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Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: Dec. 12

Let's get to it:

In my opinion, Antonio Brown has been the most consistent player in the NFL all year. Without him, many wins would possibly become losses, such as the game against the Colts, Packers, and Ravens. Do you think that he deserves high consideration for the NFL MVP Award?

ANSWER: I have to come to understand there is a difference between being deserving and being electable when it comes to things like this, and the NFL Most Valuable Player Award is decided by a vote of select media. This award has been presented to 58 players since the process began, and the breakdown by position is as follows: 39 quarterbacks, 16 running backs, 1 defensive tackle, 1 linebacker, and 1 placekicker. That's right, the award has been given to a placekicker – Washington's Mark Moseley in the strike-shortened season of 1982 – but never to a wide receiver. Not even Jerry Rice, for goodness sakes.

So, while I will not argue with your assertion about Antonio Brown's production and consistency during this 2017 season and I agree that he deserves serious consideration, I don't believe he has a chance to win the vote.

Please explain what happened to the game clock in the final eight seconds against Baltimore. The previous play, which was a sack by T.J. Watt on Joe Flacco, left eight seconds on the clock. Why did the game clock restart? How did Ravens not get to run a final play?

ANSWER: According to NFL rules, in the final two minutes of the game, the ball cannot be fumbled forward for the purpose of stopping the clock. When T.J. Watt sacked Joe Flacco in-bounds, the ball was knocked loose and went forward and out of bounds. In that circumstance, the officials will spot the ball where it was fumbled and immediately re-start the clock. That's what happened, and the final eight seconds expired before the Ravens could run another play.

What is the deal with not being able to tackle? Our secondary getting lit up by the Ravens is a joke. It appears Artie Burns can only be a No. 2 guy and can't step up when Joe Haden isn't there. We are in huge trouble if we can't straighten this out against the Patriots and in the playoffs. I realize Ryan Shazier is out, too, but whatever happened to next man up?

ANSWER: When it comes to next man up, if you believe there is any team in the NFL that has extra cornerbacks and extra inside linebackers the caliber of Joe Haden and Ryan Shazier, respectively, you're nowhere near as smart as you think you are. As far as how much "trouble" the Steelers are going to be in come the playoffs, here's a question for you: Go find a Patriots roster and you tell me who is going to cover Antonio Brown, because I'm here to tell you that the Ravens defense is much better than New England's, and over 200 of the 500-plus yards Ben Roethlisberger hung on the Ravens went to Antonio Brown when everyone – maybe even you – knew he was going to Antonio Brown. Both teams get to play offense, and I believe the Patriots defense will have as much trouble with the Steelers offense that the Steelers defense will have with the Patriots offense. And by the way, Artie Burns just turned 22 in May, so how about waiting another 15 minutes before coming to a definitive conclusion about the arc of his career.

What was Ben Roethlisberger's passer rating vs. the Ravens?

ANSWER: Ben Roethlisberger's passer rating vs. the Ravens was 99.7. Just for context, a perfect passer rating is 158.3.

Take a look at the best photos from the Week 14 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers defeated the Ravens 39-38.

During NBC's broadcast of Ravens at Steelers, I heard the announcers say that William Gay will likely be playing for a different franchise next year. Is there any validity to that? Has Harrison expressed any unhappiness in his position or is this just a prime example of announcers thinking they know everything?

ANSWER: In the days leading up to the game against the Ravens, Harrison told at least one reporter that had he known he would have been playing so little this season he "would have signed somewhere else." This certainly has to be a disappointing/frustrating season for Harrison based on his lack of playing time, but the reality is that he signed a two-year contract with the Steelers before the start of the 2016 season, and in 2016 he played in 15 games – missing only the meaningless regular season finale against Cleveland – and started seven of those 15. His choices before the start of the 2017 season were to play for the Steelers or retire, and even if the team granted him his release several months ago there's no guarantee a market existed for a guy who at the time would have been a 38-year-old outside linebacker.

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