Tomlin Has Even More on His Plate Than Losing

Mike Tomlin must find a way to finish strong if the Steelers want to keep their wildcard spotAmazingly, there was point in the game against the New England Patriots where the Pittsburgh Steelers came back from two touchdowns to tie the score at 24 apiece.

By the time the game had ended, the Steelers were outscored 31-7 as Tom Brady once again made Dick LeBeau’s defense his personal play land.

In the loss, the Steelers set dubious marks for points allowed and total yards allowed. Hard to believe that in the Steelers’ first forty years of¬†existence they never gave up 55 points before. Those were some bad teams prior to the glory years of the 1970’s but no, they never got torched for 55 points.

Mike Tomlin has a much bigger challenge ahead of him this week than trying to make sure Buffalo doesn’t hang a double-nickel on his defense as the Pats did. His team quit today and he knows it.

He addressed the effort in his post-game comments and promised that those things will be taken care of but it isn’t that easy. At 2-6, this team is not making the playoffs yet it’s a team loaded with veterans of playoff battles. Being able to sell effort to those guys is far easier said than done.

The quitting may have occurred earlier than it appeared as the defense continued its season-long routine of missing tackles and missing assignments.

Tomlin will have no problem selling effort to his young players. They’re under contract and they’re still new to this whole ‘NFL thing’ anyway. Plus they recognize how difficult it is to find playing time so there will be no quit in them despite the poor record. If there is, they won’t see the field.

While Tom Brady’s pass down the sideline to Aaron Dobson sailed over the heads of Ike Taylor and Ryan Clark to put the Patriots back up by three scores again I couldn’t help but feel a door slam shut. It wasn’t just the door slamming closed on this particular game either. It felt very much like the door closing on the careers of Taylor, Clark and even Dick LeBeau.

It isn’t so much they got beat, but the fact they had clearly given up on the game thinking the Pats were just going to run the ball and get out of Dodge. It was a play that probably epitomized much of the whole game and season¬†but does it really matter?

The season is essentially lost but Mike Tomlin faces a test bigger than getting his team a win. He now has to win back their effort and that won’t be easy.

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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8 comments on “Tomlin Has Even More on His Plate Than Losing

  1. Clark needs to be Benched..He’s been awful the whole season….and draft someLeBeau needs to retire after the season..His “COMPLEX” zone Defence has been anything but the last 3 seasons.. They need to go to a 4-3 and get some DBs that can play man to man through FREE AGENCY or draft the 2 best DBs with their 1st 2 draft picks. Can’t blame Haley this week or much this year..the Defence is now our WEAK LINK. #Disgusted

  2. Early in the game Ike Taylor made a Deion Sanders attempt @ tackling a Pats RB, missing so badly. Your article is spot on but the BAD doesn’t end there. Colbert & the front office & so called Cap Guru Omar Kahn have strapped this team/roster w/ impending Cap hits on OLD players who need to be sent packing. Having to “Restructure” every offseason to get Cap complient & push more $ down the road, Colbert, Kahn are impersonating the Criminals in D.C. From terrible drafts & overpaying those “Bust’ players, cause you know STEELERS keep there own & all. Unless the Cap goes up WAY up next year. Next year will be just as bad & maybe worse. On the brightside IF (big IF) shrewd moves are made An NFL team can turn around there misfortunes quickly BUT i’m not holding my breath with the Rooney’s. Colbert doesn’t deserve the Mulligan to fix this mess, he’s been GM sense 2000. 13 yrs he’s become Stale & his scouting has produced this roster of avg talent. But Art II will give him a pass, I wouldn’t. Worst of all Art has pushed Haley onto Ben & pushed out a OC that lead you to 2 SB’s all in the name of putting Ben your 2nd franchise QB in his PLACE. Its time Lebeau rides off into the sunset. his schemes are old & don’t matter much when you don’t have the talent to execute. Perfect example John Farrell mgr of Bawston Redsux WS champs this season, in 2011-2012 mgr of Toronto went 154-170. Gotta have the horses to win I.E. talent… which the Steelers have very very little…on the entire roster.

  3. It was painfully clear today that Ryan Clark can’t run anymore. He just can’t run. He’s done.

    The linebackers were invisible. Again. LaMarr Woodley was absent. Lawrence Timmons looked like his head was spinning. Stevenson Sylvester could’t get off blocks. Jarvis Jones looked confused. Vince Williams got knocked out of the game but didn’t play well beforehand. Jason Worilds is always a step behind.

    The secondary was just as bad. And the front line was even worse. Steve McClendon got manhandled.

  4. This team needs rebuit, But the people currently holding those posts aren’t capable. This team was considered a first class organization. But they have ran this team into the ground. It’s time for new leadership or we can sit back and pretend this ain’t happening.

  5. No teams stays on top 4 ever. . However Steelers were not suppose to sink this low. . True is spoken that Steelers hold toooo long onto vets & simply does not incorporate youth (steadily/periodically) into the system to get them accumulated”prior”to next season {experience}. Steelers let go a promising nose tackle who’s issues may have been workable. . Now no credible consistent”true”nose tackle to speak of. Current nose tackle is suited for spot duty at best. . Overall lack of Steelers{entire team}mean streak. . Way tooooo soft

  6. I agree with all thqawt has been said . Sadly we were fooled by just making playoffs and very close losses. The drafts have been horrible the past three years. Players are officially busts. Need to eat the money and get them out of here.Also some of the players at lower level drafts. This is also where coaching comes in. Youv’e got to coach’em up at the lower levels. That’s clearly not happening. Tomlin Love you but your on the clock.

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