Ben Roethlisberger not fined, explains why he dove at Emmanuel Ogbah’s legs

Ben Roethlisberger not fined, explains why he dove at Emmanuel Ogbah’s legs

The Steelers won their season-opener against the Browns, but it wasn’t easy. Antonio Brown’s dominant second-half performance was the difference; the league’s best wide receiver finished with 11 catches for 182 yards, and on the rare occasion that Ben Roethlisberger didn’t throw in his direction, the Steelers’ passing offense stalled.

Big Ben finished 13 of 25 when not throwing to Brown, and that included an interception to Browns safety Derrick Kindred. And during Kindred’s runback, here was Roethlisberger’s unique strategy to ward off Browns defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah:

Needless to say, the Browns weren’t impressed. Here’s defensive lineman Danny Shelton:

But Roethlisberger wasn’t fined for, well, whatever that was, reports Pro Football Talk, even though it certainly looked illegal and possibly dangerous. Put another way: If Vontaze Burfict had done that, he’d be banned for the rest of the season.

“I don’t know where that came from,” Ogbah said after the game, via the Chronicle-Telegram. “I just looked down and I see him trying to grab my ankle. I wondered what he was doing. All of a sudden he started like nudging it and the ref was sitting right there and he didn’t throw the flag.”

Roethlisberger tried to explain himself on Tuesday during his weekly appearance on 93.7 The Fan, a CBS Sports Radio station.

“I’ll tell you right now what I was thinking,” he began. “The quarterbacks are afforded the right when the ball’s intercepted to be defenseless. I was just standing there, he pushed me to the ground, which was fine, whatever you want to do. All I was doing was holding on to him so he didn’t go try and hit any of my other guys.

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“I knew he was a big guy, he would’ve tried. Because everyone else is free game, so my linemen, you can go block them and clean them up and do whatever you want. I didn’t want him to go after anybody, hurt anybody, so I was just trying to hold on.”

To recap: The Steelers’ 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback was holding on for dear life to the Browns’ 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive end to protect his 10 other teammates.