When the Pittsburgh Steelers entered the red zone Monday night against the Houston Texans, fans at Heinz Field had to be wondering what they would see. Would it be the pass-happy offense deployed against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Jacksonville Jaguars, or the run-oriented offense that failed against the Cleveland Browns? The answer was neither.
The Steelers dialed up a play that has been called in the past for Antwaan Randle El, Cedrick Wilson and now Antonio Brown. The reverse-pass play not only worked, but it was called in by head coach Mike Tomlin.
On Ben Roethlisberger's weekly radio show on 93.7 the Fan Tuesday, he talked about the call coming in from offensive coordinator Todd Haley saying that Tomlin was the one making the play call or, in other words, don't check out of the play.
Roethlisberger talked about how they have had the play in their playbook for years and run it regularly in practice. He also credited Lance Moore with a great play on a ball that easily could have been knocked down or deflected.
More importantly, it should be noted that Tomlin hasn't been afraid to make or approve tough decisions at crucial times in games this season. Tomlin put his stamp on special teams with a fake punt in a Week 1 win over the Browns and the team has run two flea-flickers. The Antonio Brown touchdown pass was actually his second pass of the season and his second completion.
The Steelers don't want to have to rely on trick plays in the red zone to score, but when you have playmakers with specific skill sets, you would be foolish to ignore them. Whether you love the call or hate it, it worked and helped move the Steelers to 4-3 on the season.