“The offense was not set, so the play should never have started to begin with,” Coyle said. “One of their receivers was still moving to get aligned, and the play went off.”

Also, Coyle said Ben Roethlisberger threw an illegal forward pass to Brown, “but not by much. Looking at the television copy, it looked like the ball was a little bit ahead.”

If Brown caught the ball beyond the point that Roethlisberger threw it — and replays suggested he did — then that should have been a penalty, thus ending the game.

Coach Joe Philbin said the referees had the authority to review that aspect of the play, but did not because they had already determined Brown had stepped out of bounds.

Asked what he would advise his players to do differently in that situation, Coyle said: “You have to tackle the first guy that catches the ball. That usually helps. We have to tackle and get them on the ground sooner. We had chances. The footing didn’t help. But that’s not an excuse.

“At one point, it looked like we were kids in the school yard playing keep away. Guys were looking around looking at who the ball might be going to next as opposed to who actually had the ball. It looked like a rugby game. The only thing missing was the band.”

Coyle was referring to the 1982 California-Stanford game, which ended with Cal scoring a touchdown after five laterals. Stanford band members came on the field during the play.

• Coyle said “the question has come up about whether it’s best to take a time out in that situation.” The Dolphins chose not to because “it’s very shaky you can get a play off with the amount of time left on the clock.”

• One problem on that play from a Dolphins perspective is “we had guys still running to get back in position. There were two laterals on the play before, so guys were dispersed all over the field and not in a normal position.”

• What was Philbin thinking during that play? “I might have been saying a couple of Hail Mary’s, a couple of Our Father’s. I know my mother probably was, wherever she was.”

What was Coyle thinking? “I was trying to be calm. As the banter was going on, I was saying, ‘We got him! We got him! [Pause] ‘I don’t know if we got him!’

“When he accelerated, he was flying. It was definitely scary.”

This and that

• Running back Lamar Miller left Sunday's game with a concussion, but his agent Drew Rosenhaus said on his weekly WSVN-Fox segment that he expects Miller to play Sunday against New England.

• The Dolphins gave Sam Brenner 48 snaps and Nate Garner 16 at left guard Sunday, and Brenner “represented himself well,” Philbin said.

•  Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said Ryan Tannehill “has gone through a season where he has taken some shots [from sacks and hits] and here he is still standing at the end of the season. I’m not sure there are a lot of quarterbacks who have been able to endure like he has. He has a mindset that’s different from most people. He’s very resilient.”

•  Sherman ended his news conference with an unsolicited tribute to Philbin, saying he “has done a phenomenal job to get us to this point” amid “distractions” from the team’s bullying scandal.

• The weekly Dion Jordan playing time update: He played only 25 of Miami’s 69 defensive snaps Sunday: five on running plays, 14 in which he rushed the quarterback (he was credited with one hurry) and six in coverage.

•  Back from a groin injury, cornerback Dimitri Patterson played sparingly (12 snaps).

Read more Miami Dolphins stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.

    IN MY OPINION

    Armando Salguero: Joe Philbin optimistic about Miami Dolphins despite skeptics

    Joe Philbin welcomes a visitor with a warm smile and firm handshake and for the next 30 minutes enthusiastically talks about his Dolphins with a confidence that belies the coach’s first two seasons in Miami.

  •  
St. Louis Rams seventh-round draft pick Michael Sam listens to a question during a news conference at the NFL football team's practice facility Tuesday, May 13, 2014, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    IN MY OPINION

    Greg Cote: Michael Sam is a distraction to embrace, not avoid

    It’s no surprise that Tony Dungy’s comments this week about Michael Sam — comments that on the surface seemed more benign than inflammatory — have created such a national tempest. Sports are a Petri dish for argument and debate under any circumstances, and when you add the politics of religion and gay issues to the mix, the chances of a quietly civil discussion have pretty much left the building.

  •  
<span class="cutline_leadin">building block:</span> Left tackle Branden Albert, above, 

will be the team’s replacement for Jonathan Martin.

    Miami Dolphins’ offensive line is new; time will tell if it’s improved

    The Dolphins’ offensive line, which allowed 58 sacks last season, will have four new starters – and center Mike Pouncey could be out until October. ‘We’ve got a lot of work,’ new left tackle Branden Albert said.

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category