The Steelers perfectly, difficult transition into a new era

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Steelers recent responses of potential change amongst its top ranks are only delaying an inevitable process that needs to occur. 

Not trying to immediately urge whoever will read this article into the nature of psychology, but understandably it’s hard to move on. Committing nearly two decades to an individual player and almost 15 years to a head coach, the length of tenures they maintained with a single NFL franchise, and more specifically, the Pittsburgh Steelers is uncommon.

Legacies built that were formerly shadowed by legacies stamped into history, both Mike Tomlin & Ben Roethlisberger have lived many lives in the NFL. A combined two Super Bowl appearances, winning one, and never experiencing a losing regular season as a duo, it’s been a time that some still argue as underwhelming but is to be appreciated.

However, nothing lives forever, and to put in lament terms; Father Time is undefeated. At least one, whose future with the organization is facing an ultimatum, and the other has entered the hot seat in many dialogues.

The Steelers inevitable changes & credible delays

Although the notion of what’s to be stated is for the present, the Steelers’ inevitable change has reasonable means for its delay. After rising to an unprecedented 11-0 start to the 2020-21 season, the Steelers 1-5 ending in its last six meetings, including a postseason loss to the Cleveland Browns, might have been the saddest ending for any team in the NFL.

Either passing around blame or claiming the ole “I told you so” among the masses, the reasons for Pittsburgh’s dramatic fall was nothing that wasn’t being projected before. “The play calling was stale; the offensive line couldn’t block a soul. Does a running back exist on this team? What is a catch, Ben’s QBR!” Elements of this team that plagued the final months of the season could just never find any solutions to their problems.

It took having to play through the horror of the season to have any turnaround for the franchise. Too much needs to be done, & the team’s current structure is so dependent on so much to change if they want to be competitive for the future. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert & his staff knew this as they have already prepared in doing so by elevating QB coach Matt Canada to OC after just one year with the organization.

Although, allowing nearly 50 points to the Browns & including their playoff performances in recent years, the excuses of anything are becoming inexcusable & puts a magnifying lens on the head coach himself. Yes, Tomlin can’t manually fix an offense that can’t run for more than 100 yards in its last seven games or apply stick-um to his WR gloves, but the energy of it all never had a significant shift outside a couple of players.

Consistently beloved for his teams’ instilled disciplines and player favorability, factors that matter more as head coach than simply Xs & Os, Tomlin has accomplished much to celebrate. However, with only one trip to the conference championship in the past decade and either missing the playoffs or losing in the wild card seven of those years, uneasiness is starting to settle in.

To clarify, it’s nothing from the suits in office in Pittsburgh that feels such ways. It just poses the same questions being asked with Roethlisberger now. What direction does this franchise want to head to & where are they heading if they keep either name?

Beginning the process of what’s to come

Although they have already replaced specific assistants that will likely boost the Steelers’ worst in 2020, ushering in a whole new regime can prevent & encourage a multitude of variables. For example, the youth that is circulating and set to enter this team, too much change in such a short period of time if things don’t work could disrupt the stability of their growth.

Another issue could be waiting out too long on a potential head coach, one that fans would know the organization wouldn’t neglect anyone based on an outside criterion. Top-of-the-list names like Eric Bienemy & Byron Leftwich would undoubtedly be included in the hiring process or even extend into the college ranks for someone like Lincoln Riley.

Surely, all have been granted the opportunities to work with some of the best QBs in their businesses & don’t have the long NFL experience as an HC, but so didn’t Tomlin & it welcomes a risk that is so unparalleled to the style of the team the Steelers currently are. An adjustment to modernity should also make the organization want to bite the bullet with its current QB.

A dilemma now & a 41 million dollar cap hit that occurs if nothing is to change, the Steelers could drastically reduce that number to 22 million if cut at any time. It would allow the shift of focus of not only building the rest of the roster that has key names entering free agency but also in pouring into a new QB.

"“The easiest thing for the Steelers would be Roethlisberger retiring. With his salary off the books, $19 million of 2021 cap space would be gained, although there would be $22.25 million in dead money — a cap charge for a player no longer on the roster — because of the bonus proration. The $22.25 million would be the largest amount of dead money related to an individual player for one league year in NFL history.” – Joel Corry, former NFL agent, via"

Fiscally, no sense is made to keep Roethlisberger. For a player that will go down in the history of Pittsburgh sports & the NFL, it’s understandable that cutting ties will be no easy task but shouldn’t deter the choice that has to be made. Furthermore, the threat of the Steelers competing as a Super Bowl contender is still at least a year away, which throws any reason away why Ben should be the one under center in 2021.

Related Story. 5 free agents the Steelers have to sign in 2021 offseason. light

An insurmountable amount of love is deserving of both parties for where they have journeyed in their chapters with the Black & Gold; however, it’s time to flip into a new saga.