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Hawaii 5-0
12-19-2012, 12:52 PM
Kovacevic: Tomlin up to the tall tasks ahead

By Dejan Kovacevic
Published: Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Let‘s get this out of the way early: If the Steelers fail to make the playoffs, it would — and should — mean nothing to Mike Tomlin‘s future with the team.

Even if they lose out to the Bengals and Browns.

Even if they finish 7-9 after starting out 6-3 in a mostly miserable AFC.

To even discuss the man‘s immediate future, to me, feels a little silly. Resumes do matter. Experience matters. For all the 24/7, tweet-and-text analysis in which our sporting culture now engages, no reasonable, rational fan (yeah, I know) could fairly assess Tomlin without weighing his:

• Two Super Bowl appearances, with one Lombardi Trophy.

• Four playoff berths in his first five years.

• 62-32 career record.

OK, with that said, as has been documented in this very space, Tomlin is not having a good 2012. And it‘s getting more glaring with each passing week that he has plenty of areas to address toward restoring the Steelers‘ elite status, as well as his once-sterling reputation for stewarding a winner.

Thus, I humbly offer these three wholly unsolicited concepts for the head coach‘s consideration, not so much for this weekend but for the weeks and months ahead:

1. SOLVE BEN VS. TODD

Tomlin predictably downplayed this topic Tuesday in his news conference, saying of Ben Roethlisberger‘s Sunday jabs at Todd Haley, “When you come up short, there are frustrations associated with that.”

Tomlin added that he met with Roethlisberger on Monday and that the QB is “on-board with what we‘re doing.”

Well, that‘s that, then.

Or not.

Again, I‘m behind Roethlisberger on this. He‘s the franchise player, and that‘s the lay of the land anymore.

To address that fully — and let‘s not pretend it won‘t come up anew — Tomlin must first accept that the star holds all the cards. He‘s got no choice. If it comes down to a him-or-me from Roethlisberger‘s perspective, the $102 million quarterback has to win that duel 102 times out of 102. And, yeah, even if that means finding a new coordinator.

I still don‘t buy that Tomlin had much to do with the switch from Bruce Arians to Haley, no matter the chest-thumping to the contrary. Something happened over Tomlin‘s head, and only Art Rooney II breathes the air up there.

If Tomlin is to reclaim his swagger at some point, he‘s got to reclaim his staff and his broader vision for winning football.

2. SHAPE UP THE DEFENSE

There are three ways to explain how this honest-to-Ziggy No. 1-ranked defense can exhibit sound strategy — hence, the low yardage totals — but so seldom get close enough to the ball for interceptions, fumbles or sacks: They‘re old, they get hurt easily and/or they‘re out of shape.

Or all three.

And all three, to some extent, are within Tomlin‘s control.

Setting aside the far larger task of finding more athletic replacements at some point, the coach can begin by asking why LaMarr Woodley, for one, has virtually vanished. Anyone isolating on No. 56 for any spell Sunday saw a $62 million linebacker being swallowed whole by anyone lining up across from him. On one play, the blocker doing the burying was 5-foot-8 running back Lance Dunbar.

To be fair, Woodley has had issues with an ankle and a long-troublesome hamstring. But the latter almost always is viewed as a conditioning issue. Not much of an excuse.

All this clearly is Woodley‘s responsibility, but there‘s no way Tomlin or linebackers coach Keith Butler — and coordinator in waiting — should have let it reach this point.

And Woodley‘s hardly alone.

3. SINGLE OUT A LEADER

Leadership must originate within the locker room, but it‘s clearer now than ever that the committee approach isn‘t clicking somewhere. Brett Keisel and Roethlisberger are the captains, and both, to their credit, have been lauded by teammates for rousing speeches the past couple of weeks. But all we‘ve seen translate to the field in that time is a flat-line loss to the Chargers and an equally blah first quarter Sunday.

Tomlin earned his reputation as a players‘ coach, one as much in harmony with his room as in control of it.

So where is that now?

I don‘t have the answers here. No one on the outside could. Maybe one player, someone in the James Farrior mold, can be anointed. Maybe Larry Foote if he‘s still got time on the clock. Whoever it is, one voice tends to resonate more than a cacophony in these settings.

Look, these Steelers aren‘t the NFL‘s most talented team. But they‘re significantly better than the sum of their results, and that buck stops on the desk of a highly capable coach facing the highest climb of his career.

http://triblive.com/sports/-topstories/3147351-74/tomlin-coach-roethlisberger?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+tribunereviewsteelers+%28Stee lers+Stories%29#ixzz2FWOHRRSr

steelfury02
12-19-2012, 01:33 PM
thank you once again - that about sums up the tasks at hand for Tomlin, his coaching staff, and the players. time to figure it out, not just for whatever remains of this season - but for the next one - the glaring issues aren't just going to go away through the draft - there is leadership, personality, discipline and conditioning that needs to be re-assessed and fleshed out to get this team back to really, truly competing at the standard that Steelers fans expect - no matter the record, we need to get back to winning the division. We haven't since 2010 - that isn't good and usually makes it that much harder or nearly impossible to be in the best position to reach the SB.

Win your division, get a home playoff game, or even better . . .

Riddle_Of_Steel
12-19-2012, 02:27 PM
Great article as always, HAWAII5-0.

I do beg to differ with the Haley vs Roethlisberger thing though. Since day 1, the press has been trying to engineer a rift between the two, where one does not exist to begin with.

Ben's one, lone, comment about the no-huddle not being used enough has now become a newfound cache of ammunition for that camp of journalists.

Until Ben got hurt, this offense was CLICKING. It was a comment made out of frustration, but he and Haley are still on the same page, as far as I know. Ben has been pushng for more no-huddle (as have we fans) since he was drafted-- nothing new.

The things Tomlin needs to address this offseason and next camp:

* CONDITIONING - guys should NOT be "playing their way back into shape" around midseason, unless they are willing to only get a contract for half a season. Tomlin needs to crack the whip NOW, and let guys know to be ready for camp next year, because their will be running and lots of endurance training. LOTS.

* OLINE - I think the Oline woes are an oddity and should correct themselves next year. We have the right personnel on the Oline finally-- just need to get them some playing time together, some conditioning and we will have the elite blocking unit we envisioned this year.

* DEFENSE - Steelers need to spend most of the draft fixing the defense, because it sure needs it. Hopefully Sean Spence can come back in a big way next year. We need to draft OLB, CB, and DB early. A legit NT wouldn't hurt either, since Ta'amu probably won't be with us. Ziggy has not lived up to expectations in the ground defense, but he is a 1st round pick with time on his contract still-- he is not going anywhere, so we have to make due.

Personally, I think we SHOULD switch to the 4-3, especially if DL retires. Based on the personnel we have, I think Tomlin was aiming in this direction anyhow.

Cam Heyward and Hood are both one-gap, pass rushing defensive ends best suited to a 4-3. We are expecting Ziggy to fill in for Aaron Smith, who was quite possibly one of the best 3-4 DE's ever. Smith was huge, and had an enormous wingspan perfect for taking on two blockers. Ziggy Hood is best at shooting singel gaps and collapsing the pocket.

Also, Timmons would be an ideal 4-3 MLB., and perfect for running Tomlin's Tampa cover-2 (which needs a fast, agile MLB).

Needless to say, it looks like Polamalu's career may be winding down. Used to be, when healthy-- he was invaluable. But to be honest, since he came back a couple weeks ago-- I don't recall a single, notable play he made. If anything, he has gotten burned pretty bad a few times. At this point, I think opposing teams have to plan for Ryan Clark mroe than they need to worry about Polamalu.

Yeah, our secondary needs HELP, in a big way this offseason.

* SPECIAL TEAMS - This has been the team's achilles heel for like.....4 years now. We brought in Everest this offseason to try and fix Ligashesky's mess. He was no better and Tomlin sent him for the breadlines. Either we get slammed with penalties or they allow opposing returners huge returns or TDs-- both have been repetitive problems that need to be fixed. With Rainey and Brown, they have the homerun threat they need on returns, but it would help if every long gain doesn't get caled back for holding or illegal blocks.

Whodis
12-19-2012, 03:48 PM
Riddle brings up good points~

I know it's been said here, but this team lacks discipline. Fundamentals seem to be forgotten and wether its tackling or holding on to a ball.

steelfury02
12-19-2012, 03:52 PM
yup - back to the basics

playing mistake-free (or nearly) football will take a team a LOOOONG way.

nj1923steelgirl
12-19-2012, 06:37 PM
Very true.....back to basic football...and as few mistakes as possible!

harrison'samonster
12-19-2012, 06:49 PM
Very good article. Riddle of Steel makes a good point about the 4-3 D. I think our D will be better suited for it at this point.

tanda10506
12-19-2012, 07:09 PM
A good amount of Cowher's guys are gone and the rest of his guys have lost a step. A good amount of Tomlin's drafts are mediocre AT BEST. So how is it that his future should not be discussed if we miss the playoffs or get kicked out in the first round again? Of course we can't win a SB every year, but we've been kicked out in the Wild Card by average teams (Tebow's Bronco's and Gerrard's Jaguars) and have already missed the playoffs in 2009. This year and 2009 show me the same thing, that when this team loses focus and leadership, Tomlin doesn't have the capability to "right the ship" and get the team back to winning.

I'm not trying to bash Tomlin, and I'm not necessarily saying that he HAS TO GO if we miss the playoffs, but what exactly is Tomlin doing for this team? He doesn't call the plays, he hasn't managed the clock well lately, somehow we're inconsistent even though we're the most veteran team in the league, he doesn't fire up the players like a leader should (and has always done in Pittsburgh), so what exactly is HE doing that makes him untouchable if the team fails again? Remember this is the guy who allegedly wanted to keep Arians and didn't override Arians in the SB when both of Green Bay's starting CB's went out. I agree with the points made in the article, we need to get back to the basics and it is true that that's on Tomlin to make happen, let's just hope he doesn't unleash hell again, we've already lost to the Browns once.

I will happily eat my words if we do "right the ship" and at least go deep into the playoffs, I just haven't seen anything in the better part of the last two years that shows me that he will get the team playing good enough and playing with enough heart to make a realistic playoff push.

zcoop
12-19-2012, 08:15 PM
A good amount of Cowher's guys are gone and the rest of his guys have lost a step. A good amount of Tomlin's drafts are mediocre AT BEST. So how is it that his future should not be discussed if we miss the playoffs or get kicked out in the first round again? Of course we can't win a SB every year, but we've been kicked out in the Wild Card by average teams (Tebow's Bronco's and Gerrard's Jaguars) and have already missed the playoffs in 2009. This year and 2009 show me the same thing, that when this team loses focus and leadership, Tomlin doesn't have the capability to "right the ship" and get the team back to winning.

I'm not trying to bash Tomlin, and I'm not necessarily saying that he HAS TO GO if we miss the playoffs, but what exactly is Tomlin doing for this team? He doesn't call the plays, he hasn't managed the clock well lately, somehow we're inconsistent even though we're the most veteran team in the league, he doesn't fire up the players like a leader should (and has always done in Pittsburgh), so what exactly is HE doing that makes him untouchable if the team fails again? Remember this is the guy who allegedly wanted to keep Arians and didn't override Arians in the SB when both of Green Bay's starting CB's went out. I agree with the points made in the article, we need to get back to the basics and it is true that that's on Tomlin to make happen, let's just hope he doesn't unleash hell again, we've already lost to the Browns once.

I will happily eat my words if we do "right the ship" and at least go deep into the playoffs, I just haven't seen anything in the better part of the last two years that shows me that he will get the team playing good enough and playing with enough heart to make a realistic playoff push.

Lets see, we lost in the SB in 2010 and went 12-4 in 2011. What the hell are you talking about man?

tanda10506
12-19-2012, 08:27 PM
Lets see, we lost in the SB in 2010 and went 12-4 in 2011. What the hell are you talking about man?

I was referring to this year and last year. Yes last year we looked good on paper, but they didn't pass the eye test and didn't show up when it mattered most, as MANY on here have already stated before. Then we got kicked out of the playoffs by an 8-8 team with a college level QB. This year we've lost to the Browns, Titans, Raiders, and Chargers, and those are just the scrub teams. That's what I'm talking about. Look at how many of Cowher's players were in there prime in 2008 and still playing at a high level in 2010, now compare them to Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown, Ziggy Hood, Steve McClendon, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, etc. That is what I'm talking about.

Also, when I said that I hadn't seen anything in these last two years from Tomlin, I meant just that, from Tomlin. This team has played at a high level under him in earlier years, but they're not not, they're not being replaced by starting quality players. Also, since we don't have any players stepping up like Porter did when it was needed, then it's time that Tomlin does it. Cowher inspired this team, it's not like that now.

zcoop
12-19-2012, 08:33 PM
I was referring to this year and last year. Yes last year we looked good on paper, but they didn't pass the eye test and didn't show up when it mattered most, as MANY on here have already stated before. Then we got kicked out of the playoffs by an 8-8 team with a college level QB. This year we've lost to the Browns, Titans, Raiders, and Chargers, and those are just the scrub teams. That's what I'm talking about. Look at how many of Cowher's players were in there prime in 2008 and still playing at a high level in 2010, now compare them to Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown, Ziggy Hood, Steve McClendon, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, etc. That is what I'm talking about.

Do you want me to go back and take a look at the Cowher years? That may break your heart. The team's having issues this year and I think that injuries played a major role in it, but we should not read too much into it. And you my friend, need not try to put Bill Cowher and his losing azz on a pedestal. One SB in 15 freaking years, get off the pipe.

lardlad
12-19-2012, 08:45 PM
I don't trust handing the keys over to Ben, we'll have 7 step drops and give 40+ sacks a year. I'm starting to think all the dumbass plays under BA was mostly Ben.

You know what would solve the Ben vs Haley thing. Hold on to the freakin ball. Do that we likely have another three wins and Ben has NOTHING to bitch about. These are two freakin grown men, ultimately it may be Tomlins responsibility, but he shouldn't have to solve this.

And I could not disagree more that the star holds all the cards. If that is how it is, that is what is wrong. No one should be bigger than the team. Allowing players to feel they are bigger than the team is exactly why you have discipline problems, which is a large percentage of what is happening now. Players play and coaches coach.

Hawaii 5-0
12-19-2012, 09:11 PM
I don't trust handing the keys over to Ben, we'll have 7 step drops and give 40+ sacks a year. I'm starting to think all the dumbass plays under BA was mostly Ben.


I'm no fan of Brucie, but you gotta admit that Andrew luck is also making lots of plays in the Arians offense.

big pig
12-19-2012, 09:37 PM
Tomlin needs to go, but I don't know who ya replace him with, not sure there is anyone any better out there so what do ya do.
the one thing that you don't see with Tomlin is emotion, just kinda stands there with the dazed look on his face.

Cowher gave ya emotion, right or wrong. I don't know if nfl players need a rah rah coach and I know all cowhers years were'nt great either but he al least made it look like he was in the game, Tomlin just does'nt show me that. Never have been a fan of M T.

tanda10506
12-19-2012, 10:54 PM
Do you want me to go back and take a look at the Cowher years? That may break your heart. The team's having issues this year and I think that injuries played a major role in it, but we should not read too much into it. And you my friend, need not try to put Bill Cowher and his losing azz on a pedestal. One SB in 15 freaking years, get off the pipe.

Not going to break my heart. Cowher had bad QB's, by far the most important position in football. Once he got a real QB he went 15-1 then won the SB next year. Actually it makes me happy to remember how well he did with a real QB and thinking of the heart he brought to the field. I do agree injuries have definitely held us back, but where not the only injured team.

Fire Arians
12-19-2012, 11:37 PM
the standard is the standard, unleash hell, yeah whatever mike, i'll believe it when i see it

teegre
12-19-2012, 11:42 PM
Not going to break my heart. Cowher had bad QB's, by far the most important position in football. Once he got a real QB he went 15-1 then won the SB next year. Actually it makes me happy to remember how well he did with a real QB and thinking of the heart he brought to the field. I do agree injuries have definitely held us back, but where not the only injured team.

As someone asked in another thread: Did Cowher not want an elite QB?

He passed on Drew Brees, and he did not want BB (Dan Rooney had to convince Cowher to take BB... and even then, until Tommy Maddox got hurt, Cowher was NOT going to play him).

It's an interesting question/point. Maybe Cowher's mentality was: run, play great defense... and in the words of Jack Lambert: "Put the QBs in skirts."

JeromeBetties63
12-20-2012, 01:12 AM
I'm no fan of Brucie, but you gotta admit that Andrew luck is also making lots of plays in the Arians offense.

Actually, not lately he isn't. The longer Arians has been in charge the worse Luck's numbers have become....look it up. :wave:

The_Joker
12-20-2012, 08:11 AM
Seriously, what the fuck is up with you people? Tomlin is one of the winningest coaches in recent memory, and all you can do is bitch about him. He has his flaws, but so did Lombardi and Madden.

What's the beef? I want one logical answer to this question, but I probably won't.

maddog78
12-20-2012, 08:28 AM
I'm no fan of Brucie, but you gotta admit that Andrew luck is also making lots of plays in the Arians offense.

A lot of bad ones, too, as evidenced by his position as the 31st rated starting QB in the league.

sloppyjoe
12-20-2012, 08:46 AM
Seriously, what the fuck is up with you people? Tomlin is one of the winningest coaches in recent memory, and all you can do is bitch about him. He has his flaws, but so did Lombardi and Madden.

What's the beef? I want one logical answer to this question, but I probably won't.

just because a guy stands on the sidelines with a extremely talented team and wins alot of games doesnt make him a great coach.
im waiting for a tomnlin supporter tel tell me what he does or has done to make the team better. dont give me his record. give me some examples of things he did that display great leadeship, coaching, development, game adjustments, time manangment etc etc

show me how if tomlin was coaching the greatly less talented chiefs this year that his coaching would elevate that team to numerous more wins

desertsteel
12-20-2012, 09:24 AM
just because a guy stands on the sidelines with a extremely talented team and wins alot of games doesnt make him a great coach.
im waiting for a tomnlin supporter tel tell me what he does or has done to make the team better. dont give me his record. give me some examples of things he did that display great leadeship, coaching, development, game adjustments, time manangment etc etc

show me how if tomlin was coaching the greatly less talented chiefs this year that his coaching would elevate that team to numerous more wins

This is a truly clueless comment. Do you even know what a head coach does in the NFL? And do you really think that we are a "extremely talented team?" Really?

sloppyjoe
12-20-2012, 10:20 AM
This is a truly clueless comment. Do you even know what a head coach does in the NFL? And do you really think that we are a "extremely talented team?" Really?

enlighten me

austinfrench76
12-20-2012, 12:20 PM
Tomlin is a very good coach. He has nothbing to do with the turnovers. That is what has killed our season more than anything. More than penalties or injureis even. Turnovers killed us in Tennessee, Oakland, Denver, CLEVELAND and now in Dallas. In Denver, Dallas, Tennessee and Oakland, they ended the game! Tomlin isn't perfect but hell no one is.

BowCatShot
12-20-2012, 01:05 PM
Tomlin is a big fat dummy.

Riddle_Of_Steel
12-20-2012, 02:16 PM
Tomlin is a very good coach. He has nothbing to do with the turnovers. That is what has killed our season more than anything. More than penalties or injureis even. Turnovers killed us in Tennessee, Oakland, Denver, CLEVELAND and now in Dallas. In Denver, Dallas, Tennessee and Oakland, they ended the game! Tomlin isn't perfect but hell no one is.

Gotta disagree on one account.

The fumbling IS on Tomlin to a large degree. Dropping the ball shows a lack of discpline and focus.

I remember in high school, the fumbling blues hit us for a while like that terrible game against Cleveland a few weeks back. We started off practice every night the next week running hills. And the standing order that was left in place was you won yourself an additional 5 hills on Monday night per fumble during the game.

The fumbleitis bug never resurfaced again that year.

But as to the people who hate on Tomlin-- I think he is a great coach. His numbers speak for themselves-- only one active HC has a higher win percentage, Bill Belicheat. But he is human, and not perfect.

He just has some things to work on next season. Tomlin has broken most of the rest of our "curses" (Pats, Jags, poor Oline in 2008, etc.), I think he will bring this team full circle.

tanda10506
12-20-2012, 03:39 PM
This is a truly clueless comment. Do you even know what a head coach does in the NFL? And do you really think that we are a "extremely talented team?" Really?

This is a truly clueless comment actually. Why don't you fill us in then on what Tomlin specifically does? And yes we are an extremely talented team. Let's see: J. Harrison, T. Polamlu, R. Clark, I. Taylor, L. Woodley, M. Pouncey, M. Wallace, A. Brown, H. Miller, L. Timmons, good #3-#5 WR's, decent O line depth, and a QB that will likely be in the HOF, yeah this is a pretty damn talented team. Damn, have you even looked at our depth chart? And that's this year. When we "unleashed hell" in 2009 Hampton and Farrior were still playing good.

Teegre, good call, for some reason I wasn't thinking that Cowher almost passed on Ben. That would have been a total blunder. Good point, but still, once he got a real QB we went 15-1 and lost to a team that was cheating, then followed it up next year with a SB. Cowher wasn't perfect, no coach is or ever will be, I just think Tomlin is a lot further from it then Cowher or a lot of other coach's. I'm not just trying to bag on Tomlin and I'm not saying that Tomlin isn't CAPABLE of getting the team back to where they want to be, I'm just saying we need a hell of a lot more from him then we're getting now. With all the fumbles, penalties, losses to crap teams, inconsistency and lack of heart, I don't see how anybody could think we're getting good coaching right now. That's not to say the players aren't part of the problem, it's a team sport, but those things that I just pointed out are discipline issues and that has a lot to do with the coach.

mikegrimey
12-20-2012, 05:10 PM
Tomlin has yet to have a bad a stretch as Cowher had with the Steelers, seems like a lot of people are just feeling nostalgic for the past. It's ok, a lot of the boobs who are worshipping at the altar of Cowher now would have been begging for him to get fired a decade ago

FrancoLambert
12-20-2012, 05:34 PM
Tomlin's more of a manager than a coach.

sloppyjoe
12-20-2012, 05:47 PM
Tomlin is a very good coach. He has nothbing to do with the turnovers. That is what has killed our season more than anything. More than penalties or injureis even. Turnovers killed us in Tennessee, Oakland, Denver, CLEVELAND and now in Dallas. In Denver, Dallas, Tennessee and Oakland, they ended the game! Tomlin isn't perfect but hell no one is.

you too can enlighten me

teegre
12-20-2012, 06:18 PM
This is a truly clueless comment actually. Why don't you fill us in then on what Tomlin specifically does? And yes we are an extremely talented team. Let's see: J. Harrison, T. Polamlu, R. Clark, I. Taylor, L. Woodley, M. Pouncey, M. Wallace, A. Brown, H. Miller, L. Timmons, good #3-#5 WR's, decent O line depth, and a QB that will likely be in the HOF, yeah this is a pretty damn talented team. Damn, have you even looked at our depth chart? And that's this year. When we "unleashed hell" in 2009 Hampton and Farrior were still playing good.

Teegre, good call, for some reason I wasn't thinking that Cowher almost passed on Ben. That would have been a total blunder. Good point, but still, once he got a real QB we went 15-1 and lost to a team that was cheating, then followed it up next year with a SB. Cowher wasn't perfect, no coach is or ever will be, I just think Tomlin is a lot further from it then Cowher or a lot of other coach's. I'm not just trying to bag on Tomlin and I'm not saying that Tomlin isn't CAPABLE of getting the team back to where they want to be, I'm just saying we need a hell of a lot more from him then we're getting now. With all the fumbles, penalties, losses to crap teams, inconsistency and lack of heart, I don't see how anybody could think we're getting good coaching right now. That's not to say the players aren't part of the problem, it's a team sport, but those things that I just pointed out are discipline issues and that has a lot to do with the coach.

TALENTED ROSTER
As you mentioned, Tomlin has a talented group of players... quite a few of whom, he has added to the roster: Wallace, AB, Pouncey, Timmons, Woodley, DD, Lewis, making Harrison a starter... et cetera.

His additions is something that some people ignore.

THIS YEAR
I will give you this: this year, these players are not there.

I say "this year", because I equate 2009 to 2006: a post-SuperBowl-victory lull.

INJURIES
I know that it is a tired excuse, but honestly, some of this year's lull may have to do with injuries: Harrison is just now reaching his stride; Woodley has disappeared; Troy is done; the constantly rotating O-line; and, obviously, Big Ben being out & his subsequent struggles once he returns (too early).

PHIL JACKSON DISEASE
Another thing that Tomlin has done is manage superstars. People say that he was given a talent rife with talent, and he absolutely was. But, people also have said similar things about Phil Jackson. "Phil only won when he had the players to do so." To which, I say two things:

1) Obviously.
Belichick wasn't anything before Brady. Talent trumps all.

2) Managing the egos of highly skilled players/super stars is equally as difficult as turning dregs into winners. As the adage goes: reaching success is not nearly as hard as maintaining success.

COMPLACENCY
Lastly, as far as this year goes, I remember Lawrence Taylor saying something about winning in the regular season versus the post-season. He talked about how he went through the motions (albeit, great motions) during the regular season; the regular season almost bored him. All that he wanted to do was get into the post season, where "wins actually counted."

Maybe this team has had too much success... and become complacent about the regular season.

I remember in 1998, Dermontii Dawson was angry at the younger teammates, because those kiddos ASSUMED that the Steelers would "just make the play-offs." Many of them had spent their first six season making the play-offs, and Dirt knew differently. This season reminds me eerily of that one... down to losing to Tampa Bay & Kordell throwing his helmet in disgust (which is similar to losing to San Diego two weeks ago).

Riddle_Of_Steel
12-20-2012, 06:57 PM
Awesome post, TEEGRE.

defence
12-20-2012, 07:21 PM
This team has no heart or leadership. they are missing some kind of spark or a dressing room guy to motivate them. As for the coaching. Tomlin will be here next year. But he has not done a good job in preparing his guys to play week in week out. Unfortunately; when things don't go well; it always falls on the head coach. We can go on from Brown not taking a safety in the end zone against the Chargers to last week I believe it was Brown again running out of bounds to stop the clock for the Cowboys towards the end of the game. Little things. But all these little things have really added up to a season like this.In this league; there is such a fine line between being a crap team and being competitive all the time. Tomlins got his work cut out for him this off season. Next year really should define what Tomlin is all about. Lebau will probably retire. Many veterans may be leaving. Cuts need to be made. Drafting must get better. We will see how he builds his team!

teegre
12-20-2012, 07:25 PM
Awesome post, TEEGRE.

Thanks. :hatsoff:

tanda10506
12-21-2012, 07:46 PM
That's definitely a possibility Teegre with so many of our players being at the tail end of their careers, but you have to win to get there. Tomlin has to take the ship by the wheel and get them to not just go through the motions. The great coach's don't have a problem managing a lot of super stars who may have inflated egos.

As you pointed out and I pointed out in earlier posts, injuries are a big problem. The "next man up" philosophy is the best thing for a person sitting on the bench, but it doesn't really transfer to the field. There is a reason some players start and some players don't, that's all there is too it. You can't win with everybody injured. Also, Tomlin has drafted some good players on offense, but most of them are under performing currently. Wallace and Sanders have a lot of drops and fumbles, Brown fumbles often, Timmons just started showing his worth earlier this year, etc. I do agree though that he has drafted "talent" on offense, it's just that most of the talent he drafted is under performing and he's their HC. Furthermore, Woodley is the only top draft pick on defense that has performed well right away. Worilds, Carter, Brown, Allen, and McClendon are no where near up to the task of replacing Harrison, Hampton and Ike.

I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on Tomlin, but it's all good.

Hawaii 5-0
12-23-2012, 01:07 AM
Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin: In The Hot Seat If No Playoffs?

Dec 21st, 2012 by Craig Gottschalk

The Pittsburgh Steelers are at a crossroads this weekend. And, I’m not just talking about whether or not they will make the playoffs. I think the Steelers are at a point in time where they will begin to reassess the direction Mike Tomlin is taking them in as a head coach regardless of this week’s outcome.

The Tomlin era has lasted for almost six seasons. Enough players have come and gone, that the football world is beginning to see the fruits (or lack thereof) of his labor.

Tomlin has been a part of six draft classes, seen players retire, and has had to let players go. The sole discretion is not his, but what he does with the talent that is presented to him is completely his responsibility. I’m sure most, if not all of you, have said to yourself three sentences ago, ‘Come on really? You’re going to bust a guy who’s won two AFC Championships and a Super Bowl in five and a half seasons?’

Yes I am.

Many have said over the past few seasons that Tomlin has experienced success off the successes from the Cowher era – riding the coat tails as it were. With many players gone from the roster the last time Cowher yelled and let the spit fly on the sidelines, Tomlin has laid his own foundation of what he thinks it takes to have a championship football team. Because let’s be honest, when it comes to the Pittsburgh Steelers, saying ‘a winning team’ is not enough. Wins are not enough.

Championships are enough. And really, it’s one thing to be 11-5 and come ‘this close’ to winning it all vs. the 2011 and 2012 Steelers. Losing tough games is one thing, it’s how this team is losing that is really starting to worry me. But is it worrying Colbert and the Rooney’s too?

The 2012 Steelers should be a twelve win team. Should be. But they aren’t. Why? They have the talent. And, they have the potential to stand toe to toe with any top team in this league like the Texans or Falcons. But yet they fold to teams that are currently 5-9, 5-9, 4-10. Why? Preparation, lack of discipline, and lack of fire. When playing this sub .500 teams, or any team that isn’t very good for that matter, this team fails to make the essential plays it needs to make in order to win the game – whether it’s to take the lead or seal up the lead. Mistakes, miscues, and mishaps have plagued this teams for several seasons. Maybe it’s a lack of leadership in the locker room with veterans like Hines Ward and James Farrior and others gone. There is certainly a lack of fire in this team and it’s up to the coach to find it, inspire it, and get the players to use it.

Bill Cowher used to stand on the sidelines and look Greg Lloyd right in the eye while hitting his shoulder pads and say, “I need you to rush the quarterback. I need you to rush the quarterback. I need you to do that. Now go.” When was the last time you saw Tomlin stare James Harrison in the eye and say those things to him? Was there ever a time? Aside from his pacing up and down the sidelines with an occasional yelling of ‘Let’s go!’ Tomlin is never in his players faces. He’s said to be a player’s coach, but is that because he never yells at them in public?

Circumstances within a season can certainly affect certain outcomes. But, if people use the ‘injury bug’ as an excuse for Tomlin, then you are all disavowing his own mantra of ‘The Standard is the Standard’ and ‘Starters in Waiting.’ And if he can’t be held accountable for his own set standards, then how will he ever? As I mentioned, this team should be a twelve win team – even with the injuries they’ve had. I actually believe Tomlin to an extent when he says ‘The standard is the standard.’ But just because you lay out expectations of how players should perform doesn’t mean it ends there. And the way the Steelers play and fail to execute at times and have huge miscues at times, it sure seems like that’s where Tomlin draws the line in the field of how far he will go as a coach.

Is Tomlin in the ‘hot seat’ if the Steelers fail to make the playoffs? Probably not. At least not in the way that guys like Norv Turner are. Speaking of our friends out west – do you really think that the Chargers are a 5-9 team? Phillip Rivers may not be elite, but he’s no chump either. And, neither are many other players on that roster. The AFC West is so bad (aside from the Denver Mannings) that the Chargers can’t get themselves up to being a 9-7 team or better. Why? Well, Alex Spanos and A.J. Smith may finally get things right by letting go the biggest thing holding back that team – Norv.

I have to admit that I drank the Tomlin kool aid back in 2007/2008. I like him. I think he’s a very smart man and coach. I think his intentions and philosophies are somewhat in the right place of how to coach a team. But, after taking on this blog and committing myself to watching game tape each week to better understand this team,

it’s hard not to look at this coach and not come down on him for the current state of this football team.

Will Tomlin be on the ‘hot seat?’ Nah. But I bet you many in Steeler Nation are going to become a little more uneasy going into 2013.

http://nicepickcowher.com/2012/12/21/pittsburgh-steelers-mike-tomlin-in-the-hot-seat-if-no-playoffs/

Stairway to 7
12-23-2012, 09:07 AM
Riddle brings up good points~

I know it's been said here, but this team lacks discipline. Fundamentals seem to be forgotten and wether its tackling or holding on to a ball.


These teams real problems are not personnel or scheme, the real issues are attitude and application.

Rowland2110
12-23-2012, 05:05 PM
I was referring to this year and last year. Yes last year we looked good on paper, but they didn't pass the eye test and didn't show up when it mattered most, as MANY on here have already stated before. Then we got kicked out of the playoffs by an 8-8 team with a college level QB. This year we've lost to the Browns, Titans, Raiders, and Chargers, and those are just the scrub teams. That's what I'm talking about. Look at how many of Cowher's players were in there prime in 2008 and still playing at a high level in 2010, now compare them to Cortez Allen, Curtis Brown, Ziggy Hood, Steve McClendon, Jason Worilds, Chris Carter, etc. That is what I'm talking about.

Also, when I said that I hadn't seen anything in these last two years from Tomlin, I meant just that, from Tomlin. This team has played at a high level under him in earlier years, but they're not not, they're not being replaced by starting quality players. Also, since we don't have any players stepping up like Porter did when it was needed, then it's time that Tomlin does it. Cowher inspired this team, it's not like that now.

Realistically, this team is only slightly worse than last years. But i am expecting the team to go that way heading into next season. No signs of it getting better for sure.

TheVet
12-24-2012, 04:16 AM
Again, I‘m behind Roethlisberger on this. He‘s the franchise player, and that‘s the lay of the land anymore.

To address that fully — and let‘s not pretend it won‘t come up anew — Tomlin must first accept that the star holds all the cards. He‘s got no choice. If it comes down to a him-or-me from Roethlisberger‘s perspective, the $102 million quarterback has to win that duel 102 times out of 102. And, yeah, even if that means finding a new coordinator.

Elite QB and a mediocre head coach. Damn right Ben holds the cards.

therocksteeler
12-24-2012, 04:39 AM
Elite QB and a mediocre head coach. Damn right Ben holds the cards.

^^^^Agreed^^^^:iagree: