“Lack of accountability… Lack of discipline… Too much favoritism…” Stop me if you’ve heard those things the last several years about Pittsburgh Steelers’ Head Coach Mike Tomlin. They were things we heard when Troy Polamalu left and never came back and we’re hearing them again.
This was from this morning.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) December 31, 2018
While the NFL’s coaching carousel has been as busy as a hamster on a new wheel, it will likely not affect Tomlin. I do not anticipate his removal as head coach today but there is no question his seat should not just be warm but hot. This team has had too much talent in recent years to continue under-performing.
The failures of this team cannot be placed solely on Tomlin. Keith Butler has been working with a defense loaded with first and second round selections. They failed to secure leads on numerous occasions but also had moments of solid play. The inconsistency is maddening and should be more evidence that Butler is capable, yet often in over his head. I am calling for his removal as well as that of the entire defensive staff.
I am also calling for the removal of Special Teams Coach Danny Smith as well. The unit lacks discipline and consistency. Holding calls on punt and kickoff returns became the norm rather than the exception and that can’t be tolerated.
Mike Munchak has already been requested by the Denver Broncos to interview for the head coaching job. At this time, I am not calling for any changes to the offensive staff. While Randy Fichtner turned this offense into a Red Zone success there were often too many lapses especially in short yardage situations. These are things that can be improved upon.
The Steelers once gave Bill Cowher an extension after back-to-back losing seasons. Mike Tomlin has yet to have a losing season in his 13 years. Those things to me are apples and oranges. Times are different. The NFL is different. The talent on this team is different. Just as I hate the “Tomlin had Cowher’s players” mantra I also hate the “Tomlin never had a losing season” bit. Good regular season records don’t mean anything to me. The NFL is a results based business and the postseason results are what matter.
What I am suggesting for Tomlin is this; Start being the head coach. Stop being the friend of the players. This doesn’t mean you can’t have good relationships but letting personal feelings get in the way of coaching the team is bad for business. Hold guys accountable and responsible and don’t apologize for it. And for God’s sake hire a quality control coach who can help you manage challenges and in game situations.
Changing coaches with a veteran offense would not be a good idea right now which also factors into my thinking about Tomlin. If there isn’t a return to the postseason next year then my thoughts will likely change. For now however, what needs to change is inside the Steelers’ Organization. That starts at the top.