Steelers Want Call Explained


Pittsburgh Steelers president Dan Rooney wants the NFL to explain why referee Mike Carey's crew called a safety in the Steelers' 16-10 loss Sunday at Tennessee.

With Tennessee ahead 14-7 in the third quarter, quarterback Kordell Stewart dropped back to pass in his own end zone. As he rolled out, with Titans lineman Josh Evans about to tackle him, Stewart threw an incomplete pass toward tight end Mitch Lyons.

The officials ruled that Lyons was an ineligible receiver and because Stewart threw from the end zone to an ineligible receiver, they awarded the Titans a safety.

However, the officials later admitted to a pool reporter that wide receiver Courtney Hawkins was the ineligible receiver on the play, not Lyons.

"We very definitely deserve an explanation," Rooney said Monday.

Asked if the play significantly altered the outcome of the game, coach Bill Cowher said, "It's all speculation."

Rooney declined to criticize Carey's crew, which occasionally misidentified Steelers involved in penalties. Carey identified players wearing No. 39 and No. 69 as being guilty of penalties, but the Steelers didn't dress players wearing either number.

Asked if the NFL had apologized the mixups, Rooney said, "No, there's been no apology."

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