Steelers notebook: Miami assistant Rizzi stepped into play last week at Heinz Field
December 16, 2013 12:42 AM
Miami Dolphins special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi
By Ray Fittipaldo / Pitsburgh Post-Gazette
Miami special teams coordinator Darren Rizzi was fined $10,000 by the NFL for stepping onto the field and making contact with an official on the final play of the first half of the game against the Steelers last week at Heinz Field.
Rizzi came from the bench area and into the field of play on the long field-goal attempt that Troy Polamalu fielded in the end zone. Polamalu ran the ball out of the end zone, pitched a lateral to Steve McLendon, who pitched a lateral to Ike Taylor, who returned it to the Miami 41.
The official should have called a 15-yard penalty on Miami on the play. The Steelers would have been awarded one untimed down from the Dolphins 26.
Instead, Miami went into halftime with a 10-7 lead and won the game, 34-28.
The play happened 10 days after Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was fined $100,000 for stepping onto the field in a 22-20 loss Thanksgiving night to the Baltimore Ravens. Tomlin did not make contact with anyone on the field, dancing out of the way of kick returner Jacoby Jones at the last second.
Quite a start
The Steelers scored 21 points in the first quarter Sunday night for the first time in more than nine years. The previous time the Steelers scored 21 points in the first quarter was Oct. 31, 2004 against the New England Patriots.
Bell gets 1,000
Running back Le'Veon Bell became the third rookie in franchise history to reach 1,000 yards from scrimmage. Bell joined Franco Harris, who had 1,235 in 1972 and Bam Morris, who had 1,040 in 1994.
Ben sets record
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger set a franchise record with 338 completions in one season, breaking his record from 2009. Roethlisberger set the record on a third-down pass to Antonio Brown in the fourth quarter, the first third-down conversion of the game for the Steelers. They were 0 for 5 on third downs until that point.
20,000 no shows
The crowd of 45,873 was the smallest in the history of Heinz Field, which opened in 2001. The game-time temperature was 26 degrees with a wind chill of 12.
Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley injured his right calf in the first quarter and did not return. Woodley missed the Detroit, Cleveland and Baltimore games with a calf injury. He returned to the starting lineup last week against Miami.
Right tackle Marcus Gilbert injured his right ankle in the first quarter and was replaced by Guy Whimper on the second touchdown drive. Gilbert returned to the game in the second quarter. In the third quarter, left tackle Kelvin Beachum left the game with a knee injury, but he returned to the game, too.
Cincinnati punter Kevin Huber was knocked out of the game with a "dental injury" after Terence Garvin blocked him on Brown's punt return for a touchdown.
Former Steelers linebacker James Harrison, who is in his first season with the Bengals, left the game with a concussion in the second quarter and did not return.
Cincinnati tight end Jermaine Gresham injured his hip in the third quarter and was questionable to return.
Ziggy Hood sacked Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton in the first quarter for his third sack of the season. Hood matched his career high in sacks in a season. He also had three in 2010 and 2012.
• Rookie defensive end Brian Arnfelt was promoted from the practice to the active roster Saturday and dressed for his first NFL game. The Steelers needed depth on the defensive line with end Brett Keisel and tackle McLendon inactive.
• Veteran defensive lineman Al Woods made his second NFL start at nose tackle in place of McLendon. He also started the Baltimore game.
• Cortez Allen started in place of William Gay at cornerback for the second consecutive game. Gay had started seven in a row in place of Allen.
• Harris and fellow Hall of Famer Mel Blount were the honorary co-captains for the Steelers.
• Cincinnati assistant coaches Jay and Jonathan Hayes had reason to smile before the game. The Hayes brothers are South Fayette High School graduates and the Lions captured their first PIAA championship earlier Sunday with a 41-0 victory against Imhotep Charter. The Hayes brothers have been on coach Marvin Lewis' staff for the past 11 seasons. Lewis grew up with them in nearby McDonald and attended Fort Cherry High School.
The Steelers deactivated quarterback Landry Jones, receiver Derek Moye, cornerback Isaiah Green and linebacker Stevenson Sylvester along with McLendon and Keisel.
The Bengals deactivated receivers Dane Sanzenbacher and Ryan Whalen, cornerback Terence Newman, running back Rex Burkhead, offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson, tight end Orson Charles and defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi.
Ray Fittipaldo: email@example.com and Twitter @rayfitt1. First Published December 15, 2013 4:46 PM
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