Mike Tomlin Wrong On Dime Defense Assessment


I don’t find the Mike Tomlin press conferences particularly important. And that’s fine, they don’t have to be. They can be as transparent as Tomlin wants. You do get the occasional transparent, useful answer but mostly, it’s just fluff. Don’t learn a lot.

There was one really interesting moment from yesterday though, not for how interestingly right it was but how interestingly wrong it was. Our David Todd, as he said he planned to do, asked Tomlin about leaving Lawrence Timmons on the field instead of moving to a dime defense, which they did throughout the latter stages of 2015.

His question.

“Why has [Timmons] been staying on the field when you have other options?”

Tomlin’s response.


“Often times, it’s a function of what we desire to do and a function of what our opponents are doing. For whatever reason, we saw a lot of four wide receiver sets at the latter part of last year that pushed not only us, but globally speaking, just about everybody into dime personnel groups and so forth. We’ve been seeing a lot of two and three wideout personnel groups particularity of late and that doesn’t necessarily dictate you go dime personnel…it’s been more of a choice, or an option, which is a little bit different then when you see the four wideout personnel groups that were in vogue at the end of 2015.”

The short answer: the Steelers saw a lot more four wide receiver sets last year that forced their hand into playing dime.

To be blunt, that is not true.

We can lean on our weekly defensive charting each week to quantify things. From Week 14 to the end of the 2015 season, including playoffs, the Steelers were in dime 59 times. Opposing defenses were in 11 personnel (1 RB, 1 TE, 3 WRs) for 57 of those. Only once did the Steelers face a four wide receiver set, Week 15 against the Denver Broncos, and funny enough, the Broncos scored on that play.

To be fair, Tomlin did acknowledge the team can and has gone dime against 11 personnel, and that’s clearly true, but the four receiver element doesn’t hold water. It didn’t happen.

As usual, it’s better to show, not tell. Here are a bunch of examples of the Steelers in dime against 11 personnel. A large number of these are from the first time in the game the Steelers showed dime, which would help show they did out of their own desire, not anything the opposing offense did.

And I went back and looked at another dozen plus plays and those were all the same, 11 personnel vs dime.

dime1 dime8 dime7 dime6 dime5 dime4 dime3 dime2

And here, if you want to see it, is the one 4 WR set I found where the Steelers were in their dime defense.

dime9

Of course, in a lot of these pictures, you are seeing tight ends flexed out. Or for the tight ends attached, like Tyler Eifert, times where it would be reasonable to see a defensive back matched up instead of Timmons. Or, as is the case for almost all of these, obvious passing downs.

Those are all valid points. But none of that is what Tomlin’s actual response was. It was a red herring, which is weird considering all of the responses he could’ve given. And none of the actual answer responds to a legitimate question.

The answer for their dime defense last year was simple: they wanted to get their best athletes on the field on third and long. 45 of the 59 dime snaps came on third down or fourth down. 38 of them came with at least seven yards to go.

Why aren’t they doing it this year? Maybe it is because of the youth in the secondary. Or Timmons being healthier (he dealt with turf toe last year). Maybe because they haven’t faced the same talent at tight end. Or maybe they’ll do the same as the season closes, just as they did a year ago.

I don’t know. What I do know is when the Steelers go dime when they want to, not when offenses dictate it, like what Tomlin claimed.

I’m fine with the boring, expected non-answer. And sure, ultimately, this doesn’t really matter. But when an answer isn’t rooted in reality? Now that is interesting.

About the Author

Alex Kozora
Full-time blogger from mom's basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.
  • Jacob

    Sometimes I think Tomlin is more of the team psychologist and player manager than the strategist, relying on the coordinators to do their jobs more often than a normal coach. That may explain his sometimes uninformed answers and clock management problems.

  • MattHat121

    Absolutely.

  • MattHat121

    I think I just heard a Mic drop.

  • Craig M

    Nice call Mr. Kozora.

  • nutty32

    Good take. TBF down distance and Score should also be factored in plus how ready last year’s dime defender was compared to this year (+ injuries to the DBs & Timmons, LBs).

  • pittfan

    Bottom line, if you’re going to blab, at least blab correct information.

  • nutty32

    yeah, it’d be tough for him to say, “because our dime defender really sucks this year. “

  • Aaron McNeil

    In all these cases (besides the Ravens example) it seems like the opposing team has their TE either split out or not lined up as a traditional inline TE. Could MT be considering this like a 4th WR?

  • nutty32

    Think his point is that we match for personnel as no one knows what ultimate formation will be used (outside of tendencies revealed by the film).

  • Michael James

    This. Tomlin is probably a great leader and the players love to play for him. He’s charismatic and seems to know what his players need. It’s just that he really doesn’t strike me as a brilliant strategist either.

  • will

    Way to go Alex….how can you get into the Steelers press conferences?

  • srdan

    I dont’ know alex. The images above are a lot of third and longs with a TE split.

  • Alex Kozora

    That wouldn’t make a lot of sense because you don’t get to put in personnel when they line up. You do it as you see who they send in…you have no idea how they will line up. It could be spread, could be more traditional. It is still 11 personnel.

  • Alex Kozora

    They did it because of 3rd and longs, not the split. You don’t know if the TE will split out. And that wasn’t Tomlin’s answer anyway.

  • Simon Cutts

    It is scary seeing Timmons in coverage. Maybe Butler wants to challenge the laws of physics seeing if a big lump of an inside backer can cover quick twitch slot receivers and stupidly athletic tight ends. Um no Coach, sorry but you cannot change the laws of physics.

  • John

    Does this go back to whether Gilbert is in the doghouse? Wouldn’t he be on the field in dime? Or who would be the one subbing for Timmons? It is a simple issue of whom they trust more I would think.

  • mokhkw

    So…things said in locker rooms to players aren’t really said & TEs are WRs. Or MT plain can’t count (which may explain some of his time-outs).

    Was MT being deceptive hoping to take advantage of something the Giants do when they are in a 4 WR set? I can’t see how because the Giants staff are going to watch the films regardless & they will know the difference anyway.

  • Nicholas Allen Cotner

    We’ve give up bottom 5 yardage to TEs this season lol

  • You do realize that his 1 year as a D-Coordinator in Minnesota the players there loved his scheme and approach to how they attacked offenses right? I’ve read the things that have been said about Coach Tomlin by the likes of Tony Dungy, John Gruden and Dick Labeau. Who are you to question whether a coach is a brilliant strategist or not? You have no idea what it takes to run something as complicated as an NFL football team. Stay in your lane and stop making stupid comments. Like Mr. Rooney has said many times, “Sometimes you just need better players.”

  • The last time I checked, a TE is a receiver. I see at least 4 receivers and a RB in all but 1 of the formations. So, exactly where is Coach Tomlin incorrect. I’m a little confused please clarify.

  • Alex Kozora

    By that logic, the Steelers are seeing the exact same sets as last year (11 personnel). Meaning his answer makes just as much sense – zero.

  • Lil Smitty

    What were the teams trends this year compared to last year when they go to 11 personnel? If the teams the Steeler’s faced last year predominately split the TE out as a receiver then Dime personnel would be needed when the opposing team runs out 11 personnel. If this year the trend works the opposite direction when the use the TE inline than Nickel package would be needed with 11 personnel.

  • FATCAT716

    Why? Maybe its private info

  • FATCAT716

    Last year it was Golden

  • dany

    This. I mean it was pointed out in the first paragraph after all so no fault of the author. It is certainly interesting to talk about though, during football downtime. But I expect zero from Tomlin or any other coach in giving out answers

  • Alex Kozora

    But you have no idea how the TE is going to lineup when you have to send out your personnel. You just know the grouping, not the formation.

    The trend here is not TEs being split out. It’s being in third and obvious pass situations. The Steelers chose to do it late last year. They are choosing against it…for now.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    He is a fan who watches the games. That is who he is to question Tomlin as a strategist. Why should we buy into what Dungy and all of them have to say if the results speak for themselves? Tomlin has consistently displayed poor understanding of clock management and player personnel so it is a fair question.

    Have you ever seen Tomlin with a playbook or clipboard? Have you ever heard him display much knowledge of actual x’s and o’s? I certainly haven’t. I will grant you none of this means he isn’t a brilliant strategist but we also haven’t really seen it so why can’t we question it?

    Even when Tomlin has had better players (see Boykin) he chose to stick with some of the worst players in the NFL (see Blake).

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Nice informative article Alex and I know you are not using this to bash Tomlin or anything but this (along with a lot of other signs) really make you wonder where Tomlins head is at at times. Makes me wonder just what level his football acumen really falls at.

    I will say this, I will take him bs-ing us or flat out lying over him actually not knowing what he is talking about so I really hope it is the former. Unfortunately I think it is probably some of both.

  • Lil Smitty

    I thought the issue was that Tomlin lied about the opposing teams personnel groupings. If the teams they faced last year used the TE split out than that is essentially the same as four hideouts. That is a trend that teams can pick up on from film study. Maybe the teams they faced towards the end if the year tended to run their 11 personnel as a 4reciever set. You must run your defense out there depending on the other teams tendencies.

  • steelburg

    I think he may be bsing and doesn’t want to show his hand. In most of the sets it looks as if they are bringing a blitz. Normally they would take Timmons out and insert a CB. We have seen the last few weeks Timmons being matched up more 1 on 1 with a RB while blitzing and it has been effective. If you keep Shazier in as the extra CB and keep Timmons in as the LB you get more effective blitzing and tackling then you would get from inserting a CB.

  • PTownSteelTown

    That grouping on 3rd and long would be treated the same as 4 WR if I were an NFL coach, when considering how many teams employ their TE

  • jlingo

    Better answer would be: Defensive packages are determined by down and distances and what our DC thinks is working that gives us the best chance to win on each down. Other than that…kudos to whoever took the time to chart all those plays. I am sure other teams are doing the same . Insert wink here

  • Lil Smitty

    Where is Boykin playing this year and is he up for Probowl consideration? I have missed his highlights on TV.
    Blake was bad. When they changed scheme and replaced Blake. Things did improve, but is Boykin that much better or was the scheme the fix.

  • justafanlikeyou

    Easy answer…..Blake and Allen aren’t on this year’s team so we know longer know with 100% certainty the other team is going to pass the ball.

  • Alex Kozora

    Steelers have seen those splits this year too. And I doubt that they magically started seeing it in Week 14 last year. The team who did the most was the Ravens and they had Maxx Williams. Hardly Gronk. And if that is the case, that is far from the answer Tomlin gave.

  • Alex Kozora

    I don’t think he’s unaware of it. I think it was just a red herring.

  • Jacob

    He may be a good strategist, but with the Steelers his role seems to be less so.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Boykin is injured and has an injury of history which turned teams off of him. Has nothing to do with the point at hand which was that he was a better option.

    I would say Boykin was that much better. He came right in and had an impact. In fairness to Blake, he was injured but that doesn’t give us reason to forgive Tomlin for continuing to play a guy that so badly hurt the defense.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    I can potentially get behind that but what would be his reason for that?

    No matter how I try and work it in his favor we are still seeing Timmons on the field in passing situations this season.

  • Reg Sayhitodabadguy Hunt

    That’s probably what Peyton informed Eli about in certain situations (probably 3rd and long) where Timmons has to cover the te expose him

  • William Weaver

    Maybe as a staff they consider anything detached from the line a WR. You better look at today’s TE’s that way or you will get killed. Our opponents will soon adjust to Green with personal that tells us they see him as a WR. Also, Golden hasn’t played well at times this year. Bad angles to the ball carrier and maybe he just isn’t keen on throwing him under the bus.

  • steelburg

    If you get a stamp of approval from guys who are considered to be at the top of there profession doesn’t that mean something? That’s like getting a letter of recommendation from a highly respected Lawyer to join a law firm and the people doing the hiring disregard the letter.

  • Michael James

    Relax, I said that I don’t think Tomlin is a brilliant strategist. That’s my opinion, full stop. Before you start coming at me again, here’s a little explanation: I never said he doesn’t know anything about strategy. I just don’t think he’s as good a strategist as Belichick or Harbaugh. Tomlin does things differently and that’s ok, nothing to be ashamed of.
    Who am I to question whether he’s a brilliant strategist or not? You’re 100% right, I will never know as much about football as Tomlin does. But if we are only allowed to state opinions about something we’re experts/professionals at, Steelersdepot can be closed right now.
    That said, I respect your opinion, Kenneth, and I hope I made it a little clearer that I like Tomlin as our coach, I just don’t think he’s the best coach in the league in every aspect (which is absolutely ok).

  • PaeperCup

    Which is fine with me. Isn’t that why they have a Coaching staff. Isn’t that why most teams prefer to have Coordinators? Same reason we rather not have owners make player decisions…sometimes we have to leave it up to those that do the job full time. play to everyones strengths.

  • PaeperCup

    Could it be from film study, knowing that in those situations the TE is likely to split out based on their history?

  • Alex Kozora

    I’m sure they have some idea but you still don’t really know. The Steelers started this against the Bengals last year and as you can see in those photos, it wasn’t because he was always being flexed out. So that wouldn’t be the reason for the change.

  • Alex Kozora

    Wouldn’t be any different than what they are seeing today. And dime has been gone since early in the year.

  • Relax Phil. The reason I mentioned those respected NFL coaches is because their opinion should matter more than the opinion of some armchair Monday morning quarterback. I’m all for fans having their opinions, but let’s not act like because you watch the games that all of a sudden that makes you or I know what’s going on or why a specific scheme was run. As far as the clipboard comment, many coaches walk the sidelines without clipboards. Also, how can someone be a D-coordinator in the NFL without understanding x’s and o’s? That statement is complete nonsense and you should be ashamed for even posting it. The Boykin statement is also a joke. The guy was hurt. Have you noticed that at least 2 or 3 other teams have brought him in and cut him? He has a hip condition that Carnell Lake spoke about.When you talk about his clock management, you make it sound like that happens every game. Every coach that has ever coached has been and will be criticized again about clock management. But I guess Tomlin must be doing a great job because he’s getting the same treatment that Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher received. I’ve come to the belief that we are the most spoiled fan base in the entire NFL. Again, please complain and have opinions, but always remember that we have no clue about what the coaches and players know. PERIOD111111

  • John Pennington

    Tomlin once was a db coach it seems he doesnt know what he is doing and with that Butler sure doesnt know whats going on.Colbert cant judge talent thats why this team dont have quality backups and depends on players way pass their prime to help the team.Time to get smart in the off season clean house and draft some talent or sign some FA to help this team win running out of time.

  • Harbaugh? Really? You are putting Harbaugh and Belichick in the same sentence? I’d have more respect if you said McCarthy or Pete Carroll. Harbaugh (in the voice of Jim Mora…..PLAYOFFS?)

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Why should their opinions matter more though? If they are friends of his and coached with him wouldn’t there be potential bias in what they say? And as I go back to every time someone like you mentions armchair coordinators….What is the difference between us and the coaches besides getting paid? If they are all so much more qualified than us why is there so much turnover on NFL teams? Should we respect the Browns HC’s as much as all of the others because they are paid? I mean clearly getting a paycheck makes them all knowing according to you. It is complete nonsense and a ridiculous thing people like you say to try and discredit legitimate points because you have no real counter to them. You should be ashamed of yourself for taking that approach. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand football.

    In regards to x’s and o’s my point was a bit hyperbolic to make my point of him seeming to lack an understanding in regards to certain things football related. Obvioulsy he knows SOMETHING, but I think there should be real concern as to just how much. I ask this question seriously, what have you seen Tomlin do or explain that seemed x’s and o’s related? He mostly just talks nonsense to get by in the press conferences. I am not saying he should have a whiteboard up there drawing out plays but when we see all of these questionable decisions each season without anything else proving he knows better, it is worrisome.

    The Boykin thing is a legit point. There was no mention of him being injured last year. Yes, Lake said he had a hip condition but we were never given any indication that impacted his playing time. And if injury was the reason for keeping him off of the field why didn’t they take Blake off when he was obviously injured and giving one of the worst CB performances we have ever had in this league.

    I can’t speak for other coaches as I only watch ours. That is why you don’t see me making direct comparisons between Tomlin and other coaches. I don’t know how many he is better or worse than, I just know I don’t view him as a great coach. And take off the black and gold glasses, with Tomlin you can look at every season and point out a minimum of 3 times he made questionable clock management decisions or just completely butchered it. He is terrible at it and it has been a consistent problem that he refuses to even acknowledge.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    In this case no, because there could be obvious bias there. Just take your same sentiment and apply it to coaches and players. Last year Antwon Blake continually got a stamp of approval from Tomlin (who is highly respected) and what did that mean for Blakes performance? He was the worst corner in the NFL.

    And I am not saying their praise is completely meaningless but I don’t hold it in higher regard than the actual facts and what we have in front of us. Tomlin was a DB coach and how has that unit performed for us since he has been in town? His resume speaks for itself. I don’t need to hear from Tony Dungee about it.

  • Someone please post what this bum’s record is from the halfway point of the season since 2010. Since he can’t coach, make adjustments, manage the game clock, conduct training camps or anything for that matter.
    I’ll wait.

  • William Weaver

    I guess it is more with Timmons > Golden?

  • Michael James

    Sorry, but you’re obviously just here for trolling. If you really read my post (where I actually said I like Tomlin as our coach) and still don’t understand it, I feel sorry for you.

  • Michael James

    You can put Carroll up there, too, but Mike McCarthy is one of the worst in-game managers of the entire NFL. I sometimes visit a Packers forum and while they like him as a team builder, everyone hates his in-game coaching.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Didn’t the Patriots clobber the Steelers when they were heavily relying on the dime package earlier in the year? If I were to guess, Timmons remaining on the field on passing downs is to simply prevent other teams from replicating the Patriots game plan which so very effective.

  • So Packer fans are no different than Steeler fans. All fans are alike and think they know more than the experts do. Just like politics I guess. Everyone knows how to fix the deficit until you tell them that they have to give up the perks they have become accustomed to. Visit any fan site and you would think that you were reading our team sites. That’s why we are fans. FANATICS about everything we don’t like or agree with.

  • Shane Mitchell

    In dime, they dont have enough players in the secondary that are physical enough to come up and take on blocks to offer any support to fill and slow down screens and short passes to keep those plays from developing so quickly. Sean Davis, Ross Cockrell and Artie Burns are not physical players that are willing to fill and take on blocks well enough to play dime. Thats why we sometimes see a LB lined up outside in coverage, the LB will be able to take on blocks like a man.

  • Mr. James,
    Please explain to me in your humble opinion what a great strategist is? As a retired Marine, I’ve had the opportunity to learn from and read about the greatest military strategists in the history of the world and they were wrong many times but are still remembered for their accomplishments and complete body of work. To this point compared to his peers, Tomlin has been a very successful Head coach. Even with all his so called warts. The point is, when its all said and done, we may look back sometime in the future and wish for the days of Mike Tomlin. IJS

  • Michael James

    Take the Packers loss against the Seahawks in the NFC Championship game 2014. That loss was 100% on McCarthy. It’s not like every fanbase is stupid or ungrateful. I’ve never seen Seahawks fans complain about Carroll or Patriots fans complain about Belichick. When most of the fans complain about something, there is usually some truth behind it.

  • Michael James

    For me a great football strategist is someone who can adapt very quick to new situations, use the clock wisely, knows all the rules perfectly and starts the best players. Now, for the third time, I’ve never said Tomlin is a bad strategist. I said that he’s not a ‘brilliant’ strategist like Belichick, Carroll or Harbaugh in my opinion. Belichick, for example, always plays the percentages and would never try and fail four two-point-conversions in a row against a strong Cowboys team. He’s also very ruthless when players don’t perform. Last year Antwon Blake played horrible and was clearly injured, yet he played nearly every game, while better players were sitting on the bench. His problems with the clock are well documented. These are some small things I complain about.
    But now for the last time: I like Tomlin and he definitely has his qualities, he’s a good headcoach and great motivator, but for me he’s not the best strategist.

  • SwagDaddy330

    Blake has been on C’Mon man 3 weeks in a row. He blows.

  • So what your saying is that you could be an NFL Head coach. Phil, I could read a book on brain surgery and even what it performed. That doesn’t make me a brain surgeon. With most of the points you just made about Mike Tomlin, the Rooney’s must be the dumbest people in western Pennsylvania because they hired a con man as their head coach. I guess you don’t listen to other press conferences given by other coaches around the league. You can’t be a real football fan with some of the nonsense you just spit out. WOW!!!!!! It’s a good thing you’re not running the organization or we would be the Browns. Stay in your lane sir. You couldn’t coach PEE WEE football but you are on this site acting like you understand the NFL because you watch it on television? WOW and double WOW!!!!!

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Maybe the question will be enough for Tomlin and Butler to look at what they are doing and see that maybe what they are saying isn’t true. Timmons shouldn’t be out in coverage any more….he can’t do it, but it isn’t like they have any other LBs who are capable of that role either.

  • WilliamSekinger

    Sure they do, his name is Shazier.

  • Shane Mitchell

    You are looking at it 1 dimensionally, its not just about pass coverage, its about putting a player in a position in a zone that is not easily blocked out of a play . which is more important to stopping certain plays and offenses than pure cover skill.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    You compared knowing how to play football to brain surgery. I think that says all we need to know about the amount of thought you actually put into your posts. Who knew the game of football could be so difficult for someone to understand that they thought it was equal to brain surgery lmao.

  • What you should be laughing at is your pre-K football knowledge. If football was so simple there would be more than just the preciuos few in a nation of over 300 million who are really really good at it Phil. Tomlin is 1 of 32 active who have been given the awesome responsibility of doing what they do. You have no respect for what they do. Like they say, those who can do, and those who can’t complain. You my friend are a can’t do complainer when it come to NFL football. You see, some of us can complain without acting like we are the duty experts. Whiner 49er.

  • Been a fan almost 50 years sir. I respect the process and realize that perfection has only happened once in the NFL. Trolls live under bridges.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    It is the sign of a weak debater with no intelligent points to make when all you can result to is throwing dirt instead of talking about the actual topic at hand.

    So explain to me almighty god of football knowledge. What exactly seperates an NFL coach from your average person watching football? A paycheck? Assuming Tomlin is like most of us he has played football at some level and has watched/been apart of the game. All he actually has is literal NFL experience. Beyond that, there is no secret society that grants him some special power or knowledge once he takes on the job.

    Think about how you get to that level. It is just a matter of climbing up a ladder like you would at any typical job. It doesn’t take a special education. You start out as a high school coach which basically any person sitting on their couch right now could go get involved with if they had the inclination. From there, you have success or connections and work your way into the college ranks and so on and so forth. You act as if I need to go earn a masters in football in order to know about the game or have an opinion on it. You are wrong. Your argument is weak and it shows in your having to resort to nonsensical brain vomit instead of sticking to the actual topic.

    So again I ask, outside of first hand experience what seperates Tomlin, or any coach for that matter, from your “armchair coordinator”? Prove to me he has gained some fundamental knowledge that nobody is allowed access to until they get their first paycheck from an NFL franchise.

    The only thing I will grant you is that we as fans don’t know day to day what goes on with any given franchise. But that doesn’t prevent us from knowing how time works, what different formations look like, what the positions are on the field, what a missed tackle is, which players have better stats, who looks faster, who is making plays, etc etc….

  • Jacob

    Yes. Part of it is the fact that he inherited a quality LeBeau defense. He didn’t need to meddle and he while he is starting to put his stamp on a couple things, this is Butler’s defense

  • Are you serious Phil? I only debate logical points. Everything you just wrote is unbelievable. So, you think the average fans knowledge of NFL football is somehow just a notch or 2 below that of a football head coach in the NFL? Do you even realize how difficult it is to teach just the mechanics of kicking a football? Forget all the other aspects of the game. I hope others on this discussion board reach out and tell you how rediculous that last book you just posted is. Unreal my man. So I guess with just a few coaching clinics, you’d be ready to go. My man, I’ve helped out at the high school school level and I’m amazed at what coaches do on that level. Forget about Div III foitball. You sir are completely bonkers when it comes to true football knowledge. I appreciate the debates on this site but you are one of those fans who really believe their own nonsense.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    Like I said, signs of a weak debater. You light up like a neon bar sign it is so obvious how little you have to add to the convsersation. Just move on, you just keeping digging your hole deeper.

  • RickM

    You really do keep some excellent stats Alex. Full marks.

  • Petherson Silveira

    Yeah! A lot of 3&long situations.

  • Hypo Cycloid

    This answer is basic football. He has no need to lie about it and no need to answer the question. Better to simply say no comment if he doesn’t want to tip off any of what they are trying to do to the opponents. His answer would be figured out very quickly by any pro coach or scout to be untrue. This is my problem with Tom Brady. He lies at nearly every press conference. He doesn’t have to answer certain questions, yet nearly always does with answers that are not true. And many times after the game, Brady sets the record straight!

  • Steeler-Drew

    I agree Alex, it’s more about how they want to defend than what the other teams dictate. They want to have Timmons on the field regardless of the down and distance. The bottom line is we should never see him attempting to cover a player like Edelman and there are very few RBs and TEs he could cover effectively. My guess is they won’t make the change to more dime until it becomes a glaring problem like it became with Farrior once he lost a step.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    I’m sorry. I guess I wasn’t clear. My point was not whether Shazier was capable of doing it. I think he can. My point was if 2 ILBs are on the field who was the 2nd guy. Timmons can’t be that guy any more IMO.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    You would have a hard time convincing me that there aren’t guys who could do both. Timmons used to be that guy, but he has lost a step and isn’t that guy any more.

  • Reefer Alston

    It’s hilarious how many people think they know about football simply because “they watch the games.”
    Most people watching the games have NOOOOO idea what’s going on.

    What people like the above poster are implying is that:
    a) Tomlin is somehow in control of everything that occurs during the course of the game on BOTH sides of the ball – simply NOT true
    b) He (and others) are somehow aware and knowledgeable of every small detail that occurs on both defense and offense…again, simply not true.
    On one single play there are so many variables that factor into the result, MANY of which are out of the Coach’s control. I’m not saying he’s helpless or useless but what influence does he have if the WR mis-timed his route due to an ankle-tweak he suffered on the previous play and didn’t tell anyone? Is Tomlin responsible for the RT whiffing his block even though the play-call was designed perfectly to prevent a pass-rush from the right side?
    Everybody’s free to have their opinion, however in football and sports in general, things like “He doesn’t strike me as a brilliant strategist” literally holds NO weight. None of us are in the meetings, none of us study the analytics the way the teams do, and we are certainly not aware of many of the minor (but significant) nuances that occur during the course of the game.

  • Shane Mitchell

    Honestly, I cant think of anyone else, perhaps Vince Williams, but I dont think he is faster than old man Timmons.

    Maybe Robert Golden? he played that role for a while, but I would still rather have the physicality of Timmons than the little bit of extra speed Golden might give you cleaning up plays, when Timmons hits someone they feel it, and that adds up over a game and gives a WR something to think about. I would rather have old man Timmons putting a shot on Steve Smith than Robert Golden.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Wasn’t trying to imply we had that guy on the roster. I don’t think we do, but we that is why ILB is a high draft choice to me. OLB, ILB, and S in the first 3 this coming year IMO. This does make the assumption that Bell and Bryant work out.

  • Phil Brenneman II

    I think you discredit a lot of people watching the games and as I have said before, it isn’t rocket science. If anything is hilarious it is how many posters like you think it is actually difficult to understand the game of football. It really isn’t. There are a lot of nuanced things people wouldn’t be able to decipher on a play by play basis without watching multiple times or a bit of research but the big picture of football is very easy to understand.

    To start with your A&B…..That is kind of our point. The fact is, he should be in more control and have more awareness of what is going on and if he cant be, he needs to have someone right beside him during the game to help him with the small details. It is what David Todd always jokes about with hiring a guy specifically to help just with clock management. When you consistently butcher it you have to be aware there is an issue and some attempt to adjust should be made. Your point about him controlling what players do is understood by everyone so there really isn’t a need to talk about it more. Players play and coaches coach. Where people take issue with Tomlin is that when a player continues to fail (see Antwon Blake) he refuses to make changes. THAT is something he has control over and we know that for a fact since he is the HC.

    As for your last part, those opinions can and do hold weight because we get to see a lot of the coaching decisions even if we don’t know every word said throughout the week. We don’t need to know how Tomlin feels about Cam Heyward to know that he has made a bad clock management decision. And as a matter of fact, a lot of people do study analytics and browse a bunch of different sites learning more and studying the numbers. People are fascinated by sites like PFF.

    Anyone the overall point is, yes fans can be knowledgeable and have an educated opinion about football without being paid by an NFL team. A lot of us have played football at various levels, studied football, watched football for years etc etc…..You don’t need a masters degree in football education to be able to make a fair assessment. In fact, nothing like that even exists.