Australian punter Jordan Berry was savaged on social media on Monday after a fake punt play backfired in dramatic fashion.
Berry was back to punt on the 4th and 6 on Pittsburgh’s 40-yard line with his team 20-10 up over the Arizona Cardinals.
But Berry made the bizarre call to fake the punt and tuck the ball under his arm.
The move dramatically backfired when he was crunched in a tackle and the ball came loose.
Arizona pounced on the ball and Kyler Murray found David Johnson on the resulting drive.
“I thought we were clean and I was ready to run up there and they all shot off to cover and that’s when I was ‘oh, f**k,” he said, according to a Tweet from The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly.
Coach Mike Tomlin took the fall for the call, but many fans on social media were not convinced.
Just so the Tomlin haters coming out in droves know, Jordan Berry always has the OPTION in certain punt formations... that did not look like a fake punt and no matter what Tomlin says after the game it could have been Berry’s decision. Tomlin will never throw him under the bus.— Ryan Harkleroad (@_ryanharks) December 8, 2019
He could also be protecting Jordan Berry from intense criticism.— Across The Bridge (@ATBPGH) December 9, 2019
Good leaders do that. https://t.co/TkZ1EkXFj3
Announcers saying this wasn't a called fake punt and it was an improv by Jordan Berry. Only thing that explains that blocking.— Curt Popejoy (@CurtPopejoySW) December 8, 2019
A fake punt run up the middle with Jordan Berry in your own territory with a 10-point lead in the 4th quarter would be the worst coaching of all time, BUTTTT— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) December 9, 2019
There is no way Tomlin is telling the truth here. Nobody blocked on the play. Falling on the sword for Berry https://t.co/hL8VbDoSvI
If Mike Tomlin just called that fake punt, ghere go a few coach of the year votes. If Jordan Berry did it on his iwn, Steelers may want to look for another punter— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) December 8, 2019
Fortunately, the Steelers were able to hold on and win 23-17 victory.