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Mike Tomlin Takes Blame for Fake Field Goal Call: ‘That’s on Me’

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CLEVELAND — Mike Tomlin was nearly the goat.

The Steelers head coach called for a fake field goal with the game tied late in the first half between his Steelers and the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

The Browns weren’t fooled, Chris Boswell threw the ball out of the end zone, and then didn’t get up after taking a hit from Cleveland’s Jordan Elliott.

Boswell was removed from the game while being evaluated for a concussion. Without their kicker, the Steelers failed two second-half two-point conversion — including one taken from the 12-yard line — and sent a kickoff out of bound.

Instead of what could have been a comfortable 10-point lead, the Steelers defense had to buckle down to preserve a five-point victory.

“I’m just really appreciated of the guys in that locker room there,” Tomlin said. “Everybody just played a selfless game. They put the collective in front of personal agendas and we fought. That’s the only way you get out of those environments, particularly with some of the adversity we faced to day, some of which was created, some of which was created by me.”

Tomlin acknowledged that his decision was a poor one, and said the poor execution by his team on the play revealed a less-than-perfect level of preparation that should have precluded it from going into the game.

“The fake field goal was a bad call because we poorly executed it,” Tomlin said. “So I take responsibility for that. I appreciate the guys backing my play, fighting for 60 minutes and delivering a victory and making it a side note.”

The play started to go wrong when it took too long for the Steelers to get the snap off. It got worse when Boswell held the ball too long and took a big shot.

“We had a look that we liked,” Tomlin said. “We just didn’t execute it very well. The ball wasn’t snapped in a timely manner and allowed them to take a picture of it, and when that happens, you’re not going to be successful.

“Again, I take responsibility for it. I should’t have called it unless we were ready to run it with detailed execution, and obviously we weren’t. And so that’s on me.”

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