“Heinz Field has been like that for ages, and sometimes it can affect the kicking,” Pitt kicker Dan Hutchins said. “But I don’t really worry about it. We’ve been able to overcome it before.”
The Steelers customarily replace the turf late each season, but they apparently are waiting for Saturday’s four western Pennsylvania high school championship games to be played. The Steelers play three home games in a 12-day span from Dec. 12-23.
The Raiders certainly don’t want to return soon.
“The field was absolutely atrocious,” Raiders defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said. “I don’t know what they’re doing out there. That was terrible. They’ve got big divots like we’re playing golf. I mean, my shoe came off because my foot was stuck in the ground. C’mon, that should be taken care of.”
The Steelers haven’t installed artificial turf because their players have repeatedly urged owner Dan Rooney to keep the grass, which they believe minimizes injuries. Players also disliked the artificial turf at Three Rivers Stadium, where the Steelers played from 1970-2000.