Thoughts From The Pressbox

Dale Lolley has notes, quotes and anecdotes from San Diego following the Steelers' improbable win Monday night.

SAN DIEGO -- Le'Veon Bell sat at his locker, taking question after question from reporters about a touchdown he called the biggest of his life.

"That's the kind (of touchdown) you dream about," said Bell. "One on the last play of the game to win it."

Indeed. Bell's score from the one-inch line capped a back-and-forth fourth quarter and lifted the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 24-20 victory here at Qualcomm Stadium over the San Diego Chargers.

It was an all-or-nothing proposition, but it wasn't supposed to be.

Bell, running out of the Wildcat, took a direct snap with five seconds remaining. He scored with no time remaining on the clock.

"Coach (Mike Tomlin) said we were running the ball twice down there," said Steelers receiver Antonio Brown.

Bell, however, ran the play with as much patience as he typically displays and didn't leave any time remaining.

"I was just going to do whatever I needed to get into the end zone," Bell said. "I didn't realize there was no time left when I scored."

* As Bell headed off to the shower - finally - Tomlin ducked into the locker room and started yelling at running back DeAngelo Williams to hurry up.

"I'm coming coach," Williams said. "I know y'all will leave me here. But L. Bell is still in the showers and I know you ain't leaving him."

"OK," Tomlin said. "You got that right."

* Social media was aflame during this game as Michael Vick continued to struggle with some of the basic throws. And then, as quickly as he could throw a 72-yard bomb to Markus Wheaton, all the people calling to put Landry Jones (really?) in the game went quiet.

Tomlin said he never had any doubt or any thoughts of changing quarterbacks.


"Because he's Mike," Tomlin said. "He has a 15-year résumé. This guy has seen about all this game has to offer. He has unique abilities you can't coach."

Vick ran just once in this game, but it was a big one - a 24-yard run up the middle on third-and-6 from the San Diego 41.

"That scramble play, that's indicative of what he's capable of. He has a career of highlights like that, delivering those types of plays at critical moments. That's why for the time being, he's our quarterback."

Vick admitted to some wariness at times Monday night. But he fought through all of that.

"My confidence never wavered, but at times I was second-guessing myself when guys would come open and I was looking in a different direction and trying to do too much at times," he said. "In the fourth quarter, I just played within the system and I know the basis of everything and I know what Todd (Haley) wanted, so I just tried to deliver."

* That was one happy locker room following that game. It felt almost like a playoff-type atmosphere, or a team that realized it had done something no Steelers team had accomplished in a decade - win in California.

"It really felt good to come down in the fourth quarter and win a game like this," said guard David DeCastro. "It's a team sport and every week is a battle. But we had a lot of guys step up and that felt good."

* New placekicker Chris Boswell took care of any concerns there might be about him by banging a 47-yarder in the first half right down the middle. And it would have been good from 57 yards. Three of his four kickoffs also were touchbacks.

* The Wildcat wasn't real effective for the Steelers in this game - until it was on the final score.

"I like that look because it puts the ball in my hands quickly and lets me pick where I want to go," said Bell.

But can he throw the ball out of it?

"I can throw it," Bell said.

When was the last time he threw a pass?

"High school, no, I threw a couple of passes at Michigan State, too," he replied.

Our resident Michigan State historian, Mike Prisuta, wasn't even aware of that.

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