PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- The Steelers rode a nine-game winning streak into their AFC Championship Game matchup with New England, only to have it snapped rather handily by the Patriots 36-17 in Foxborough.
There have been a lot of questions from fans and media alike in the aftermath about some of the game-planning, key decision-making and play-calling that was displayed throughout from the Steelers. As he has all season, Steelers guard Ramon Foster joined “The Fan Morning Show” in his weekly spot on Tuesday to help answer some things.READ MORE: 39-Year-Old Man Struck, Killed In Mt. Pleasant Township Following ATV Crash
Ramon says that before the game, the focus from his teammates was where it needed to be, particularly in the young receivers, but the men on the other side may have had a sharper one.
“I think the focus was there, the want-to was there,” said Foster. “The sense of urgency, you know, it’s one of those things you have to learn while being in this league, not every opportunity is going to come to you every single year and I think the Patriots, their sense of urgency on how they played the game at that position was a little bit higher than ours. What we have to do is realize what it takes to win a game. When you’re playing against a team that’s as solid as that team (Patriots) and when you’re this deep in the playoffs, every team is going to bring their ‘A’ game.”
Ramon cleared up what exactly the thought process was in play-calling when the Steelers had the ball on the half-yard line with three downs to punch it in and failed to do so.
“We kind of had a plan of a few plays we were going to run to begin with, we knew they were going to be tough on the goal line,” said Foster. “They (Patriots) made a good play, so I can’t knock the play call or anything like that because everybody blocked it up, they had the one free guy and the one free guy is the one who made the play.”
At one point in Sunday’s game, the Steelers were faced with a third down and one from their own 31 yard line. Ben Roethlisberger threw a deep pass to receiver Sammie Coates in one-on-one coverage that went right through his hands. Foster says that play was designed to go deep and should have been successful.
“That was a call from the beginning, that call was supposed to go to him regardless of anything going on,” said Foster. “Coach [Todd] Haley sent that in and that was a play for Sammie, you know we’ve got to make those type of plays. That wasn’t an audible.”
Last year at this time, it was unclear whether Ramon was going to be back the next season because he was becoming an unrestricted free agent. This season, fellow line mate Alejandro Villanueva is facing a similar situation, only he is due to become a restricted free agent this off-season. Ramon isn’t worried that he won’t be back next season.READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Flood Warnings And Advisories, Falling Temperatures
“We want Al back, man,” Foster said. “Whatever they have to do to make room to get Al, it would be awesome. That guy has busted his butt and I think everybody sees now he is the left tackle of the future so there’s no doubt in my mind that [general manager] Kevin Colbert and management, they’ll find a way to get something done for Al.”
The players will be going through their year-end exit meetings soon before they all head home for the off-season. Does someone need to tell Antonio Brown to tone it down with his antics that have caused distractions this year?
“At this point, can you? The stuff that he is doing right now is not just him, it’s the media, it’s the NFL Network, it’s ESPN, it’s every social media lane that he can use,” said Foster. “It’s not just him. AB, you can label him as a superstar. You have Odell Beckham, Antonio Brown, two of the biggest superstars in the league you have to compare AB to him. I just think him being in the Pittsburgh media where everybody is straight-laced and strictly about football, it’s a little unsettling, but AB is who he is and he’s productive on the field, it breeds to what he does off the field. My thing with AB is, as long as he is being a professional and being who we need him to be on the field, man, be lesser of a distraction, but what more can you do now when everybody is loving what he is doing on social media?”
Ramon went on to say that the NFL has really forced social media on the players and it’s becoming out of hand.
“It’s not just him (Antonio Brown), you have other networks come in and they’re doing their pregame stuff, they bring in Snapchat sunglasses for the guys to wear in practice. Is it really his fault that he’s doing this, or is it that it just so happened to be a bad moment that caused all these problems? It’s not just him, it’s collectively. The over-saturation of what everyone knows about the league right now is beginning to be a bit much. I wish and I hope moving forward in our locker room we keep it to a minimum, but we’ll see. It’s not just the guys that’s doing it, it’s everybody surrounding this that’s trying to build the NFL into a brand and it’s beginning to become over-saturated.”
Ramon will now spend the off-season spending as much time with his kids as possible, including signing them up for flag football, baseball and soccer.
You can hear the entire interview with Ramon Foster from “The Fan Morning Show” on Tuesday below.COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Continues To Ramp Up Throughout Allegheny County