Pittsburgh Steelers’ Head Coach Mike Tomlin was asked in his post-game comments last evening following a horrible 26-23 loss to Tennessee if these road woes are a product of the process and whether or not it needs to be changed. In his typical and uninspired coach-speak, he said he “doubts” it’s the process and I couldn’t disagree more.
It’s the process… When you continue to stand by veterans like Ike Taylor who is obviously struggling. Teams are now targeting him more than than they do Keenan Lewis and that’s a clear sign there’s a problem. Taylor has been called for pass interference and/or defensive holding in every game this season and they were warranted. He is clearly struggling with basic fundamentals that he was once so good at doing. Instead of going with Cortez Allen or Curtis Brown, Tomlin continues to leave Taylor out there to falter instead of sitting him for a series or two to get his act together. Loyalty has limits Mike.
It’s the process… When you have a defensive coordinator in Dick LeBeau who has most definitely seen better days. The creativity we saw last week took a backseat to the same tired and played-out nonsense we’ve been watching for the last five years. How many X-fire stunts can you run Mike? I believe it was one that actually got to the QB last night? What’s the excuse for the defining 3rd and five play where the blitz left a broken down linebacker in James Harrison covering the younger and faster Jared Cook? How does that happen? Especially in that situation? Should I even mention the pathetic two-man rush that resulted in a huge first down in the second half?
It’s the process… When you haven’t run the ball a lick all evening and you’re down to your third and fourth backs and you’re missing two offensive linemen and you RUN the ball on second and 6. Who did Todd Haley think he was fooling? It doesn’t do a damn bit of good to run out the clock if you can’t move the ball into proper field goal range.
It’s the process… When you continue to dress seven offensive linemen and everyone in the free world knows that Marcus Gilbert will go down at some point and chances are good that so will someone else. David Paulson at tackle is not my idea of a back-up lineman. You can’t keep saying ‘the standard is the standard’ if the ‘standard’ is this brutal.
It’s the process… When you fire the Special Teams’ Coach for what you deem as ‘creative differences’ and then the special teams goes straight downhill. A punt in the NFL should never be blocked yet it was clear that guys missed assignments and executed poorly. That was as good as any turnover at that point in the game. Who takes the blame for that Mike? I guess it’s on you since you and Amos Jones were “co-coaches” of the special teams correct?
At 2-3, the Pittsburgh Steelers are in horrible position now in the AFC and in the North Division. The only saving grace is that they have all six divisional games remaining. The bad news is that this team is 0-3 on the road and all three losses are to AFC opponents.
I see many fans online saying “we’re fine” or “we’ll get it turned around” and I really do admire their optimism for which much is based on past seasons of starting out around .500. Those past Steelers’ teams have shown the ability to rebound and come back to make the playoffs but we’ve sunk to a new low in this case. We have a team with no intensity, no leadership and no clue.
The worst part about it though is that we have a coach who is a master of ‘coach-speak’ who sticks with veterans too long and sticks with veteran coaches even longer. Could this team turn it around and make the playoffs? Of course they could, there’s just too much talent not to, but it’s only going to start with one thing.
Change starts with accountability and being able to admit there is a problem and that starts with admitting you have a failed process. I don’t recommend holding your breath.