Ought to Mike Tomlin Be On The Sizzling Seat?

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Head coach Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on in the second half during the 2021 NFL preseason Hall of Fame Game against the Dallas Cowboys at Tom Benson Hall Of Fame Stadium on August 5, 2021 in Canton, Ohio.
(Picture by Emilee Chinn/Getty Photos)


Houston Chronicle reporter John McClain has lined the NFL for 45 years.

McClain has seen all of it throughout his profession, overlaying the Houston Texans and the now-defunct Houston Oilers for the reason that mid-Nineteen Seventies.

Earlier this yr, I had the chance to talk with McClain on an episode of the “Bleav in Steelers” podcast.

Earlier than the present began, McClain stated one thing that caught with me.

McClain stated if the Pittsburgh Steelers ever determined to eliminate Mike Tomlin, the coach may discover a new job by sunset on the identical day if he needed.


What Has Occurred With The Steelers Since 2020?

Whereas the Steelers’ playoffs chances are high hanging on by a thread with a 5-5-1 report coming into Week 13 of the 2021 season, they’d be silly to even think about firing Tomlin.

Little doubt, the Steelers’ defensive efficiency is regarding in latest weeks.

Pittsburgh has allowed 82 whole factors in its final two video games, which is probably the most throughout Tomlin’s tenure.

Tomlin-coached groups set the previous report throughout the 2013 season, permitting 74 whole factors in a two-game stretch.

Plus, the Steelers have struggled to cease the run of their final 4 video games permitting dashing totals of 136 by the Chicago Bears, 229 by the Detroit Lions, 159 by the Los Angeles Chargers and 198 by the Cincinnati Bengals.

On the offensive facet of the ball, the Steelers nonetheless battle to run the ball regardless of drafting operating again Najee Harris within the first spherical of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Harris has performed properly when given alternatives and area, however the Steelers’ 87.1 dashing yards per recreation ranks twenty eighth within the NFL.

Within the 2021 season, the Steelers are averaging 112.2 dashing yards per recreation of their 5 wins and about 66.17 dashing yards per recreation of their six non-wins.

It’s value noting the Steelers are as a result of spend about $12.59 million on their offensive line this season, which ranks twenty ninth within the league.

In life, you get what you pay for.

Whereas rookie left deal with Dan Moore Jr., rookie heart Kendrick Inexperienced, and second-year guard Kevin Dotson are getting helpful recreation reps, none of them had been first or second-round picks.

Maybe the crew was shocked that heart Maurkice Pouncey retired within the offseason.

In June, the Steelers launched six-time Professional Bowl guard David DeCastro.

The Steelers’ scoring common of 20.4 factors per recreation ranks twenty second within the NFL.

Final season’s offensive struggles prompted the Steelers to not renew offensive coordinator Randy Fitchner’s contract after the playoff loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Within the 2020 common season, the Steelers averaged 26 factors per recreation and had a league-worst 84.4 dashing yards per recreation.

It’s clear Matt Canada hasn’t fared a lot better, no matter the place the blame ought to fall.

Steelers proprietor Artwork Rooney II normally leaves soccer operations to normal supervisor Kevin Colbert.

Nevertheless, Rooney defined his rationale for the eventual choice of Harris even earlier than April’s draft.

In March, Rooney informed media members he doesn’t need to see the Steelers end final within the NFL in dashing ever once more.


Mike Tomlin’s Tenure

Tomlin has a profession 150-83-2 regular-season report.

Tomlin, 49, is in his fifteenth yr because the Steelers head coach and has but to have a sub-.500 season.

Take into consideration the NFL fanbases that will like to make the identical declare about their favourite crew.

Nonetheless, Pittsburgh measures its success by Lombardi trophies: Tomlin gained Tremendous Bowl 43, however misplaced Tremendous Bowl 45.

For the reason that institution of the Steelers on July 8, 1933, the franchise has gained six Tremendous Bowl titles and made eight appearances within the large recreation.

It’s laborious to imagine it has been greater than a decade for the reason that Steelers’ final Tremendous Bowl look.

Tomlin’s critics level to his 8-8 playoff report.

Additionally, the Steelers haven’t gained a playoff recreation since January 15, 2017.

The crew missed the playoffs in 2018 and 2019.

A season-ending elbow harm to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger derailed the 2019 marketing campaign.

Nevertheless, the Steelers gained the AFC North final season by beginning the yr with an 11-0 report earlier than dropping 5 of their final six video games.

On December 7, 2020, Tomlin had an on-field dialog with Washington Soccer Staff defensive finish Chase Younger that basically put his teaching success into perspective.

Younger was in the course of his first NFL season when he gained NFL Defensive Rookie of the Yr.

“I don’t ever need to lose sufficient video games to get a man such as you,” Tomlin stated to Younger. “I play towards you on a regular basis since you received to lose 14 (or) 15 video games to get a man that seem like you.”

The Steelers’ highest draft decide throughout the Tomlin period was when the crew traded up with the Denver Broncos to pick out linebacker Devin Bush with the tenth decide of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Whereas tanking to get a greater draft decide within the NFL isn’t the identical because the NBA, groups in each sports activities should restock their rosters with expertise sooner or later.

No matter how the 2021 season unfolds for the Steelers, the true analysis of Tomlin begins when the entrance workplace decides how you can substitute Roethlisberger, who’s within the closing yr of his contract.

The finish is close to for the 39-year-old quarterback, who has spent all 18 years of his NFL profession with the Steelers.

No matter shortcomings the Steelers have this season, it’s as a result of Tomlin and the franchise are victims of their very own success.

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