PDA

View Full Version : Tomlin needs to unleash answers



fordfixer
12-07-2009, 07:42 AM
Harris: Tomlin needs to unleash answers

By John Harris, TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, December 7, 2009
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 56560.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_656560.html)

Unleash hell?

Heck, no.

The chickens have come home to roost on Mike Tomlin's doorstep.

Was that Tomlin, or Jim Mora, answering a question about the Steelers' dwindling playoff chances following Sunday's dreadful 27-24 loss to the Oakland Raiders at Heinz Field?

"Hah!,?" retorted Tomlin, sounding too much like Mora when he shrieked his infamous "playoffs?" response upon being asked several years ago about his struggling Indianapolis Colts advancing to the postseason.

I take that to mean no, the 6-6 Steelers won't make the playoffs a year after winning Super Bowl XLIII.

It's 2006 all over again, with Tomlin assuming the role of Bill Cowher, who was coaching during a lame-duck season with his players not knowing if he was leaving or staying.

"Hah!" I mean, really.

Tomlin, the youngest coach to win a Super Bowl, can do better than that.

What else does Tomlin have up his sleeve?

"I'm just trying to win a game," said Tomlin, who became the first Steelers coach in six years to lose four in a row.

Unless it means that Tomlin is already out of answers, that his tough talk and inspirational words from a week ago failed to jump-start the Steelers in a must-win game.

Yesterday's game was so important that wide receiver Hines Ward predicted the Steelers wouldn't make the playoffs if they lost to Oakland. My take is the Steelers don't deserve to go to the playoffs if they can't beat the Raiders at home.

The Steelers were so inspired to go out and beat the Raiders that they failed to score on two of their three red-zone possessions in the first half.

Oakland scored its first touchdown after Tomlin gambled on Jeff Reed's 53-yard field goal attempt early in the fourth quarter. Reed missed, giving the Raiders the ball at their 43.

It goes without saying this wasn't Tomlin's finest hour. How did it all fall apart so quickly?

How did the Steelers fall from winning the franchise's sixth Super Bowl, led by one of the all-time great defenses in NFL history, to allowing the Raiders to score 21 points in the fourth quarter?

The Steelers' secondary played so poorly in the fourth quarter that it made Oakland quarterback and local product Bruce Gradkowski look like Kenny Stabler, when Gradkowski wasn't imitating Daryle Lamonica.

Bottom line: There's a lack of cohesion between the cornerbacks and safeties, with big plays by the opposition late in games being the unfortunate result.

Troy Polamalu, please report to the starting lineup.

On Louis Murphy's 75-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter, Murphy got inside cornerback Ike Taylor and there was no help over the top.

"He's supposed to stay inside of him, inside of that man and potentially could pick up some help from the backside," Tomlin said of Taylor. "Of course, neither happened."

Of course. But why did the same thing happen a week earlier, when Baltimore's Derrick Mason caught a 46-yard bomb in the fourth quarter against William Gay and safety Ryan Clark?

And why did inside linebacker James Farrior, who calls the defensive signals, confess that, yes, there was confusion in the secondary on the play call before Oakland's game-winning touchdown?

Inexplicably, it was a defensive breakdown similar to the one that occurred two weeks ago at Kansas City right before the big pass play in overtime that set up the Chiefs' winning field goal.

Either the players aren't getting the message, or the players don't understand the message.

Following the Kansas City loss, Tomlin accepted blame and said he didn't have his players ready to play. Two losses later, Tomlin indicated he may be considering personnel changes -- especially after his most recent fighting words fell flat.

Nothing like shifting blame when the heat is on.

"I don't know about changes, possibly. Yes," Tomlin said. So much for clever retorts.

And so much for Tomlin's Cover-2 defense, which, in case Tomlin hasn't noticed, isn't working.

The Cover-2 is supposed to prevent the big play, not encourage it.

And while we're on the subject, how about making sure the defensive players receive the proper calls during crunch time? And how about going to the no-huddle earlier than the fourth quarter when the offense limps along for the first three quarters?

Just asking.

NWNewell
12-07-2009, 08:43 AM
I still have faith and like Tomlin as our coach... but he's really annoying me lately.

"It's not who we are." he says.... Oh? What happened to "We will let the tape speak"?

Perhaps it's this change that is the issue. Stop telling yourself we are better, and instead, actually try to GET better.

It's not what you are inside, but what you do that defines you.

The tape has spoken.

Oviedo
12-07-2009, 08:49 AM
I still have faith and like Tomlin as our coach... but he's really annoying me lately.

"It's not who we are." he says.... Oh? What happened to "We will let the tape speak"?

Perhaps it's this change that is the issue. Stop telling yourself we are better, and instead, actually try to GET better.

It's not what you are inside, but what you do that defines you.

The tape has spoken.

Don't confuse what he says to the media with how he fgeels or what he says to the team. The fact is that this team is better than they are playing. You can use trite expressions like "You are what your record says" but the reality is we have multiple 3 point losses that have occurred because we have a systemic problem with our pass defense that hasn't been fixed. We are a better team than the record indicates but when players don't execute problems happen.

NWNewell
12-07-2009, 08:56 AM
I still have faith and like Tomlin as our coach... but he's really annoying me lately.

"It's not who we are." he says.... Oh? What happened to "We will let the tape speak"?

Perhaps it's this change that is the issue. Stop telling yourself we are better, and instead, actually try to GET better.

It's not what you are inside, but what you do that defines you.

The tape has spoken.

Don't confuse what he says to the media with how he fgeels or what he says to the team. The fact is that this team is better than they are playing. You can use trite expressions like "You are what your record says" but the reality is we have multiple 3 point losses that have occurred because we have a systemic problem with our pass defense that hasn't been fixed. We are a better team than the record indicates but when players don't execute problems happen.

Not talking about the record. I'm talking about the way they are playing. Once is a fluck, twice is a trend, three times is a problem. This team has problems. I'm not so sure they really are that much better than what the film shows. I think, to a player they have more ability. But as a team, they don't have much ability. Part of it could the be coaching, part of it could be mental errors and lack of dicipline by the players. Some of them are physical mistakes. Sure we should have to rely on Burnetts INT, but the fact is, it was hand delivered to him. You've got to make plays.

Oviedo
12-07-2009, 09:02 AM
I still have faith and like Tomlin as our coach... but he's really annoying me lately.

"It's not who we are." he says.... Oh? What happened to "We will let the tape speak"?

Perhaps it's this change that is the issue. Stop telling yourself we are better, and instead, actually try to GET better.

It's not what you are inside, but what you do that defines you.

The tape has spoken.

Don't confuse what he says to the media with how he fgeels or what he says to the team. The fact is that this team is better than they are playing. You can use trite expressions like "You are what your record says" but the reality is we have multiple 3 point losses that have occurred because we have a systemic problem with our pass defense that hasn't been fixed. We are a better team than the record indicates but when players don't execute problems happen.

Not talking about the record. I'm talking about the way they are playing. Once is a fluck, twice is a trend, three times is a problem. This team has problems. I'm not so sure they really are that much better than what the film shows. I think, to a player they have more ability. But as a team, they don't have much ability. Part of it could the be coaching, part of it could be mental errors and lack of dicipline by the players. Some of them are physical mistakes. Sure we should have to rely on Burnetts INT, but the fact is, it was hand delivered to him. You've got to make plays.

As I said, there is a systemic problem with our pass defense that leBeau has not fixed all season. Not sure if he thought it would all just come together or what but it hasn't and adjustments in either personnel or scheme need to be made.

Burnett blew it. I'm one of his biggest supporters and I can tell you from watching him 4 years in college that he makes that catch 10 out of 10 times. That more than anything just reinforced how this season has gone. The bright spot is unlike Gay he was actually in position to make a play and made a perfect break on the ball. IMO a cause for hope because Gay is a disaster.

fordfixer
12-07-2009, 09:06 AM
I still have faith and like Tomlin as our coach... but he's really annoying me lately.

"It's not who we are." he says.... Oh? What happened to "We will let the tape speak"?

Perhaps it's this change that is the issue. Stop telling yourself we are better, and instead, actually try to GET better.

It's not what you are inside, but what you do that defines you.

The tape has spoken.

Don't confuse what he says to the media with how he fgeels or what he says to the team. The fact is that this team is better than they are playing. You can use trite expressions like "You are what your record says" but the reality is we have multiple 3 point losses that have occurred because we have a systemic problem with our pass defense that hasn't been fixed. We are a better team than the record indicates but when players don't execute problems happen.

Not talking about the record. I'm talking about the way they are playing. Once is a fluck, twice is a trend, three times is a problem. This team has problems. I'm not so sure they really are that much better than what the film shows. I think, to a player they have more ability. But as a team, they don't have much ability. Part of it could the be coaching, part of it could be mental errors and lack of dicipline by the players. Some of them are physical mistakes. Sure we should have to rely on Burnetts INT, but the fact is, it was hand delivered to him. You've got to make plays.

As I said, there is a systemic problem with our pass defense that leBeau has not fixed all season. Not sure if he thought it would all just come together or what but it hasn't and adjustments in either personnel or scheme need to be made.

Burnett blew it. I'm one of his biggest supporters and I can tell you from watching him 4 years in college that he makes that catch 10 out of 10 times. That more than anything just reinforced how this season has gone. The bright spot is unlike Gay he was actually in position to make a play and made a perfect break on the ball. IMO a cause for hope because Gay is a disaster.


Can we say 9 out of 10 times? :lol:

JTP53609
12-07-2009, 09:23 AM
i hate when he says....
the performance was not who we are

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-07-2009, 09:48 AM
Don't blame Burnett, Mundy, etc. The Steelers should have never let the Raiders stick around. This has been a string of the most un-inspired football I have seen the Steelers play in a long time. Some of the players should be ashamed they are letting their teammates down. However, I'm putting it mostly on the coaches including Tomlin. It is there job to put the best 11 on the field and I don't care if it is a high paid vet...Bench the guy if he is Draggin A$$ out there. The Steelers D was lucky early. They should have been behind since the first half. Gay most likely won't play...But even if he was 100% healthy, I would bench him. Carter next. Taylor...You are getting close. And I didn't think in a million years I would say this but Farrior...I hope it is just because you are playing un-inspired ball too...But you are not the same player out there. Shake up time! Mundy to start for Carter and Burnett for Gay. If Lewis is 100% from his rib injury possibly him over Burnett.

Offensively, not really much to say except for quit screwing yourselves. Penalties are killing you. I saw good and bad out of the play calling but it is improving. Can't throw away redzone chances...Period.

Anyone else see Sweed miss the chance to save his season of disappointments? I was pulling for ya...It would have been the perfect confidence booster! But...Just the way the ball has been bouncing as of late.

NWNewell
12-07-2009, 10:10 AM
Don't blame Burnett, Mundy, etc. The Steelers should have never let the Raiders stick around. This has been a string of the most un-inspired football I have seen the Steelers play in a long time. Some of the players should be ashamed they are letting their teammates down. However, I'm putting it mostly on the coaches including Tomlin. It is there job to put the best 11 on the field and I don't care if it is a high paid vet...Bench the guy if he is Draggin A$$ out there. The Steelers D was lucky early. They should have been behind since the first half. Gay most likely won't play...But even if he was 100% healthy, I would bench him. Carter next. Taylor...You are getting close. And I didn't think in a million years I would say this but Farrior...I hope it is just because you are playing un-inspired ball too...But you are not the same player out there. Shake up time! Mundy to start for Carter and Burnett for Gay. If Lewis is 100% from his rib injury possibly him over Burnett.

Offensively, not really much to say except for quit screwing yourselves. Penalties are killing you. I saw good and bad out of the play calling but it is improving. Can't throw away redzone chances...Period.

Anyone else see Sweed miss the chance to save his season of disappointments? I was pulling for ya...It would have been the perfect confidence booster! But...Just the way the ball has been bouncing as of late.

I agree... I'm not trying to get on Mundy, Bernett, etc. I was just pointing at one of many things. No doubt it's not all there fault. This four game skid has been a mess from top to bottom. But in my eyes much of that falls on the coaches because it's the same ****, different day. They have not righted the ship. I understand that you can only work with what you got and a lot of the poor execution is the fault of many of the players, but there are a lot of things that should be better. The individual abilities on this team are far greater that the final product being put on the field.

There were two huge HC blunders in this game that, in my eyes, that epitomize the complacency and expectation of winning, instead of executing a win.

1. Kicking a 56 yard FG. WTF? You are basically saying, yeah I don't think we will make it, but I our defense is so great, I don't care if we give them a short field.

2. Going for in on 4th and 1 in the redzone instead of taking the FG. You always take the points unless you are too far behind and there isn't enough time left in the game for another scoring position. What was the difference in the score? 3 points? What has the difference been in most of our loses? 3 points or less? You'd think Tomlin would get an idea how precious giving up FG's would be.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-07-2009, 10:42 AM
The FG was not a high percentage kick. I would not have attempted that. I understand the thinking on it but that should have been brought into the equation on the previous play call. You are at the 25 in field goal range that could give you a TD lead. 3rd & 6 in that scenario the way the game is going...I'm running a draw, screen, or even a shuttle pass. When was the last time you ran a shuttle pass Arians?...<jeopardy music> That's right...Never! A sack is huge...And guess what? We gave up a sack. So I agree on not attempting the FG...But I have a bigger problem with the play call previous.

I don't really question the 4th & 1 call. Ben has been successful on those in the past. If it wasn't for the field conditions he would have got it. You don't hand the ball off either. You don't bring the ball back 2 yards to make a foot. At that point in the game the way "It looked" like the defense was playing...Not a big gamble. I would have made that call too. However, again, previous plays. I would not have called 3 runs in a row to Mendenhall after he just ran 60 yards to the 14. I'm running a play action on 1st or 2nd down. I'm sure if they did...Miller would have found the endzone. Getting away from Miller is something I don't like seeing from Arains. So I like the call to go for it...I just didn't like the 3 running plays after Mendy took it 60 yards to the 14.

NWNewell
12-07-2009, 10:48 AM
I don't really question the 4th & 1 call. Ben has been successful on those in the past. If it wasn't for the field conditions he would have got it. You don't hand the ball off either. You don't bring the ball back 2 yards to make a foot. At that point in the game the way "It looked" like the defense was playing...Not a big gamble. I would have made that call too. However, again, previous plays. I would not have called 3 runs in a row to Mendenhall after he just ran 60 yards to the 14. I'm running a play action on 1st or second down. I'm sure if they did...Miller would have found the endzone. Getting away from Miller is something I don't like seeing from Arains. So I like the call to go for it...I just didn't like the 3 running plays after Mendy took it 60 yards to the 14.

I can understand your point. But when a team is struggling like the Steelers are, you can't take anything for granted. We had 3 and we gambled it for 7. This is where you have to know your opponent. You shouldn't need to put up big numbers against Oakland. I don't think we should be taking that gamble. Take the 3 points. Now if it were the Saints, and we needed to put a big number up on the score board, then maybe I can understand the gamble. But when you are struggling and playing a subpar offensive team, I think it's a sin to take points off the board.

LouSteel
12-07-2009, 11:08 AM
Now if it were the Saints, and we needed to put a big number up on the score board, then maybe I can understand the gamble.

Unfortunately, our fundamentally broken defense makes every team look like the Saints. It's getting to the point where our O definitely needs to put up a big number... because our D is going to let anyone and everyone score at will.

Our only hope from here out is to keep scoring TDs because our D ain't gonna help us do sheeit.

JUST-PLAIN-NASTY
12-07-2009, 11:27 AM
I don't really question the 4th & 1 call. Ben has been successful on those in the past. If it wasn't for the field conditions he would have got it. You don't hand the ball off either. You don't bring the ball back 2 yards to make a foot. At that point in the game the way "It looked" like the defense was playing...Not a big gamble. I would have made that call too. However, again, previous plays. I would not have called 3 runs in a row to Mendenhall after he just ran 60 yards to the 14. I'm running a play action on 1st or second down. I'm sure if they did...Miller would have found the endzone. Getting away from Miller is something I don't like seeing from Arains. So I like the call to go for it...I just didn't like the 3 running plays after Mendy took it 60 yards to the 14.

I can understand your point. But when a team is struggling like the Steelers are, you can't take anything for granted. We had 3 and we gambled it for 7. This is where you have to know your opponent. You shouldn't need to put up big numbers against Oakland. I don't think we should be taking that gamble. Take the 3 points. Now if it were the Saints, and we needed to put a big number up on the score board, then maybe I can understand the gamble. But when you are struggling and playing a subpar offensive team, I think it's a sin to take points off the board.
If it was in the 2nd half I would consider it more. Basing it on how the defense was playing to that point, field position if you turn it over on downs, success of the QB sneak with Ben, and the probability of predicting the play calling by the Raiders if you turn the ball over on downs...I make the same call. The funny thing is if he did kick the FG....Everyone would be complaing he didn't go for it. Remember, the plan worked. The Raiders went 3 & out and punted. The Steelers scored after only 2 pass plays.