Things Will Get Worse in Pittsburgh Before They Get Better

Can Mike Tomlin and the Steelers rally for the remainder of the season?You’re probably thinking today that after watching the Pittsburgh Steelers give up 55 points to New England that this team cannot possibly get any worse.

I hate to tell you but I do believe it’s going to get worse and I’m not even talking about what may or may not happen on the field.

If you’re like me, you just want the final eight games of this season to magically be over.

Getting onto to the supposed blood-letting the offseason will bring is what I want to get to but we must be patient and endure the next eight weeks.

So why exactly will this get worse? Because decisions that will be made in early January and February will not be easy and there will be significant amounts of feelings hurt. This is football and its professional football to boot.

Feelings don’t matter and they never have.

The first decision will center on Dick LeBeau. Despite a legendary career his time to move on is here. The question is, will Mike Tomlin, Kevin Colbert or anyone named Rooney have the balls to assist LeBeau into retirement?

LeBeau leaving will not be easy. The defensive players love him like a father and are probably more embarrassed today than at any point in his tenure as defensive coordinator as well they should be. One thing is certain, it will not be an overly popular move to remove LeBeau in some circles but it is the right move. Leaving the decision up to him is the wrong move too and we know it.

Secondly will be the decision to keep Ben Roethlisberger or Todd Haley. There is no way that these two can co-exist for a third year and I don’t care how much Shark Week they watch together. One of the two will be back in 2014 and honestly, I really can’t tell you who it will be.

Art Rooney II will not like admitting the Haley hiring was a failure but the numbers and record have spoken for themselves. When the 2014 season begins, Roethlisberger will have two years remaining on his deal. Normally this might be a time when a QB gets a deal re-worked but don’t be so sure in this case. It isn’t impossible to think the Steelers won’t try shopping Roethlisberger to a quarterback-needy team.

That of course assumes Haley remains the offensive coordinator and don’t rule that out by any stretch of the imagination.

Third is the status of Mike Tomlin which I’ve commented on before and will only say this right now; he will be the head coach in 2014.

Lastly is the tenure of Kevin Colbert as the General Manager. While I believe it is time for him to go, he will most likely will not.

What these moves, or lack of moves will create is a new firestorm. You’ll have fans on one side of each decision celebrating while fans on the other will be crying foul. The dissension will not only be within the fan base but will also be within the front office as well.

We have to know that there will be a number of opinions on how to proceed after this embarrassing season and not all of them will be on the same page. Think about the combinations that could be left behind to coach and manage this team. Scary isn’t it?

If you think things are bad now, just wait a couple of months.

Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 630pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.

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5 comments on “Things Will Get Worse in Pittsburgh Before They Get Better

  1. It is time to shake it up. I agree, Coach LeBeau needs to hang them up and they need to promote Butler. I think they need to play the younger players that they feel will be stating someday. Who cares about a few more wins, they mean nothing. Get the higher draft pick.

  2. Clearly, the culture with the Steelers needs to change…….the game has passed them by. Time to focus on youth and SPEED across the board.

    The defense needs a total make over……and it’s not just Dick LeBeau. Being a “Tampa-2” guy when he was an assistant, Mike Tomlin needs to go back to HIS roots and bring in players that fit his old philosophy. It’s time to scrap the zone-blitz altogether and focus on fundamentally sound defense that doesn’t miss tackles and drop coverages……AND DOESN’T GIVE UP BIG PLAYS EITHER!

    Offensively, there’s no question Todd Haley must go. I think they regret getting rid of Bruce Arians, but that’s another story. I’m not sold on Landry Jones for the future. I think they should target Johnny Manziel. And how bout some big, physical receivers, too? I know it doesn’t sound like “Steeler Football”, but let’s face it: the game has evolved. As Chuck Noll always said “WHATEVER IT TAKES!”

    Maybe a switch to field turf @ Heinz Field would help, too.

    Take a look at how the Seahawks have rebuilt under Pete Carroll – they didn’t play their best against Tampa yesterday, but overall, they’re doing it the right way.

  3. We need to fix alot of things on this team, starting with the coaching staff. Tomlin has not improved the team in any area since he took over Cowher’s superbowl roster. He has slowly allowed it to decline and it is now a mere shell of what was a great team. The draft picks until this year have been horrible! The steelers always found diamonds in the ruff in the lower rounds and they became great steeler players because of their heart and desire to be Pittsburgh Steelers. now we are drafting from the defensive powerhouse of MISSOURI for what was obviously a wasted 1st round pick, ziggy somebody. I watch college football alot and donot recall Mizzou ever being a Defensive Program….Got to blame the GM and Coach for some of these picks. Mendenhall pick was another loser, just to mention a few. No heart, no desire and certainly not a steeler. The Offensive linemen we draft are all to fat and too lazy and not athletic enough to handle the opposition, maurkice pouncey aside. whatever happened to old patented trap blocking scheme that worked for franco , and rocky and the bus? Who changed it and why? Why did we le Russ Grimm leave the team? All these decisons have been made by someone in the front Office I believe, and it is time to let him go somewhere else. Finally the defense, like the defensive coach, is too old and the schemes are worn out. we need some new blood there in more places than I can name. The steelers won’t be great again until they make some significant changes over the course of a few seasons….

  4. I actually do have faith in all the strategies you’ve provided in your publish. There’re quite convincing and may definitely function. Even now, the posts are way too rapid education. Would you remember to expand these folks somewhat from when? Thanks for the article.

  5. First let me say with all I have heard about my Pittsburgh Steelers. Mabie it is time to keep Dick LeBeau . Keep Troy Polamalu and replace Mike Tomlin. Could this be the change that needs to be made .

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