Butler cringes at memory
Looks like Vontaze Burfict’s agent was a little premature when he ran to the phone to call national reporters on Wednesday to inform them that his client was not fined for diving at Ben Roethlisberger’s knees in Sunday’s game at Cincinnati. It appears Burfict was fined for that play as well as two other unnecessary roughness penalties.
The NFL discloses fine amounts on Friday afternoon so we’ll know how much Burfict will lose from his paycheck later today.
So we’ll get this all cleared up about 48 hours after the first report that Burfict would not be fined. There has to be a better way for the NFL to handle its business.
Surely someone from the NFL office monitors what people like Adam Schefter of ESPN and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network report from agents. The NFL sends players fines via Fed Ex by Wednesday so the NFL surely knew the reports were false.
Why not get the word out sooner to avoid a whole lot of confusion and bad publicity for the league?
Defensive coordinator Keith Butler was asked hursday when he did his weekly interview session with reporters if Demaryius Thomas was giving him nightmares. Four years have passed since Thomas took a Tim Tebow pass 80 yards for a touchdown in overtime to end the 2011 season.
Butler cringed at the memory.
“It was zero blitz,” said Butler, who was then linebackers coach under Dick LeBeau. “He catches it and takes off. We run under a couple of blocks in that situation. I always talk about when they run those types of screens, always try to get over the top of the screens and get it back to what I call the cavalry. The cavalry are the guys who are turning and running to the ball after the ball is thrown, the defensive line, the linebackers who rush the quarterback, all that stuff. And the corners from the other side, the safeties from the other side. The cavalry is coming. We have to get it back to the cavalry.
“Unfortunately, in that situation we were committed to a zero blitz and we didn’t get it back to the cavalry. He took off and ran off and that was the one play in overtime, if I’m correct. We have to make sure we don’t do anything like that. Hopefully we don’t.”
Steelers fans tend to focus on the most unbelievable aspect of that game – that Tebow could find a way to beat the No. 1 defense with 29 points in a season his quarterbacking was panned by analysts. It truly was a once-in-a-lifetime game for him.
What fans tend to forget is how injured the Steelers were and how the season almost certainly would have ended the following week in New England anyway. Maurkice Pouncey missed that game with an injury. Brett Keisel went down with an injury early in that game.
“It’s always hard to lose a game in the playoffs,” Butler said. “You work so hard to get to the playoffs and then you lose the game the first time out. Those things bother you and you learn from them. Hopefully, we won’t be in those situations, but we may be.”
Tebow and the Broncos lost to New England the next week in the divisional round, 45-10.