They claim that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. If you’d like a case study in this then I give you the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What happened on Sunday in Pittsburgh is nothing new. If it feels new to you then you haven’t been around very long so let me enlighten you.
This penchant for playing down to the level of the opponent has been a staple of the Mike Tomlin Steelers for most of the last three years. The evidence is found in games like Sunday’s against Tampa Bay, in games against the Oakland Raiders and you could also cite the Tennessee Titans as an example as well.
In terms of the penalties and undisciplined play by both sides of the Steelers team this has also been a recurring theme in recent years. I think back to key penalties like an offsides by veteran Brett Keisel that basically gave the Raiders a victory in Oakland. The overall demise of good tackling started in recent years too.
Guys like Ryan Clark and Ike Taylor and even Troy Polamalu were becoming “hitters” rather than tacklers. The theme has continued on with newly acquired Mike Mitchell who I don’t think could wrap a Christmas present let alone a ball carrier. Mitchell is the epitome of the guy who would rather go for the big hit than the actual tackle and it hurts this defense.
The lack of discipline struck at the worst of times it seemed against the Buccaneers. The most devastating of which was the false start by Kelvin Beachum when the Steelers needed just one first down to claim victory.
Besides a lack of discipline, the abundance of penalties and the poor fundamentals, the Steelers continue to stumble out of the gate in these games that should not even be close. Before anyone could blink the score was 10-0 Bucs on Sunday.
When you take into account all of these factors they add up to one thing; Mike Tomlin, Dick LeBeau and Todd Haley have absolutely no disciplinary advantage over this group of young men. None. Zip. Zero. Nada. Read the comments from Maurice Pouncey in Dejan Kovacevic’s excellent piece from the after the game today. You tell me what the players think of discipline.
I said this was an 8-8 team again prior to the season and I fear I’m right. They will lose games they shouldn’t and win games they shouldn’t. Going 8-8 again is history repeating itself after all right?
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteelDad and the website @SCBlitz. Check us out on Facebook at facebook.com/steelcityblitz and on Fancred.com. You can hear him weekly during the season on Trib-Live Radio Steelers Pre-Game
photo courtesy espn.go.com