I’m spoiled and you’re spoiled and all of Steelers’ Nation is spoiled right? Six Super Bowl titles and eight Super Bowl appearances when there are teams out there dying for just a playoff berth. Yup, we’re spoiled alright and we should just be happy to have a team with such stability in the front office and on the sidelines and we all need to just shut up. Is that what we are supposed to do?
For some, maybe, but for me? No way. I am grateful to be a Steelers’ fan and I am grateful for the stability and I believe Mike Tomlin is one of the better coaches in the NFL but that doesn’t make him or the organization untouchable to criticism and there is plenty of it right now.
At 6-4, the Steelers are still in control of their playoff destiny if there is such a thing, but I can’t help but wonder what is going on in the mind Mike Tomlin when he does some of things he does during a football game. My concerns are not relegated to just game-management but to use of personnel as well.
Can anyone come up with a viable explanation as to why Byron Leftwich was allowed to keep playing despite broken ribs suffered when he tripped and fell in the end zone on the third play of the game? If you tell me that a broken Byron Leftwich is better than a healthy Charlie Batch then we have bigger problems than I first thought.
My assumption on why Leftwich was allowed to keep playing had nothing to do with the game, it had to do with the week of preparation leading up to the game that was the problem. I’ll bet my Terrible Towel that Charlie Batch didn’t take one meaningful snap in practice last week as the team readied Byron Leftwich for starting duty. Do I blame Tomlin and Todd Haley for getting Leftwich as many snaps as possible? Yes, I do because what exactly has Lefty shown during his time in Pittsburgh to make them think he could go a full game, much less three plays, without getting hurt? Batch should have prepped for duty.
Perhaps the greater concern was Batch himself. Tomlin and Haley knew that if they went with Batch too soon and then he were injured then that meant Heath Miller playing quarterback. Miller cannot save Mike Adams’ ass and play QB at the same time. Fine, I’ll buy that argument but what I can’t get on board with is why wasn’t he replaced in the second half when it was obvious he couldn’t throw it more than 20 yards in any direction?
That absolute abortion of a final play spoke volumes of Tomlin’s mishandling of the situation as Leftwich threw a short pass over the middle in hopes of starting an otherwise ill-fated ‘lateral-fest’ that ended before it began with the Ravens’ laughing all the way to a two-game lead in the division. A healthy Leftwich can throw the ball 70 yards or more in the air which is exactly what the Steelers needed to do there but couldn’t because of his injury.
Now there is no choice but to start Charlie Batch at quarterback in the second of three straight rivalry games for Pittsburgh. If any of you think Cleveland is just going to roll over and die then you’ve got another thing coming. This will be a war like last week and it will be a war like next week will be too.
I have faith in Batch to take care of the ball and make the right calls at the line and make sure this offense does what it supposed to do. Where my faith lags is in the decision-making of Mike Tomlin who continuously baffles us all on a weekly basis it seems.