Sep 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts to a called safety against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
"Unacceptable performance. I won’t accept it. This team better not accept it. We’ve got some work to do.-Mike Tomlin during post-game press conference (via Steelers.com)"
I do not blame Mike Tomlin for referring to his team’s performance as “unacceptable.” In fact, “unacceptable” perfectly describes the way the Steelers played during their 16-9 loss to Tennessee this afternoon. I mean, unless one wants to use the phrase “dumpster fire” to refer to what took place on the field earlier today.
Nevertheless, it does not take a professional football coach to see that Pittsburgh’s performance was sub-par. In fact, the rest of the fanbase and I simply want to know the following, Mr. Tomlin:
What will you and your coaching staff do to correct your mistakes and fix your pressing problems to improve this fall?
Moreover, will you, your staff, and players be able to do those things with the current problems your team is facing?
Offensive issues like pass-protection, running the football, flipping field-position, and cobbling together drives are not quick fixes by any means. While it certainly helps that the team has a Pro Bowl quarterback, those problems cannot be addressed if your team’s Pro Bowl center is out indefinitely and the rest of the offensive line is populated by glorified blocking sleds. Also standing in your way is your running back corps littered with mediocre and butter-fingered specialty backs. And will Le’Veon Bell really be the “answer” to the running game woes once the injury-prone back returns from his foot sprain?
As far as your defensive problems are concerned, how will you address your team’s lack of pocket collapse and inability to win the turnover battle? Jake Locker had plenty of time when he went to the air this afternoon, and he picked the defense apart when they went to soft zone coverage. If you are unable to collapse the pocket on a quarterback like Locker, I will hate to see what happens when your team faces the likes of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Moreover, who do you have set to replace the injured Larry Foote at inside linebacker? While Lawrence Timmons can fill in for Foote, who will fill in for Timmons on the weakside?
I would discuss the team’s play on special teams, but that would imply me having positive things to say about it. The costly penalties and ineffective kick and punt coverage units are still hurting the Steelers, and they will continue to do so until your players refuse to accept the type of special teams play we as fans have become accustomed to watching recently.
Although you say that you and your team will “not accept” the way they played this past Sunday, I would rather see your coaching staff and them actually improving correcting their mistakes than you spouting off ridiculous rhetoric during post-game press conferences and having nothing happen (“Unleash Hell,” “Standard is the Standard,” etc.).
You and your team have an important division game coming up, Mr. Tomlin. Luckily for the Steelers and yourself, all of you have a chance next Monday night in Cincinnati to illustrated that you can correct your nagging mistakes and play with more discipline, tenacity, and vigor than the absolute garbage you put on display earlier today for those at Heinz Field and the millions watching at home.
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