I wasn’t as shocked as everyone else seemed to be at the Steelers losing to the Bucs. I wrote last week how the Steelers needed to ready for an angry Tampa Bay team to bring it.
That doesn’t make this loss hurt any less.
I’ve already seen plenty said about Todd Haley and the play calling at the end of the game, and I’ve seen those wanting coach Tomlin’s head.
There’s certainly plenty of blame to go around, by why does Dick Lebeau continue to receive a free pass from the fans, the media, and most importantly the Rooney family?
I laughed when the broadcast showed the matchup of the 34 year old Bucs QB coach Marcus Arroyo calling plays against the 77 year old Lebeau… because I thought to myself all that experience won’t mean a thing for the Steelers defense.
The Buccaneers offense did everything they could yesterday to bail out the Steelers defense. A team that struggled all day long to just snap the ball on time, moved down the field in the 4th quarter like a Peyton Manning lead offense.
This isn’t anything new either. Despite the top 5 NFL rankings that the players liked to point to in 2011 and 2012, this Steelers defense hasn’t looked good since the 2010 Superbowl season.
Cortez Allen had a rough outing, but a lot of cornerbacks would if you leave them on an island all day long against a receiver like Mike Evans (rookie or not) with no pass rush.
I realize that the Steelers defense doesn’t have the kind of talent it did in 2010, but that’s on Lebeau to figure out how to make it work. There’s a number of teams in the league that don’t have players like Cameron Heyward, Lawrence Timmons, and Troy Polamalu; that are performing at a much higher level.
The Dallas Cowboys held the Saints to 17 points last night. Can anyone name a starter for the Cowboys defense (that was historically bad in 2013)?
But Lebeau lost 3 starters last week you say?!
I’d argue that Sean Spence and Arthur Moats are actually upgrades in the short term to Ryan Shazier and Jarvis Jones… and I thought William Gay had a solid game as a starter.
I love Lebeau as a person as much as any Steelers fan. I’m also aware that firing Dick Leabeu could create a mutiny in the Steelers locker room.
I’m not suggesting a mid-season firing, but I do wonder if a little more heat on him publicly would make Dick start to think maybe it’s time to pass the torch.
If I were the Rooney’s I go to Lebeau after the season and thank him for all he has meant to the team. I tell him it’s time to go in a different direction and out of respect to him, we’d like him to announce his own retirement and the Steelers have a huge retirement ceremony at the home opener next season.
If Dick tells them to shove it (which he’s completely in his own right to do), then they respectfully, but publicly announce his termination.
That’s a tough decision to make, but this is a business. I wanted Bruce Arians gone more than anyone, but the way the Steelers handled his firing was embarrassing and a disservice to Arians; all because they were trying not to hurt feelings.
I’m close to saying that Mike Tomlin needs to go as well, but unless the team wins less than 8 games, I still don’t think that happens.
Whatever happens, it’s clear that this team has been facing the SAME issues over the course of the past 3 years, so to expect it to just suddenly get better seems unrealistic.