For all that know me, you know I am rather emotional when it comes to the Steelers and their season soliloquy. I have many hot takes during and post-game, some which are driven by anger and some from disappointment. In reviewing the season that was, there are enough takes to go around.
Let’s start with saying that this season was a failure. Now, that may seem like opinion, but when the goal is winning a Super Bowl, anything less is a failed effort. The opinion comes in when we try to analyze just how bad was the failure. A 13-3 record, division champs, earning a bye. Those are all small successes, yes, but as we’ve been told, the standard is the standard. For those who want to point blame at any one individual, I would offer, RELAX, there is plenty of blame to disseminate. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?
To me, regular season performances are nice, but it’s the second season when players really show who and what they are. When the bright lights turn on, who wilts under the pressure? Many did here.
The Defense… 45 points to Blake Bortles… I think we can all safely say the defense was a colossal washout. Where was the defensive captain Cam Heyward? All those tweets for All-Pro and he went MIA. 1 tackle, 0 QB hits, 0 sacks. Sorry Cam, you failed. Like the Steelers, one can’t measure success in terms of regular season accolades and you ran into the foxhole and disappeared. Bud (Jarvis) DuPree, a non-impact player, continues to get support from his defenders, but he’s a non-factor who is a poor pass rusher. Watt is a rookie, so I give him more of a pass than others.. Artie Burned? He’s always good for jaw jacking as well as blowing one big play a game. This defensive line, paid over $100 million, got split easier than a coconut. Butler brings nothing to the table as a coach, Porter oversaw the bust in 95 and had DuPree digress this season. Has either coach earned more time?
#FireHaley .. Many extol the genius of his play design and his prolific offensive totals. That’s fine. Impressive. When the game is on the line, his situational play calling is an embarrassment to pee-wee football. The 4th down play calls were abhorrent, as was the chaos that ended the Patriots game. Coaching comes down to a few key moments in pivotal games, and Haley fails on all levels. He has the best offensive talent in the game yet at the games most critical points, manages to obfuscate issues that are simple. How does Bryant/JuJu not get a look until last play of first half? Fastest guy on field. 1 target, 1 catch, 1 TD…I’d want to leave Pittsburgh too with that kind of dissipation. How about a QB SNEAK with a 6’5 QB who supposedly has an ALL-PRO offensive line. You need AN INCH. Haley should be shown the fastest way to I-76….
And finally, the beloved one, the one beyond reproach. All Rise, Coach Tomlin has entered. His coaching in this game is shameful. He continuously gets outcoached in a big spot. From deferring the opening kickoff, to the onside kick in the 4th, to even allowing Haley to call another 4th down play after the first calamity. You are home, the crowd is pumped, you take the ball, and kick them in the mouth. Why put the weakest unit on field? I don’t think there is much debate regarding the onside kick. Tomlin has if not THE MOST, top 3 talent in the NFL. So we are to give reverence to regular season wins over sub par teams and division championships? Think the Pats walk around with the AFC Champ hats? We are told “The Standard is the Standard”, yet SteelersNation continues to live in ApologistBurgh. He has done LESS with more. He is 8-7 in the playoffs, when real teams and coaches show up. Not some walk over Browns, Texans, Bengals and other weak teams. It’s easy to win games when the division stinks. Look at the Patriots, they handle business AND finish the way Champions do. Mike Tomlin has been an underachieving coach for a decade now. Show me a team with his talent that has accomplished less. For all the Tomlin apologists(so so many), at least you can wrap yourself in the comfort your WE RUN THE NORTH shirts will bring while watching the Super Bowl this year.
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