PITTSBURGH — The Detroit Lions defensive position broke an unwritten NFL rule after they fired off the ball on a kneel-down play, stated Steelers heart Maurkice Pouncey, who was incensed by the play a day after the 20-15 victory at Ford Subject.
With zero:48 seconds left, Steelers had been downing the ball to expire the clock when tackles A’Shawn Robinson and Akeem Spence appeared to badault the Steelers’ inside line. Pouncey retaliated, and Robinson was ejected for throwing a punch at guard Ramon Foster. Pouncey believes hitting on a kneeling play is soiled sufficient to warrant a suspension.
“You need to present sportsmanship,” Pouncey instructed ESPN. “You simply misplaced the sport. We’re taking a knee. What are you making an attempt to show proper now? If anyone’s enjoying (soiled), that is soiled s— proper there. They actually tried to badault me, come off 100 miles per hour. I ain’t going for that … Do it in the course of the recreation. You wish to do it whereas we’re taking a knee? It is a basic rule of sportsmanship. You do not do this kind of s—.”
“You simply misplaced the sport. We’re taking a knee. What are you making an attempt to show proper now? If anyone’s enjoying (soiled), that is soiled s— proper there. They actually tried to badault me, come off 100 miles per hour.”
Maurkice Pouncey, on Lions’ D-line
Three Lions gamers left the sideline in the course of the skirmish, which is towards NFL guidelines. Lions coach Jim Caldwell deliberate to deal with the matter along with his crew, saying “we’re not going to face for it.”
The Lions weren’t pleased with the Steelers’ line play, with Spence saying after the sport that Pittsburgh gamers executed some high-low blocks and reducing strategies.
“I regarded on the large display and it regarded form of loopy. It was like I beat him, then Foster got here on me. Then Pouncey got here to dive at my legs to try to badist Foster out. I badumed it was form of soiled. However, I imply, it is soccer,” Spence stated.
Requested concerning the accusation, Pouncey stated, “I do not care what they are saying. Go watch the movie. They had been getting balled on.”
Spence stated he instructed Steelers guard David DeCastro earlier than Pittsburgh ran its victory formation performs that he could be coming off the ball and that he does that as a result of “what in the event that they handed it off.” He does this, he stated, to ensure the opponent takes a knee and that you simply by no means know if there will probably be a botched snap or a ball will probably be dropped. If he did not go onerous and that occurred, then he could be blamed then, too, significantly in a one-score recreation.
Spence was a rookie on Greg Schiano’s last Tampa Bay Buccaneers crew in 2013 — and one in every of Schiano’s late-game ways was to typically blitz throughout an opponent’s victory formation. Spence stated Sunday what he did was nothing near that.
“Nah, we used to go at folks’s legs, which I badumed was actually low-cost,” Spence stated. “It wasn’t nothing like that. Simply got here off with my fingers up excessive, simply enjoying ball. Nothing loopy. Nothing out of the unusual. Simply received slightly chippy.”
Pouncey identified the sport would not have been as shut if the Steelers did not drop two would-be touchdowns. Eli Rogers dropped an end-zone move on the opening drive, and Ben Roethlisberger overthrew Darrius Heyward-Bey on one other.
Pouncey did not wish to swing at Robinson however felt there was “no turning again” after the Lions got here at him.
“I do not even play soiled like that, however as soon as somebody does some low-cost s— like that, that is some bulls—. I am unable to respect a person like that,” Pouncey stated. “Figuring out we’re nearly to snap the ball and stand there and also you wish to hearth off? That is participant security. It is a basic, frequent factor. What if I simply fired off the ball and reduce him?”
ESPN’s Michael Rothstein contributed to this report.