Shakespeare would love these Steelers. Infighting, high drama, perhaps even treason, and, they are a tragedy in the making with a few leading candidates for tragic hero, most notably, Mike Tomlin.
The internet is aflame with Steelers Nation calling for Tomlin’s head. It is the typical overreaction of fan bases everywhere. A single loss transforms a coach with a career .648 winning percentage into a bumbling idiot.
But what if the fans are right?
Consider Tomlin’s terrifying response to a question in the post-game press scrum when the coach was asked why he decided to kick it deep when the Steelers scored with 1:57 on the clock.
“I wanted to give my defense a chance to stop them,” Tomlin said.
My ten-year-old had the perfect response to Tomlin’s mind-blowing answer: “Why would he think they can stop anybody? Their defense is trash.”
Right on, Santino.
Tomlin’s answer was so incredibly, impossibly stupid that one does have to question if his ability to manage the end of a game is anything more than laughable. He has a long history of terrible clock management, but this is just completely illogical.
Kicking it deep serves no purpose. Even if the Steelers would fail to recover the onside kick, they would still have to stop the Chiefs to get the ball back. But with the way the defense had played all day – strike that – all season – strike that – for two seasons – why would Tomlin think for a second that the best strategy is to count upon that group to suddenly rise to the occasion?
The outcome makes this point much easier to argue, but even had the Steelers stopped the Chiefs and forced a punt, the right move would still have been to try the onside kick.
It is easy to bash Tomlin today. The Steelers have no leadership, and the head coach is offering nothing, Players do and say whatever they want and the team clearly lacks focus. They are a train wreck on fire and Tomlin is spraying gasoline on the flames.
While Tomlin is the main focus of criticism, the players themselves share the burden, and Tomlin’s new hire on defense – Tom Bradley – is proving to be overmatched in the NFL. The Steelers’ secondary is a group that needs to be well coached because, sadly, the players are not very good. It is funny when Joe Haden, a pedestrian at best corner, is placed on a pedestal. Haden is not very good, but he is the best player in the Steelers’ secondary. Bradley has been a miserable hire so far.
The middle of the defense continues to be very soft. The whole, keep-nine-safties-and-play-them-in-place-of-linebackers, thing is a giant fail. The NFL is unforgiving, and that hairbrained plan was doomed when it was hatched. Vince Williams looks terrible and the Steelers have nothing on the roster resembling a good inside linebacker.
The good news is that it is only two games and there is plenty of time to recover, but serious questions have surfaced about the roster and coaching staff. Another week or two of this type of unfocused, poor level of play, and Mike Tomlin may feel a heat reserved for other coaches in other cities. Hopefully he has better answers than the ones he offered Sunday afternoon.
- Here’s hoping Daniel Sprong and the Penguins have agreed to go steady for more than a little while. Sprong has a skill-set that could manifest in a bunch of goals and a legitimate scoring winger for Sidney Crosby. Mike Sullivan said Sprong has worked hard to improve the parts of his game that have kept him out of the NHL to date, so it appears the Pens are committed to Sprong on the top line.
- Of course Pitt rebounded – they played Georgia Tech. Not to diminish the win, but it was Georgia Tech and they are awful. Still, Pitt showed a nice resiliency in playing well enough to win their first ACC Coastal Conference game.
- While the Pirates are playing out the string in 2018, the emergence of Jameson Taillon and Trevor Williams as consistent starting pitchers is promising. If only Chris Archer could pitch.