Coach Mike Tomlin’s tenure with the Steelers should be ended immediately following their dismal season. It’s high time we move away from unwavering loyalty to outdated paradigms where an underperforming coach is spared. If a coach fails to rise to the occasion, he should be let go. The idea behind this perpetual continuity is to provide stability to the Steelers.
But, do they actually seem consistent these days? With a slew of recent shortcomings, Tomlin’s career has soured considerably. His place is definitely not amongst those who grace the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He presents an illusion of success.
Tomlin’s fast start was majorly contributed by the players, leaders, and culture that were already in place before him rather than his own merit. His playoff success has been significantly lacking, with no victories in the last six seasons and only four successful runs out of 16 attempts in total. The questionable records could extend even further.
A new low was reached on Thursday night when the Steelers suffered a second straight loss to a team entering the game with just two victories to the season. It’s unprecedented that a team with a winning scorecard would lose back-to-back matches against teams that were lagging by at least eight games.
This NFL-first occurrence is concerning. Further exacerbating the situation, these matches were home games, and the Steelers portrayed a disturbing lack of preparation and focus, with repeated administrative and strategic missteps.
A palpable sense of confusion, along with a lap full of errors, led to the team’s downfall in game. Even after the match fell apart disastrously, Tomlin could only mumble about ‘turnover component’ and the need for putting up a fight in the latter half. His demeanor and language strongly suggest that his term as coach needs to be ended.
The notion of Tomlin as an exceptional coach has been fraudulently perpetuated for years, especially by national media in serving their own agendas. Tomlin is hailed as an efficient coach, but there’s hardly any clear clarification or justification. ‘The players love playing for Tomlin’ is often cited as reasoning. However, no one can deny the lamentable failures that occurred this past Sunday and Thursday.
Tomlin’s uninterrupted streak of no losing seasons may be on the brink of termination. This might turn out to be a blessing in disguise, allowing for a more transparent assessment and insight. Tomlin seems to be spearheading yet another fall from grace, reminiscent of 2018, 2019, and 2020.
It’s easy to point fingers at quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who undeniably played poorly on Thursday. He has supplanted the previous offensive coordinator Matt Canada as the primary culprit. His absence allowed Kenny Pickett to gain some credibility. It may also seem convenient to blame the referees for not calling a penalty on the Patriots for jumping offsides in the fourth quarter, wrongly accusing long snapper Christian Kuntz instead.
No doubt, it was a skewed decision, but even then, the Steelers still had a long way to go. It is also essential not to overlook the fact that the costly Steelers defense, which is grossly overhyped and over-priced, allowed the NFL’s weakest offense to march 75 yards on eight plays and score a touchdown right off the bat on Thursday’s game. Tom Brady is not the one who overpowered the Steelers, it was Bailey Zappe.
As it stands now, the Steelers are spiralling into chaos. Their team culture is deteriorating and is dominated by individualistic approaches with an evident lack of leadership. While it is not the strongest team out there, it definitely had the capacity to outperform Arizona and New England.
The Steelers’ gameplay is antiquated, almost seemingly from a bygone era when compared to the modern, high-powered football tactics that are currently in vogue. Tomlin appears resistant to change, refusing to adapt with the times. As the one at the helm, he is primarily responsible for everything going wrong with the team.
The Steelers traditionally don’t dismiss their coaches, and if this precedent continues, it will undoubtedly prove to be detrimental considering their increasing losses. The timing for such a dismissal couldn’t be more justified than it is now. A possibility could be trading Tomlin.
It’s a common perception that NFL teams would be eager to hire Tomlin at the first opportunity. However, his recent failures, especially against Arizona and New England, have certainly led to doubts. As it appears, a grim period looms over the Steelers.
Prepare for more of such disappointing performances in the ensuing times, even potentially worsening as the culture, leadership and willingness to evolve appear to be deteriorating.