Steelers Blast Refs after Botched False Start Call - Sport News

Steelers Blast Refs after Botched False Start Call

Long lost in the discourse around the Steelers organization, Pittsburgh had multiple chances to beat the Patriots on Thursday night. One of those should have come on a key special teams play, where Patriots linebacker Jahlani Tavai jumped offsides. Instead, the officials called false start on Steelers long snapper Christian Kuntz.

Steelers LS Christian Kuntz

The referees cited the head-lifting movement that Kuntz made as the reason for the false start. But Kuntz was puzzled at the penalty, stating that he and almost every other long snapper do the same thing before every other snap. The fact that it was called left many on the team perplexed.

“When he jumped offsides, that’s when I looked up and thought it was a first down for us,” Kuntz said. “No abrupt movement is the rule. So they must have thought I moved my head abruptly. I don’t think I was abrupt with my head movement. I didn’t move my head until they jumped offsides, quite frankly.”

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin did not agree with the call either, but he did get an explanation from the officials in the venue about their call.

“I was given an explanation,” Tomlin said. “I don’t know that I agree with it, but I was given an explanation.”

In the end, Pittsburgh fell short after getting another opportunity to drive the ball. There is no guarantee that Pittsburgh will score points even with the offsides call. But it was entirely possible, and the missed calls were game-changing. Either way, the Steelers have many things to consider in their organizational sphere before complaining about the call. They should not have even been in that position for that call to have gone against them.

But since it was at an inflection point of the game, it begs the question about the rule. It’s the second odd special teams rule that the Steelers were hit with. Isaac Seumalo was called for offsides on a field goal attempt against the Jaguars, too.

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