Is Mike Tomlin on the hot seat?

Is Mike Tomlin on the  hot seat?
January 25
02:32 2018

The Pittsburgh Steelers were unceremoniously ousted from the playoffs at home by the Jacksonville Jaguars by the score of 45-42.  Many predicted the Steelers as one of the best bets to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl but fell short once again and now some are questioning whether or not head coach Mike Tomlin is still the right man to lead Pittsburgh going forward.

The Steelers arguably have the best offense in the league, with players such as Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown and Ben Rothlisberger.  The Steelers also boast one of the best offensive lines in the league with three of the five starters making the Pro Bowl this season.

They also have a young, tenacious defense that will get after the quarterback at will, so for them to get bounced from the playoffs this early yet again is definitely a disappointment.  What makes it look even worse was the trash talk delivered by some of the Steeler players prior to the game.

Steeler safety Mike Mitchell trash talked the Jaguars in the days leading up to the game.  Mitchell went so far as to stand outside the Jags locker room prior to the game and reportedly said the Jaguars “gonna know my name.”  That seems atypical of the Tomlin-led teams in the past as his teams have traditionally exhibited high class and restraint leading up to game time.

This recent lack of control might point to a larger issue inside of the Pittsburgh locker room.  There have been other issues in recent memory like Antonio Brown posting a live video on social media from the Steelers locker room following a win. 

Couple the lack of control with playoff failures and that might signal it’s time for a change, or maybe not.  I am not advocating for Tomlin to lose his job by any stretch of the imagination but everyone has to admit these are not the same Steeler teams from 2007-11. 

Granted Tomlin has never had a losing season since being hired in 2007 and along with being a Super Bowl Champion, it would be hard to justify letting Tomlin go.  It’s just hard to imagine a team with the best running back, best wide receiver and a top quarterback not advancing further, especially going up against an up and coming team with limited playoff experience.

There were some questionable calls when it comes to play calling in their game against the Jaguars, also.  The Steelers went for it on fourth and one multiple times. Some of those instances worked out while others did not, leaving the defense vulnerable. 

The onside kick late in the fourth quarter was very odd to say the least.  Onside kicks are very unreliable and the chances of your defense limiting Jacksonville to a three and out was very likely as they were just trying to run time off the clock.  Instead, the Jags were given a short field and took full advantage.

There have been grumblings from fans and media in the Pittsburgh area but the Rooney family has never been known for making quick decisions.  The Steelers have only had four head coaches in the history of the organization, so it’s safe to say barring something catastrophic, Tomlin is safe for the foreseeable future.

Pittsburgh will have some key players that will hit free agency this year, such as Bell.  His signing along with others could make Tomlin’s job security a non-topic because the Steelers very well could be a Super Bowl contender next season.

Based on past situations, everyone knows Tomlin does not like distractions, so I am sure he will address any issues that management may have.  I am also sure he will tighten the reigns on players talking before games as to not create any media backlash.

With the changes in the coaching staff and a sharpened focus, I would bet Pittsburgh does not have these types of issues going forward.  Tomlin is one of the most respected coaches in the league, so when he chooses to crack down on the issues that plagued them this year, I’m sure the players will buy in.

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Timothy Ramsey

Timothy Ramsey

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