Posted by Josh Katzowitz
When ESPN.com’s Bob Holtzman wrote last week about a potential trick play the Steelers possibly would use vs. the Ravens, I wondered about the fall-out.
Holtzman reported that if the Ravens got into a certain defense, Pittsburgh had a trick play it had never run before ready to go and that it involved WR Antwaan Randle El (but would not include him throwing the ball).
Today, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin let Holtzman know he wasn’t happy about the report.
As USA Today recaps, Holtzman asked Tomlin a question today about how much time it takes to prepare for Rex Ryan’s defense.
Responded Tomlin: "It depends on whether or not you give him my plays, you know," Tomlin said.
And he wasn’t joking.
Football coaches, generally speaking, are some of the most paranoid members of our society, and they take great pains to make sure nothing regarding game-planning is leaked. Reporters, generally speaking, adhere to the rules of not writing about potential plays – trick or otherwise – they see while watching practice. It’s understood that much of what you see at practice is not for public consumption.
It’s also why some teams keep practices off-limit to non-local reporters. Holtzman is a very good, very experienced reporter, so he must have known he would face condemnation when he reported on the trick play.
My question: was the scoop worth it? Especially since the Steelers ran no such play in their win vs. Baltimore.
If you follow this link, you can see the video of Tomlin today and judge for yourself. Holtzman's question occurs about the 1:35 mark.
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