PITTSBURGH — Steelers center Mason Cole took the blame for numerous errant snaps during the team’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. There were at least three bad snaps that hurt the team. The most significant missed snap was a low snap to Mitch Trubisky on a screen pass that ended up as a fumble, and the Cardinals turned that into seven points.
“No issues, except me. It’s unacceptable. I’ve got to fix it,” Cole said. “That was just a little screen pass, and I blew it. That snap has to be there.”
Trubisky took the blame for the play instead, stating that he should have fallen on the ball instead of trying to make something happen. The look for the screen was there, and so Trubisky tried to make something happen, but instead, fumbled the ball, leading to the Cardinals recovering the fumble.
“I got to get on top of that,” Trubisky said. “It was a low snap, but unfortunately there was a screen called so we were trying to get the linemen out, so the guy was able to hit me before I was able to pick it up. Just an unfortunate situation. I’ve got to find a way to get on the ball so it’s not a negative play.”
But that was not the only play where Cole’s snaps hurt the Steelers. On the first drive of the game, Pickett had Pat Freiermuth open in the back of the end zone, but a low snap caused the timing of the play to get thrown off, leading to an incompletion after Pickett was smacked by an edge rusher. The same thing happened again, when a low snap forced Pickett to pounce on the ball, forcing a punt. That sequence would give the Cardinals enough field position to kick a game-tying field goal.
That is something basic that has to be done weekly, and Cole’s snapping issues are not new. The wet field and newly-sodded ground did not make things easy, but conditions are not always ideal for NFL centers. Simply put, Cole has to make those plays happen at the most basic routine level.