View Full Version : Analysis: Tomlin mishandled Steelers' quarterback situation

09-26-2010, 09:28 AM
Analysis: Tomlin mishandled Steelers' quarterback situation
By Mark Kaboly
Sunday, September 26, 2010

First of all, there was no blueprint on how to handle the quarterback dilemma that Mike Tomlin was faced with over the past few months.

Now that Tomlin has fashioned one on what to do when your franchise quarterback is suspended for the first four games of the regular season because he violated the NFL's personal conduct policy, any coach who faces that quandary in the future should definitely reference's Tomlin's blueprint.

Well, they should reference it as what not do to.

Let's face it: Tomlin did a wonderful job through minicamp, OTAs and training camp on handling his four quarterbacks.

He had a solid plan in place and was following it step-for-step.

Byron Leftwich was the man getting the most snaps with the first team, while giving Ben Roethlisberger with enough work to keep him sharp. Dennis Dixon was learning on he fly, and Charlie Batch was sitting in the background as an insurance policy.

Perfect plan and perfect execution.

That is, until Dixon completed a couple of passes against the third- and fourth-team defenses during the first two preseason games, prompting Tomlin to shove that blueprint to the side.

It's been all downhill from there.

Every move Tomlin has made with his quarterbacks since the preseason game against the Giants has been wrong.

Dixon got first-team snaps and started against the Broncos - wrong decision.

Leftwich, the presumed starter in Week 1, played the final preseason game and ended up getting hurt - wrong decision.

Dixon was named the starter over Batch another bad decision even though it was evident that what Tomlin was going to ask Dixon to do was something that Batch does better and has done many more times.

At least Tomlin decided to start a healthy Batch over a banged-up Leftwich, although he really didn't have any other viable options.

We'll see if Tomlin continues his streak of good decisions by letting Batch do something more than hand off the ball off and throw some ultra-conservative passes.

I doubt it.

Mark Kaboly can be reached at mkaboly@dailynewsemail.com or 412-664-9161.

09-26-2010, 09:36 AM
Tomlin didnt mishandle (bleep). Him and the coaching staff are one win away from covering the stink that Ben got them in without a QB who can throw the ball.

09-26-2010, 09:42 AM
...as said, obviously Tomlin didn't really have a choice ( BECAUSE of Ben ! ) .
But these 1st 2-0 games, soon to be 3-0 :)
have legitamized his decisions'.

Atlanta Dan
09-26-2010, 09:56 AM
Once Tomlin committed to Leftwich as the starter in mini-camp he should have stuck with it - only explanation I have for going wobbly on that decision is if the rumors some of the locker room thought Dixon was not getting a fair shot were true and Tomlin needed to deal with that drama as well

Dixon obviously is not ready for prime time, at least with regard to how he has been coached up by offensive mastermind Bruce Arians. Playing Dixon rather than Leftwich against the Denver starters forced the playing of Leftwich in the last preseason game since, as Hines Ward pointed out, the first team had minimal work in game situations with Leftwich until then - Leftwich could just as easily of been hurt in the first three preseason games but getting dinged in week 4 left little time to recover

Tomlin and Arians are lucky the defense has been virtually invincible the first 2 weeks - having your offense score 21 points in 8 quarters rarely gets the job done

09-26-2010, 10:55 AM
i don't think it's fair to criticize Tomlin because none of us, including the writer, attends practice and knows what's going on inside the locker room. i also refuse to believe coaches make these QB decisions all by themselves without consulting some of their trusted players.. you think Andy Reid all of a sudden just changed his mind all by himself this past week? no.

09-26-2010, 11:56 AM
Copy of my email to the writer this morning:

Your story is ridiculously poor. Your basis is hindsight. I live in Philly. You want to talk about mishandling a QB situation look here, not Tomlin.


09-26-2010, 02:02 PM
lol what a joke

Tomlin isn't a god, he couldn't control Ben's free will and couldn't keep Leftwich AND Dixon from getting injured.

I don't see how anything was mishandled.

Also, 2-0 and looks like we're going to be 3-0...

09-26-2010, 02:53 PM
Mishandled? Kaboly had nothing better to write about?

Tomlin is looking more like Gibraltor Rock.

09-26-2010, 03:01 PM
Tomlin is looking like coach of the year already to me!