Mike Tomlin Failed To Live Up To The Standard In Loss To Titans

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin always talks about the standard being the standard and in the Sunday season opening loss to the Tennessee Titans, he, like most of his players, failed to live up to that standard. Below are a few issues I have with Tomlin’s coaching on Sunday and a few of them took place prior to kickoff.

Pregame Inactives: While it might not have seemed like a big deal prior to the game, I was pretty shocked when the inactives were released. For starters, Cody Wallace was signed to be the backup center because Tomlin and the coaching staff did not have faith in John Malecki to be the backup. While Kelvin Beachum worked quite a bit at the position during training camp and the offseason, he saw very little time over the ball during the preseason. Was Wallace not up to speed on the playbook? If the plan was to use Beachum quite a bit at tight end during the game, wouldn’t it make sense to have another center active instead of Guy Whimper?

Keeping with the inactives theme, what part of run fast and tackle the player with the football did Antwon Blake not understand? Instead of having a special teams warrior active, Tomlin decided to dress fullback Will Johnson, who was still nursing a hamstring injury. Not only did Johnson not play in the game on offense, I don’t think he played on special teams despite Tomlin saying that he did during his post game press conference. Tomlin could have chose to dress Wallace over Blake and Johnson just as easily.

No, I am not done with the silly inactives. Rookie linebacker Vince Williams is regarded as a player that likes to hit yet Tomlin decided to dress Terence Garvin, an undrafted rookie, instead of the sixth-round draft pick. Keep this in mind as well. If Garvin is active for nine or more games this season, he will lose his practice squad eligibility. If he is needed, that’s fine, but it is obvious that he wasn’t needed in this game.

Redman Fumble: On the play that running back Isaac Redman fumbled at the goal-line, the Steelers had the wrong personnel on the field. If Ben Roethlisberger thought about calling a timeout, why didn’t Tomlin? The whole play looked rushed and it was. You just can’t play around with goal-to-go opportunities like that. You have to take a timeout there.

Not Felixing It: Tomlin went out of his way to praise the play of Felix Jones during the preseason after the team acquired him in a trade and even cut Jonathan Dwyer to make room for him. When Redman fumbled a second time, Tomlin let the smallish LaRod Stephens-Howling take over instead of Jones. If anyone deserved a shot at jumpstarting the running game before Redman returned, it was Jones, who just so happens to be a former first-round draft pick. What did Tomlin have to lose at that point? Jones has been with the team for a few weeks now and should surely know the playbook by now.

Clock Management  – While the chance for a win at the end was slim, there was no reason to burn the final timeout with 2:02 left in regulation. It saved all of two seconds as the two-minute warning would have stopped the clock following the completion to Redman. Being as the next four throws, if needed, would have gone into the end zone, the offense would still have had a timeout left and plenty of time left on the clock had they recovered the onsides kick following a touchdown.

I am, I'm me. 40 something, retired and a life long Steelers fan.
  • steeltown

    Exactly, if Malecki was still on roster he would’ve been active (as the backup Center) along with Beachum as the backup everywhere else including TE, so why release Malecki then sign Wallace only to not activate him and ultimately activate Whimper instead….

    Funny thing is two of those inactives, Cody Wallace and V.Williams SHOULD be starting this upcoming week.. or atleast I hope that’s the case

  • frednash

    agreed

    mike is no field general

    noll would never done those

    grimm should be our coach

    happens again

    tomlin will be history!

  • JT

    Yes. Max Starks and Russ Grimm, two people no longer in the NFL are the solution to all of the Steelers problems. #Yinzer

  • costanza2k1

    solution. fire Haley. Fire Tomlin. Fire the FO. Cut a ton of random players week to week. Have Rooney step down. Sign players who no one else has signed. I see multiple championships coming with those moves

  • JT

    If they are really comfortable with Beachum across the line, why would he not be the backup tackle instead of Whimper? What would have happened if Adams or GIlbert went down? With the way this game went, that certainly isn’t out of the question. I think everyone, coaching staff included, would have felt better with Beachum at Tackle and Wallace at center than Whimper playing anywhere.

  • frednash

    ask

    ben!

  • steeltown

    Exactly!

  • T R

    Bingo!!!!!

  • T R

    Only a back up offensive lineman is the only person that should not see the field if they use up a 53 man roster spot on game day.. no RB or Fullback that dress for the game should fail to see the field if it is just for speical teams.

  • T R

    well least at that point i would know my team is loser, instead of thinking or told you have descent enough team. and suck..

  • JT

    1.) Cut Gay and Whimper
    2.) Fire Tomlin and Haley
    3.) ??????
    4.) PROFIT!!!!!!

  • steeltown

    Gay played well yesterday, better him starting in Cortez’s absence than C.Brown
    …and was that an underpants gnomes reference? Ha!

  • Ken

    The clock management is absurd! It’s not just Tomlin! I would say 80% of the coaches in the NFL haven’t figured out that calling a time out with a few seconds before the two minute warning is a horrible move! A time out with 2:02?? that time out is worth 2 seconds!!! If the clock is past 2:10 seconds just let it run out if you can get a play off. And every stinking time the announcers say that was a smart move!! NO it wasn’t do the math!!!! Sorry that’s been building up for years..

  • Ahmad

    I agree with you on everything except the Redman fumble. I have said this before and will say it again. If Redman doesn’t fumble or scores on that play, it’s a non-issue.

  • JT

    Indeed it was! Gay did have a good game. But Yinzers will have none of that.

  • JohnnyV1

    Mike definitely did not live up to “The Standard”, along with many other coaches and players. Adversity and mistakes are excellent teachers and great motivators. Hopefully this week 1 debacle will be a stepping stone towards something great. But it does appear that they have a mountain to climb right now.

  • Mkeller

    Not a good day for the coach or the players. Its difficult to win in the NFL when the opposing sideline has more talented players and ultimately that is the problem.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I personally cannot believe that we are 1 game into the season and have already lost 3 guys for the year. Heath and Spaeth are out. Spence has been out for over a year. It is just crazy. I honestly am not surprised by the play. Things just snowballed and the coaches nor the players were ever able to get it under control.

    Malecki and Dwyer will probably be brought back, although D. Lolley doesn’t think Malecki is an option. Sylvester or McFadden will probably be brought back as well. Personally, I think it is time for Williams to be in the game. He is smart and can be the player coming out for the nickel D so he doesn’t hurt you in pass coverage when it is an obvious passing situation.

    Let me also say this, when the O plays the way they did yesterday, I don’t ever think our D is as good as it can be. We never put a team into the “must pass” to abandon the run type of offense because we never have the lead.

  • steeltown

    Yep, its the goal line, they practice that shiz all training camp long and its supposed to be Redmans forte. They shouldn’t have to call a timeout, even Tomlin said the personnel grouping was irrelevant in regards to the play

  • steeltown

    The Defense played great, considering

  • Eric

    If it doesn’t get better, fire Tomlin, promote LeBeau to Interim head coach, make Butler Defensive Coordinator (it will happen anyway when Lebeau retires), and look at Lovey Smith becomming our head coach next year.

  • Terribletoweler

    I think what is going on here is that Tomlin is learning on the job what to do with a team that is doing some rebuilding. He lacks the depth of the past, and it isn’t entirely his fault. He has won enough recently that we are feeling the effects of drafting consistently lower in the draft for a very long time. Some picks that should have worked out, haven’t. Colbert built the championship teams in the draft, and can do it again. I think our draft position has put us here, honestly. You can’t convince me the FO has lost it. We just aren’t used to being on the other side of parity. The only way that we could avoid this situation is to do what NE has done and trade for a ton of draft picks, so that we can target exactly who we want. But that has side effects as well. They don’t have as many stars, IMHO, as does Pittsburgh. They did, but they started reloading when they accumulated draft picks.

    We knew the O-line would have a tough time gelling. I know they like Beachum as a backup, but if Gilbert has another quarter like that last game you have to play Beachum. Resign Starks for a backup tackle. Now that Pouncey is gone it will take even longer for the line to gel. And consider what to do about the porous line. Who do you scheme to cover for? Gilbert? The only TE that blocks well is…. Beachum *laugh* Cover for the new center? Then you have less help for the tackles. And they need the help.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I think Haley and Tomlin both freaked a little when Pouncey went out. The whole game plan worked up until that point. The extra Olineman in as a TE, but then the gameplan went out the window and they never recovered.

  • steeltown

    On a side note: Mike Wallace was upset after his Team WON yesterdays game, most likely because he only had 15yds receiving.
    “I don’t feel like talking,” Wallace told reporters

    According to reports, Wallace was visibly angry immediately after the game and was escorted off the field by Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland.

    Way to show its ALL about YOU Wallace, whata #%@$

  • Kenneth Wilt

    To support this, we had 195 total yards for the game…56 of those on the first series. After that series we went…6, 41, 0, -5 for the rest of the first half. In the 2nd, we went 8, -1, 7 (14 total yards in the 3rd qtr), 33, -2, 53.

  • steeltown

    Next year we should have a few more picks than normal via FA compensatory picks

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Well he had 5 targets, he just only caught 1 of them.

  • steeltown

    Yep that first series was encouraging, before the fumble

  • Jefferson_St_Joe

    You are dead on. Dressing Johnson and not playing him is not acceptable. The clock management issues are an ongoing problem that I don’t understand. I would love to know the mechanics of the Steelers front office and how those things get reviewed. Does Colbert or Art II have a Monday meeting where they review these things critically?

    I like Tomlin, but roster and clock management mistakes that are easy to see will ultimately erode his overall credibility and make it hard to lead the team.

  • costanza2k1

    Oh I forgot to add. Somehow fire Arians!!!

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I just didn’t understand the roster moves if they players we received are not ready to play. ST I thought is pretty standard but maybe not someone can fill me in there but Blake should have been active and I 100% agree with your 1st point which is very valid.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Gay did have a few nice plays but because of poor accuracy on Lockers part a few what looked to be easy receptions never happened that would have Gay under the gun.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    Since we didn’t play up to the standard now what? Wii guys get benched? Will there be guys let go? What is going to happen to make the standard the standard, inquiring mind want to know

  • steeltown

    Atleast he got some much needed starting time

  • steeltown

    Funny that Ryan Mundy and Will Allen both had INT’s last night… while we continue to struggle to create turnovers

  • Michael

    Number one Tomlin isn’t going anywhere and he shouldn’t. Everyone is having a knee jerk reaction of course as this game was awful, mostly due to the injuries and how they affected the game. Pouncey’s was huge and you could see the wind taken out of the sail, they kept moving and Beachum held his ground but the fumble was a killer. Though it was not all Redman’s fault on that fumble I thought Redman looked awful running the ball and he fumbled again later though got it back. LSH to me should have started as during the preseason his running style seemed to fit best however point is moot now that he is done for the year. No playing Jones was not surprising at all as he is still not fully immersed in the knowledge of the offense at this point I expect we’ll see a heavy dose of him this week and he may actually be the starter. Probably should start even if they bring Dwyer back as expected. The thing that honestly angered me the most was Haley’s play calling, if was below poor. Why he didn’t cut Ben lose early with the no-huddle earlier is beyond understanding. The only problem with the goalline situation at the end of the game was Ben throwing the ball short of the endzone losing valuable time. Calling the TO prior to the 2 minute warning made perfect sense. If they’d have recovered the onside kick there was still plenty of time to score again TOs or not. Losing Foote, LSH, Allen during the game kept wearing the team down.

  • Don

    How many years is it now with this kind of injury luck? It’s insane.

    Also, a minor quibble. The Redman fumble wasn’t a goal-to-go play. It was 3rd and inches from around the 5 yard line. Instead of getting cute with an inside handoff, how about using your huge, physical QB to get a few inches? NE does that all the time with Tom Brady. Yesterday they failed once, which was notable expressly because it NEVER happens.

    Although on second thought, he’d probably just end up getting hurt. I think the Steelers ought to look into a touch football league.

  • Pete

    All the so-called fans calling for the above firings sure don’t know how the Rooneys roll. They seem to think the Steelers are the Browns or any number of other teams who change coaches like I change my shorts.

    No need for firings. The Steelers will level the ship. They can’t expect everything to go smooth after bringing in so many new parts and parting ways with veterans. The Steelers will get better.

  • T R

    and for years i thought i was stupid.. i was like damn why do you call a time out when it stop in 2 seconds.. announcer be like thats smart to take time out on top side of 2.00.. just dumb…

  • Dan

    So Dave, what can we do as fans to make Tomlin make better decisions?

  • http://www.amazon.com/The-Sibyl-Reborn-ebook/dp/B009KNQHSM James P. Kelly

    The following are the nose tackles are center–whoever it is–will face this year. In at least nine of our remaining games, I’d say it’s certain we’ll need to double-team the NT on virtually every play, which mean our opponent’s ILBs will rove free in the run game and will almost certainly hammer our QB two or three times a game while blitzing untouched (which will probably be Landry Jones in the second half of the season while Ben and Bruce are in outpatient rehab).

    I think our season will sink or swim depending on the play of our center. Wallace or Malecki (in my opinion) will get steamrolled by at least the first seven or eight of the following NTs…and they’ll face the first three twice–that’s ten games that could easily be losses in addition to the Titans loss. In this light, we’re looking realistically at at 5-11 or 6-10, but it could easily be worse.

    The Titans defense–especially its run defense–was considered its weakness!

    Haloti Ngata & Terrence Cody, Baltimore Ravens
    Phil Taylor, Cleveland Browns
    Domato Peko, Cincinnati Bengals
    B. J. Raji, Green Bay Packers
    Vince Wilfork, New England Patriots
    Ndamukong Suh, Detroit Lions
    Matt Toeaina, Chicago Bears
    Paul Soliai, MIami Dolphins
    Pat Sims, Oakland Raiders
    Sione Pouha, New York Jets
    Letroy Guion, MN Vikings
    Marcell Darius, Buffalo Bills

  • Pete

    The play on which he fumbled definitely required a timeout. Ben or Tomlin should’ve called it. They were confused and admitted it. Wrong personnel. New C with slower release, the timing is off. Ben hands off high to Redman. Redman never had the ball. The things that could go wrong did. At least with a timeout they would have a chance to call a different play or get the required people on the field.

  • Pete

    Then Tomlin is contradicting his players. Ben took responsibility for it and Redman explained what happened. Even the TV commentator explained the details of the wonky handoff. Timeout or change the play to match the personnel.

  • Christopher Wilkes

    I think the timeout with 2:02 is by far his worst mistake. You let it run to the 2 min warning and use the timeout after, if you need to. The only reason you use a timeout there is if there’s a good amount of time before the 2 min warning, you’re trying to save time from players regrouping from the last play, and you can get in a play or two before the 2 min warning. All his timeout did was save 2 secs. That shows a lack of knowledge in my opinion. Even people playing Madden don’t make that mistake.

  • steeltown

    Yes, but by that account, a better handoff and we wouldn’t even be discussing it

  • Jay Jaber

    our wide outs suck except for antonio brown emanuel sanders is not a number two hes a slot guy and i think markus wheaton is better then him and will overtake him sometime. cotch is old and slow hes only good for us in the red zone

  • Weiss Chad

    It would make sense if you were on defense trying to get the ball back .I don’t understand it on offense.

  • cencalsteeler

    I can’t disagree with any of your statements Dave!

  • ATL96STEELER

    Interesting thoughts Dave on the actives…I think they felt comfortable with Beachum @ C, but the others don’t seem to make sense…I agree with you.

    The timeout was ill advised…in real time, not today.

    No issue with LSH getting those carries given he had earned it pre-season but after he was injured they pretty much abandon the running game and they didn’t have too.

  • Terribletoweler

    Maybe because you don’t think Beachum will get enough push. So you think Redman can get a few inches because he is bruising. But if Beachum can’t get enough push I have no idea why you run it up the middle anyway. Bootleg Ben to the outside or something. Anything.

  • Terribletoweler

    This is a scary list without a real center. Damn.

  • r4kolb

    it wasn’t a good handoff because they were scrambling to get the play off with the clock running down. as a coach from the sideline you have to see that and call a timeout. I know I was saying it from my recliner. its stupid shit like that, that tomlin does that drives me crazy. like going for a 52 yard field goal w squeezem as your kicker knowing there is NO WAY he hits from that distance thus giving the opponent the ball back with great field postion only to have them go 10 yards and kick a field goal to win because you have no brain. he talks a good game but when it comes to real time he is a bonehead.

  • joed32

    Beachum would be the back up if either tackle was injured.

  • Jeff Johnson

    The entire coaching staff failed to to live up to “””The Standard””” besides the players. Even Colbert and others are also. They talk about putting the best product on the field, so far, the product on the field has been terrible

  • joed32

    I did see Jones in on one play and he gave up a sack.

  • cencalsteeler

    How ironic!

  • WilliamSekinger

    Post deleted

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Gay had a nice game…? Please we’re talking about Jake Locker here. Just wait until the Steelers face a real QB, same goes for Ike.

  • RASTA

    I completely agree. He is a bonehead disguised as a head coach. No one is having a knee jerk reaction to one game, they have legitimate concerns about the coaching of the last dozen or so games! MT bites and is to egotistical to ever admit it. I hate those type of people and he proves it every interview. Ben deserves better, and so do us loyal fans. Go Steelers!

  • http://www.amazon.com/The-Sibyl-Reborn-ebook/dp/B009KNQHSM James P. Kelly

    Well…it sounds like they signed a real center–which is a move in the right direction. Btw, I’m typing this with my fingers crossed in both hands! (I’ll keep them crossed all season.) If I can type without a typo using only my remaining digits, surely our new center can handle a measly few 330 lb. monsters.

  • Don

    You don’t need a whole lot of push to get a few inches. And the big thing about a sneak is to take advantage of your split-second head start of knowing the snap count. That said, I can’t disagree with the bootleg either. Misdirection is always undervalued in short yardage situations.

  • chris ward

    Was a bad performance all around from the coaches to the players. Tomlin made questionable decisions starting with his pregame inactives. Not having Cody Wallace activated didn’t make sense at all. Kelvin Beachum is more flexible than Whimper and has the ability to play every position on the O-line. Then not calling a timeout, when it was clear that the wrong personnel was out there. Was a huge mistake by Tomlin not to call a TO and miscommunication resulted into a turnover. Then poor clock management, to burn your final timeout 2 seconds before the 2 minute warning. When every pass is going inside the endzone or will result in a incompletion. Hopefully Tomlin can bounce back and live up to the standard on Monday night.

  • greeny

    Spot on article. Your job as head coach is to put the team in the best position to win games. Tomlin historically and currently does not do this. If it wasn’t for an incredible roster with depth over the last decade, Tomlin’s record would be much worse. In fact, with the team that he inherited it is a disgrace that we are 1-1 in super bowls since 2007. That team (not this) was too good to only win one and lot of that I put on Tomlin. How can I understand when to use a timeout and a 3 million dollar a year coach doesn’t have a clue. I listened to the podcast, and you guys can certainly find games where this has cost us wins. Not just clock mgmt issues but field mgmt issues as well like attempting a 55 yard field goal last year in Tennessee when Tennessee still had all their timeouts left. That mistake prevented us from the post season.

    The roster make up has always been mind boggling to me. Last year Brown was returning kicks on one leg….find someone else. Carrying 10 linebackers is silly considering 5 to 6 of them don’t have a clue how to play under Lebeau’s defense and as a result are never developed. It’s not like these linebackers are lighting it up on Special Teams anyway.

    Felix Jones will see the field when all other RB’s are injured and our return specialists as well. That is when Tomlin will decide to insert Jones into the lineup as both a kick returner and a running back further exposing him to injury. That is how Tomlin rolls.

    Right now today…we are the worst team in the NFL…hate to say it. BTW….Haley needs to be fired during the season. It won’t get better guys.

  • Jim McCarley

    With time running short, it was taking the Steelers 30 plus seconds to run a play…really? My problem with the team is this……they come in to a game with one plan. if that does not work, they blame execution and not game planning…My way of thinking is that if you do not have multiple plans coming in to a game, you have not prepared adequately…..I think the six rings have them arrogant and think they can just come in and execute any sort of vanilla offense and win. When their plan does not work, it’s execution, not the plan itself….BS! I blame this loss on the coaches…..because if you have a smallish athletic Oline, then why is Ben dropping straight back and not rolling out or shifting the line a bit to either side to gain an advantage? Ben can still move, he does it every game. Roll him out, let a back and maybe a tight end or tackle roll with him and let him throw on the run. instead you are watching as smallish linemen back peddle while trying to slow down 300 plus pound defensive linemen and LBs with a head start….can’t be done. I remember when ben used to roll out some and he was always more accurate rolling out than standing in the pocket…..why did they go away from that? he can’t be any safer standing in one spot like a statue behind that line. Just bad preparation and that falls on the coaches……all day long.

  • Matt Lipner

    I completely agree with this. I watch a lot of NFL teams, so I’m not in denial that every team makes dumb mistakes and many NFL coaches seems to lack an understanding of clock management, but under Tomlin the Steelers have consistently regressed after the first drive/quarter. The offense disappears until late in the fourth quarter.

  • charles

    The math says that sometimes it is the right move. Here it was not, but ben throwing into the field of play to a well covered Redman was not too smart either.

  • charles

    Remember Pouncey just went out. The interchange from center to qb did not look smooth.

  • Ken

    Charles, it is never the right move to call time out with 2 seconds left before the 2 minute warning for the purpose of saving clock. Not now, not in a 100 years. Not if your on offense, not if your on defense. not ever. The most you can save is 2 seconds, it is a stupid mistake that many nfl coaches make.

  • treeher

    I’ve wondered too. It’s too much bad luck. I’m blaming age (torn muscles) and bad coaching (bad technique and conditioning).

  • charles

    Those ints were from pressure on the qb

  • bgsteelfan

    Just some of his coaching issues of late.

  • rishop

    Thats not even close to true. In some instances you gain an extra timout with the 2 minute warning. As someone stated above it is normaly used on defense when trying to get the ball back late in the game. Tomlins use was misguided this game, as are a lot of his decisions it seems.

  • Beatlejuice

    I saw many of the bad coaching decisions that you mentioned, but the timeout with 2.02 was really dumb especially when you are in an obvious passing situation. I think it is natural to blame Tomlin for some of these blunders, but the biggest coaching mistake on Sunday was the offensive play calling. I understand it was a close game in the latter part of the third quarter, but thinking that our running game was going to do something and keep pounding it up the middle for one yard gains was close to insane. If you only amass 32 yards rushing in game then why run? If you can’t run or teams have ten people in the box because they know Haley is as predictable as a sunrise. Maybe just maybe it is time to do something else. Spread it out, and use timing routes, heck off ten passes we can get 70 yards but if we run 10 times and get ten yards then do the math it ain’t that difficult. wE need to get in a passing rhythm or teams will not respect the run which is the case now.

  • charles

    Sory Ken but that is not right.

  • Don

    That’s something I’ve wondered about myself. I don’t think age is the problem. In fact, amongst the lineman, I think the older guys have shown the most durability. Starks and Flozell Adams are two examples off the top of my head who were able to avoid injuries as well as anyone. I’ve posed the same theory here before that you seem to imply. There has to be something about the trainers or conditioning program that is to blame.

  • Madi

    With 74 comments I might have missed it, but does anyone think it was foolish of him to not challenge that 3rd down conversion by Tennessee? It was 3rd and 15, they got like a 30 yard gain, and the dude DROPPED the ball when he hit the ground. I know he got two feet down, but as we know, in today’s league that means nothing. The instant he touched the ground the ball popped out – WAY out – and rolled around. I am on record as HATING this rule change, but if they’re going to take away catches from us (Sanders on the sideline a short time later, and he had another one in the preseason) then I’d like it to go both ways.
    The refs called it not just a catch – but also a fumble! Despite the fact the ground caused it! They clearly had no clue what was going on with the play.
    You challenge, they punt and we get the ball back. Instead, they have first down inside our 25 or so. I believe it wound up costing us three points, plus the time.
    I understand Tennessee hurried to run another play (Troy’s badass sack), but I don’t care. It takes 0.93 seconds to throw a challenge flag. No, you don’t need to wait for your assistant to view the replay. If you are watching the game, you throw the flag and help your team in a tangible way. Even if you miss it for some reason, you ask what happened. Someone should be telling him to throw it. You see them running up to the line to snap the ball without even calling a play, that’s your first hint.

  • CrazyTerry

    You know who else failed ot live up to the standard? Colbert. No one seems to dare criticize him, but he has done an awful job as GM after a great first half to his Steelers tenure. He is washed up like Donohue was. Let us count the ways
    1) Mediocre drafting in recent years.
    2) Matching E. Sanders offer. He could have saved nearly 2M by taking the 3rd round pick in return , drafting a WR in the draft, and paying that guy ,much less and then we would actually ahve one extra WR prospect.
    3) Paying Antonio Brown that ridiculous extension based on one year just to show up Mike Wallace. Mike Wallace didnt deserve that cap money either. He wasn’t a great fit here anymore. But to then sign Antonio Brown to first receiver money was reckless and stupid. And now with Brown looking not even like a great #2 WR, it is looking like a colossal cap blunder. And I like Antonio Brown as a player.
    4) If you are going to have the stones to ask James Harrison to take a paycut, why not ask Troy to take a 1 or 2M paycut.
    5) Drafting Landry Jones. You could have used that pick to get another RB or WR or OL guy to build more depth and hedge against other draft busts or veteran injuries. Charlie Batch could have been used for one last year as a #3 for the bare vet minimum. You could have seen next year if there were any QBs to draft. I dont mind getting a promising QB if available. But not Landry.
    6) Colbert’s inability to get us a good DL despite investing two first rounders in back to back years. It’s a 3-4 where young players do not play in LeBeau’s system. Not good use in a cap situation to go high in the draft where these players get to hit free agency just as they develop even if they don’t end up being busts like Hood. Except Hampton, Steelers have always gotten mid round players of tough stock to excel on their DL in their system.
    7) Colbert’s inability to rebuild a good OL in recent years. Baltimore, MN, NE and a few other teams seem to have no problem doing it.
    8) Should have gone after another good corner in FA. Whether K Lewis (whos effectiveness in NO is in some debate) or someone else, relying on an aging Ike Taylor and an oft injured and impending free agent(in a year), the talented Allen, to be your corners for an entire season in the next couple of years is not wise.

    Let’s just say this. Take MIke Brown of the Bengals. So greedy that he doesn’t even spend much on scouting. yet, his recent acquisitions have been better overall than the Steelers. What equalizes things for both teams is Colbert’s good drafting from his earlier years which still gives the Steelers some base quality. But one team is rising and the other is declinign if the Steelers do not wake up. Even if you do not agree Bengals have been better at drafting in recent years, hey, they don’t seem worse. And you can’t just be equal to a team that has a bozo as an owner who spends as much on scouting as a guy who registers for a fantasy football league.

  • Ken

    OMG Charles , Rishop seriously? you cant give an example because there is not one that will make sense. even if your on defense. you gain an extra time out?? oh boy.

  • Ken

    Dave Bryan please write an article about the use of the two minute warning. There are nfl coaches such as Tomlin that think calling a time out with 2:02 is good idea. When it is never a good idea on offense or defense. Even if your on defense and you call it with 2:08 and its your last time out your going to lose 35 seconds on the flip side of the two minute warning. Which is better to lose 35 or 8, its really not that hard…. Coaches constantly save 5 to 10 seconds only to lose 35 to 40 seconds after the 2 minute warning when on defense, Tomlin’s brilliant move saved 2 seconds. I wish you would set everyone straight.

  • Jonas

    Good answer.. and who would be your center yesterday, if Beachum played tackle?
    I heard Greg Warren is the 3rd string center in madden! [joke]

    No offense, but that’s exactly what we’re talking about:
    Beachum should be the tackle back-up BUT therefore it makes no sense to have your center back-up (Wallace) on the Inactive list!

  • VaDave

    You left out Cortez Allen. Hard to win minus 6 prime time players. I have a good feeling about Williams, and the new center we just signed. But still, getting back to the topic at hand, Tomlin did not put his team in a position to be successful on a number of different levels, starting with game time personnel issues which really came back to bite him, followed by clock management miscues, to challenge calls. It was a bad week for MT.

  • joed32

    So assuming we lost both our center and a tackle in the opener then Beachum would play C, Whimper would play RT and the surviving tackle would have played LT. If Wallace had been up to speed he might have been activated but for whatever reason they didn’t see him as being ready. Now that they signed Velasco we know that they don’t see Wallace as a possible starter at all.

  • Jonas

    Seems reasonable!
    But if Wallace was ready to play, it would mean he’s even worse than Whimper..

  • Tito Marin

    As the veterans fade we discover the real Mike Tomlin who can not hide his poor judgement. His hesitation shows his insecurity which is reflected on to his players. Unfortunately the Rooneys keep their Head coaches for a long time and the team will suffer the consequences for many seasons to come until they realize its not effective to hire a head coach that they can and control & manipulate at their will.

  • Chad H

    Look at the bad decisions by Tomlin.
    1. Lego and Colon gone with no G/C drafted
    2. Who was the back-up G/C and T for this game?
    3. C. Carter, D. Cromartie-Smith, C. Brown still on this roster
    4. Baxter on practice squad (more upside than Carter)
    5. Team was not prepare to play regular season
    6. Where was the fire and emotion (Steelers style)
    7. Haley’s poor/bad play calling
    – spread the offense with 5 receiver sets
    – slow down the pass rush bring in Wheaton and Moye
    8. This list could go on and on just for game one alone!

  • joed32

    Wallace can’t play tackle. Lots of people here will say Whimper can’t either but he has played it before while Wallace never has.

  • Asmitty56

    Wallace and Felix obviously would not have known the playbook as well as Beachum (unfortunately Whimper as well) and Stephans-Howlings as well. That’s why they didn’t play, and likely why Beachum will once again start at OC and Redman be the co-starter presumably with Dwyer.

  • Asmitty56

    1– The Steelers drafting hasn’t been flawless, but who’s is? I’d argue that Colbert’s drafting has been equal to supposed “draft gurus” like Belichick outside of that one horrible draft. I actually like the direction of this years draft.
    2– So you were prepared to go into the season with Antonio Brown, Jerricho Cotchery, and a very old Plaxico Burress? Now THAT sounds stupid and irresponsible. It was good that they matched the offer to Sanders or we would have likely ended up with no targets. You don’t know how the draft would end up.
    3– Antonio Brown’s contract is very cap friendly and low guaranteed money. For how badly WRs are getting over paid this one isn’t too bad. I wouldn’t mind Sanders getting a similar or lower contract.
    4– Can’t say that I know. Probably because we didn’t have anyone to play SS at the time other than Troy?
    5– Fans need to get the hell over the pick of Landry. We need a long term back up for Ben given his amount of injuries. I haven’t the slightest clue why fans expect rookies or even 1st or 2nd year players to play well right away. it’s like it’s the first time they have watched football. Be patient this sort of thing takes time.
    6– Thanks for exposing your self. Hood had a pretty decent game last week. McLendon did a fantastic job getting into the backfield. Heyward looked decent when he was in. Again you fans have no patience what so ever. Expecting a young lineman to succeed right away is ridicules whether they are 1st round picks or not. It typically takes 3-4 season to break the line up, that’s just how it is.
    7– No idea. I guess we just have shit luck in this department. It’s not like they didn’t go out and try to acquire the talent with two first round picks and two second round picks, as well as Foster being resigned. They just have been so injured so frequently that they haven’t been able to gel what so ever. I’m sure the fact that they have the youngest offensive line in the league has something to do with it.
    8– They did get a FA CB, they brought back William Gay.. Maybe they should have, but it depends on what state the salary cap was in. Also remember that Thomas and Golden will likely play a lot in nickel and dime duty over depth CBs.
    9– So you were prepared to have Stevenson Sylvester, who isn’t even with the team any more start? Because that’s what it was going to look like before training camp. You fans are forgetting a lot of this is in hindsight.

  • SC

    If Tomlin can’t do better than 8-8 this year they should get rid of him. Redman is short yardage back. Never should have started him. Seems like he is to friendly with players and plays favorites over talent.

  • CrazyTerry

    1, When Mike Broiwn and his stingy miniscule front office can outdraft you in recent years, there isa problem. Colbert had a great run in the first half of the 2000s and his team still was managing wins based on thsoe drafts. But the last few drafts have been mediocre enough to bring us htis state. They haven’t been able to fix the OL in 5 years. That’s too long to be so futile on one unit.
    2. Just because you dont have Sanders doesnt mean you cant use the extra pick you get and the extra money you save from him to get another WR to do the role they seem to force him into. They dont need a Wallace. (and I suggested moving away from Foote too, and there were 2 or 3 other areas they could have saved money on), Hell, the money they spent on Spaeth , Sanders and Foote combined could have been used to get a better TE or WR or even take the extra WR or RB in the draft with the Sanders pick from NE and the pick they would have saved by not drafting that waste Landry Jones.
    3. Are you kidding me? AB’s contract was signed 2 years in advance of his next contract. You can’t compare his contract dollars to an unrestricted free agent. That is a horrible contract. It was a slightly questionable contract even without hindisght and with the benefit of hindsight, it is a terrible contract.
    4. Before we drafted Jones, we didnt have anyone to replace Harrison either. We still negotiated with him. They couldnt even get Troy to give even a million? He did less than Harrison last year. I am glad he has recovered his speed. But no turnovers yet.
    5. Yes we need a replacement for Ben soon. Just kneejerk drafting is not wise. Hell, if they spend a first rounder on a QB next year in case they find another Aaron Rodgers who slides down the draft even if they dont need a new QB right away,i wont complain. People are not complaining about taking a QB when we have Ben. They are complaining that it is Landry.
    6. First of all, let me explain what patience is. I am the one who has said inthe psat they should have put up with Heyward’s mistakes and played him more so he could get more experience.,Hood has had plenty of chances. So he had an OK game. Big deal. about time. But he has shown what his near celing is. He will be a solid backup at best or a starter on a mediocre defense. Take your pick. Certainly not something you want form a first rounder. You are better off investing midround picks with the Steelers philosphy of their DL personnel in a 3-4. Time to find about heyward and he showed it in Cinci. This is th ecap age. You cant afford to spend their entire rookie contract developing them and see them leave ala K Lewis.
    9. Actually no. If Sylvester looked so awful for so long that he gets beat out by a mediocre street agent(I highly doubt Kion is the second coming of Harrison), then Colbert did fall asleep at the wheel in getting reinforcements.
    THe big excuse is cap money. Colbert has spent way too much cap money on his own over the hill players one too many times. The cap situation is self inflicted.