Steelers Loss Against Ravens Is On Tomlin
Steelers Loss Against Ravens Is On Tomlin
Nov 19th, 2012 by Craig Gottschalk
You know, for quite some time during Sunday’s game against the Ravens, I believed the battered Steelers could pull one out against the Ravens. But, as the fourth quarter unfolded, that belief quickly filled with doubt until all shred of hope was obliterated even before the Steelers’ last drive. The first thought that came to my mind when the clock reached :00 was, “Tomlin, what the hell were you thinking?”
We point a lot of fingers after a loss, but none falls more squarely than on head coach Mike Tomlin after this one. Sure, there are others who made some mistakes. Quite frankly it was the ‘little things’ added up over the game that helped cost the Steelers this one. But, a big chunk lands right onto Tomlin like the pile of stinking dung heap he put out there on Sunday.
Todd Haley’s offense is structured around two things: 1) The inability of the offensive line to consistently pass block and 2) Big Ben’s quick release of the football. When Ben went out with the shoulder and rib injury, it seems as if Tomlin ignored having to evaluate his QB situation, and who was best suited for the offense. Todd Haley, based at looking at the play selection from the game, appeared to adjust his offense to the QB – I think there was only one or two quick screens to the wide outs. Not really his fault because that’s all he had to work with. Or at least, that’s all that was given to him. Tomlin had an opportunity to flip flop the QB depth chart and place Batch as the starter over Leftwich. It seemed like a rather obvious move to make over the course of the week, but everyone learned early that Lefty was going to be the one under center.
Once Leftwich was obviously hurt – go ahead, pick any of the dozen or so times that Leftwich grabbed his ribs or hunched over in pain over three quarters OR when his accuracy faltered on several easy tosses OR when he couldn’t throw the ball 30+ yards downfield – Tomlin should have yanked him out of there. It’s hard to question Lefty’s toughness. This dude rallied his Thundering Herd back in 2002 after breaking his tibia (shin). Marshall still lost the game, but this kid at the time showed a ton of guts going back out there for several series. Leftwich tried to stir up that toughness again, but the simple fact that it impeded his throws should have had him benched – either by his own admission or by Tomlin’s yank of the hook. This pretty much goes under the category of what Ben tried to do last season against the 49′ers. The questions always looms – was he injured significantly enough that he did more harm than good? The answer to last season’s game against the 49′ers is ‘yes’ as is last night’s an even more resounding ‘YES!’
Batch’s quicker release over Lefty’s and his overall state of health (i.e. he didn’t have a rib and shoulder injury) should have had him in that game sometime early in the second half. I was astounded every single time I saw Leftwich come back out on the field for the next series. I admit, the offense was effective at certain points getting the ball past mid field, but that was in large part from the running game and not Lefty’s arm. The Raven’s defense seemed on its heels at times, but a few incomplete passes emboldened the pass rush or the tighter coverage that caused the drives to stall short of field goal range to tie. There’s no doubt that if Ben was in this game the Steelers would have won handedly. An overall ranked 26th in defense, and the Steelers couldn’t even put 13+ points on the board?
All of it falls on Tomlin. It was horrendously poor decision making by keeping Leftwich in. I have no clue what Tomlin’s beef is with Batch, but that’s all it seems the reasoning could be as to why Tomlin refused to put Batch in the game – there’s an underlying problem between those two that we don’t know about. The piss poor clock management was also on Tomlin. Wasting two time out’s in :44 early in the 3rd quarter is just plain dumb, and the clock management in the two minute drill was just as terrible. Hear me now, and here me many more times until this team puts up big numbers, big wins, big seasons, and big time championships – Mike Tomlin is not an elite coach. He’s good, but he has a tendency to put up stinkers like last night when so much is riding on a season. I say enough of the talking – the standard is the standard, the next man up, excuses are for the incompetent. Put up as a coach and make good but bold decisions. By the way, the coaching seemed pretty incompetent last night, what’s your excuse, Tomlin?
I was going to write in here that if Tomlin had any good sense left in him that he should start Batch. Turns out good sense or none, he has no choice. Sources around the league speculate that Leftwich could be out with a rib and shoulder injury for a significant amount of time. Talk about some friggin’ deja vu. It looks like we’ll have good ol’ Charlie on Sunday against the Browns. The team will more than likely try out some QB’s during the week as Heath Miller is the next guy in line to throw the ball (uhhhhh, so do I yell ‘Heeeeeeeath‘ every time he completes a pass?????). I guess Dixon could come back seeing that he saw glimpses of the play book during the pre-season before he was cut.
The choices don’t get any better from there folks. We’re just going to have to hope for the best every week until we see Ben come back in a few weeks.
Last edited by hawaiiansteel; 11-21-2012 at 02:31 PM.
I have to totally agree with you..i was yelling at the TV to get him out of the game and put Batch in. And if this doesn't tell you what we should be looking for in the draft.
yes a QB should be are number one draft pick to start getting ready to take Ben's place in 4 or 5 years from now.
Maybe Tomlin does listen to much to players lobbying to play. But, when you consider the tough luck Brian Leftwich has had the past couple seasons it's not hard to understand giving him every chance.
But that is not what interested me about this article. What did was the picture of the dawgpounder. I could not at first make out what was on the bone. But I saved the image and enlarged it and saw what was on it. Those players #27 and #33 played for the Browns in the mid-eighties and in Minnifields case into the 90's. Cleveland won the division quite a few times in this decade. The player #27 was very hard to make out. Frankly, after I found out who he was I must admit I really did not remember much from that decade at all. But what stood out was these players were in the secondary. Cleveland has not won anything since. There is little doubt that in that decade they had a very very strong secondary. The other player was Al Gross #27 a safety. Frankly, I did not remember this player but obviously he was a hard hitter sort of an early version of Ryan Clark.
This reminded me of that post some Steeler fan did several years back where he went back to 1970 and listed what all the champions rankings in numerous categories was. Well to cut it short, the conclusion was Pass D wins championships. Incidentally, sacks were irrelevant[offensive that is].
Anyway even though TS[the steelers]lost that game the play of the D and of course the secondary was amazing. And sooner or later many fans[me especially] are going to have to admit being very wrong about Keenan Lewis who is getting better each week and eliminating so many of his bad habits. Maybe this season is not lost. If TS somehow manage to slip into the PO's, rest assured no one is going to be too anxious to play a very likely near full strength Pittsburgh Steeler team.
Overcoming the QB situation may really be too much but still?
I like Mike. But the last two games have been real stinkers on his part, IMO. One of them we eked out. The other, not so lucky.
Hope he can pull his head out and get it going again.
Tomlin's the man.
We should be terrible, but this team is starting to play like a real SuperBowl contender. Consider what he's working with and the results so far.
1. Lose our team leader in Farrior + Ward and Hokie
2. Harrison, Troy, Max, Mendy, Hampton, Woodley, Worlids banged up to start the season (possibly Keisel too)
3. QBs best friend is sent packing
4. 1st and 3rd round draft picks go IR
5. Moving Colon to G and dealing with a string of injuries on the OLine
6. RBs getting hurt weekly
7. 1st and 2nd string QBs hurt
8. New OC
9. Depleted WRs
10. Superstar WR skips camp and appears totally disinterested in season
11. Can't pass block
12. Can't rush the passer
13. Can't create turnovers
14. Kicker's range is about 40 yards
15. New punter that's below average
16. ST coach fired during the preseason
17. ST is still a disaster
And there's probably a few other things I've left off the list because there's so many. And Mikey T overcomes all of that and is now fielding a team that looks like a real contender. And we're gonna lay the blame for this game on him????
Perhaps Mike knew he couldn't afford to risk Charlie and potentially not have him against the Browns this week. Whatever it was, I have a hard time blaming Tomlin for much given what I witness the guy overcome.
Other teams lose 1 or 2 key players and their season is toast. Not a Mike Tomlin team. We can compete with our 3rd stringers. And the standard remains the standard. And we're fielding a legit contender.
This is some of the best coaching in Steeler history. And we're lucky to be able to see it.
I was just thinking this the other day. If Tomlin can manage to get the team into the playoffs and win a game or two, it would represent his greatest coaching achievement given the Steelers situation. On the otherhand, Tomlin continues to befuddle me with his in-game brain farts. I suppose the controversy makes for good Monday morning blogging, so we can thank him for that.
Who is Craig Gottschalk? I see why he's a blogger and not a head coach.
Wow! All facts too. [How soon we forget[me too] But it would also be nice if TS stop making these bizarre clock management decisions.
Originally Posted by flippy
Hey! btw: Anybody know if this Hoyer ? has done anything in the NFL. Is there any chance if Charlie gets dinged up?
Best coaching you ever seen in a season? Wow. Some of you guys are showing your ages here. I can remember a certain Steelers team getting blown out (And I mean BLOWN out) in the first 2 games of a season, only to come back late in the season and reach the playoffs. They win the 1st playoff game, and come damn close to winning a 2nd to almost make the SB. That coach was the Great Chuck Noll. Now that was a great coaching job.....
This guy who wrote this article- I mean, who the hell is he? Never heard of him and he has no clue as to what he's talking about. I'm not the biggest fan of our HC, and fact, I still think the jury is out on what this guy can do long term, but most of the stuff he's blaming Tomlin for is ridiculous. The 2 TO's were on Leftwich and Haley not communicating. It was either that, or a delay of game penalty... Leftwich was #2 on the depth chart for a reason... Anyway...
Let's not forget that if Jones didn't return the kick for a TD, we would've won the game. That goes on the ST coach.....
Last edited by pfelix73; 11-21-2012 at 09:48 AM.
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Flippy is dead on. To blame this on Tomlin is preposterous.
Frankly, without Big Ben this team is no going ANYWHERE. Anywhere is the Super Bowl.
The same goes if Atlanta lost Ryan, NE lost Brady, Baltimore lost Flacco, etc.
Very few teams do the same regardless of QB. Typically teams like Arizona, who suck whoever is back there.
Yes, with a decent QB, we could 'make' the playoffs. But its just fluff. Its nice to try hard and all, but not too many backup QBs can sit on the bench all season and not practice and then come in and lead. Lefty is NOT one of those players. And Batch is ancient. We are screwed unless Ben comes back. And if he comes back early we are also screwed.