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AFC Playoffs DIVISIONAL ROUND / PITTSBURGH/TENNESSEE
NOTES

George Expects to Play

January 12, 2003|J.A. Adande | Times Staff Writer

NASHVILLE — Tennessee Titan running back Eddie George, who suffered a concussion in the third quarter of Saturday's 34-31 overtime victory over Pittsburgh, said he expects to play in the AFC championship game next weekend.

"I should be able to," George said. "I don't know what they graded the concussion at. It's not severe, it's probably a mild concussion. So we'll see how the week goes on."

*

Pittsburgh Coach Bill Cowher was so upset about the officiating, he even griped about a call that eventually went in his favor.

In the third quarter, Tennessee's Derrick Mason returned a punt 30 yards to the Pittsburgh 30-yard line. Cowher argued that Mason's knee touched the ground after Chris Hope grabbed his leg at the beginning of the runback.

Cowher wanted it reviewed.

Referee Ron Blum announced to the crowd: "I don't believe that's a challengeable play, but I will check."

He called replay official Jim Blackwood, who said it was reviewable, then watched the replays and determined that Mason was down by contact.

Because there was also a penalty on the Steelers, the down was replayed and Tennessee wound up with the ball at the Pittsburgh 44-yard line -- a 14-yard gain for Cowher.

Not that he was happy.

"For me to have to explain to an official what's reviewable and what's not, that's wrong," Cowher said. "Fine me if you want, that's the truth.

"One thing at least he did do was call up to the booth to find out if it was or wasn't. Thank goodness somebody in the stadium knew that."

*

Steeler linebacker Joey Porter isn't waiting for any NFL memo of regret similar to the one issued in the wake of the New York Giants' loss at San Francisco.

"What can an apology do for me right now?" Porter said. "I've still got to go home. Pack up and go home on Monday."

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