Scott tastes victory in homecoming
Tom Brady and Adam Vinatieri saved Patriots cornerback Chad Scott from an unhappy homecoming.
The Steelers’ game-tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter Sunday was set up by a defensive pass interference penalty against Scott at the New England 4-yard line. But after the Patriots rallied for a 23-20 win thanks to the Brady’s perfect final drive and Vinatieri’s 43-yard field goal, Scott was able to enjoy his return to Heinz Field.
“Beating an AFC opponent, and as good as the Steelers are, it definitely feels good to come out of here with a win,” Scott said.
The play in question happened with the Patriots on the verge of securing what would have been a 20-13 victory. With 1 minute, 31 seconds left, the Steelers faced a fourth-and-11 at the New England 27-yard line, when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sent a pass toward wide receiver Quincy Morgan, who was running down the sideline.
Morgan and Scott went up for the ball at the same time, and though replays appeared to show nothing more than incidental contact, Scott was called for defensive pass interference.
“We threw it up,” Roethlisberger said. “We were hoping that they weren’t going to bring a safety over and, at worst, we would get a pass interference, maybe a touchdown. Quincy did a great job of drawing the pass interference.”
One play later, Roethlisberger completed a four-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Hines Ward that tied the game at 20-20.
After the game, Scott was hesitant to criticize the call. Still …
“You saw it, come on now,” said Scott, who smiled and shrugged his shoulders. “But I don’t make the calls, I just play the game.”
Scott played the first eight seasons of his NFL career with the Steelers before signing as a free agent with the Patriots in April. Though he said he no regrets about leaving Pittsburgh — “I’m having a great time in New England,” he said. — he admitted that yesterday’s return was strange at first.
“When I got off the bus, and then warming up and standing on the other sideline, yes I felt a little awkward,” he said. “But once you start playing the game, it’s just business.”
Scott saw increased playing time in the Patriots’ secondary yesterday after strong safety Rodney Harrison left the game in the first quarter with a leg injury. His results were mixed — he recorded two tackles, but was also called for another defensive pass interference penalty in the first quarter that helped the Steelers take a 10-7 lead.
Afterward, despite helping the Patriots rebound from a tough defeat in Week 2 against Carolina, Scott said he took no pleasure personally in beating his former teammates.
“Those guys are my friends, my close friends, and will always be,” Scott said.