Special teams coordinator John Bonamego saw something in the Steelers defense he thought the Lions could exploit with a fake field goal.
The call was made by head coach Jim Schwartz to try it in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Punter Sam Martin was tackled and fumbled before he could reach the the first down on a 4th-and-5 from the Steelers 10-yard line.
"I think when Jim Schwartz says he doesn’t coach scared, he means it," Bonamego said. "I, for one, really respect him for that.
"We spend hours upon hours in here looking to find that slight edge, wherever it might be. You know it’s not time invested in vain because we know when we bring him something -- as long as it’s sound -- and we invest practice time and meeting time installing it, then it’s got a legitimate shot of getting called in the game."
Bonamego thought the off-tackle play was sound, but wasn’t executed as well as it could have been.
"Give them credit," he said. "They made a great play. But it was there.
"As far as why it didn’t work, we didn’t get enough of a push in the front-side A-gap. We got a real good push on the B-gap front side and Dom (Raiola) did a good job of kicking out the contain, but they got a little A-gap penetration. So we got washed flat and a guy from the opposite side was able to get over the top and into the alley to put a hit on Sam."
Bonamego said it was a Steelers look they had been hoping to see so they went for it.
"It was a situation where we had the play in for some time," Bonamego said. "We practiced it vs. several different looks. Because of what they were doing, we had a strong tip, and we felt like we’d get a favorable surface over there to take a shot at running it.
"We had it on and it’s always a 'check with me', so we have the ability to get out of it. But we had a favorable look, so we kept it on."