PG+: Tomlin's postgame admission sheds light on personnel woes
[URL="http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/pro-sports/steelers/122905-ray-tomlins-postgame-admission-sheds-light-on-personnel-woes"]Ray: Tomlin's postgame admission sheds light on personnel woes[/URL]
MONDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2013 07:57
WRITTEN BY RAY FITTIPALDO[URL="http://plus.sites.post-gazette.com/index.php/component/mailto/?tmpl=component&link=044a4600bc1208ee7343a6255adae c14a2f7b21d"][/URL]
After another game when the franchise quarterback failed to come through in the clutch, when the defense got gouged by big plays from a previous winless team playing a backup quarterback, the thing that struck me most after the game was something Mike Tomlin said in his postgame news conference.
Tomlin was posed a question about his ineffective left tackle Mike Adams, who remained in the game after being continually beat in pass protection. Tomlinís explanation was there were no other options because Kelvin Beachum, the top reserve on the line, had to enter the game at guard when Ramon Foster was injured in the first half.
ďAnybody else we would have put in there would have been below the line of preparation, so there's no answers in that regard," Tomlin said.
First question: Why is Guy Whimper dressed for the game, or even on the roster, if he is not an option to play guard?
Second question: How in the world can the coaching staff be so ill-prepared for such a situation?
Anyone who has watched this team play in recent years knows injuries to offensive linemen have been a problem. Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley decided to only dress two reserves for the game Ė Beachum, the top reserve at all five positions on the line, and Whimper, a trained tackle who has been practicing at guard since training camp.
Dressing only seven linemen is not out of the ordinary in the NFL, but dressing one who apparently is not an option to play unless there is an emergency seems a bit odd.
If Whimper cannot play guard well enough in a game I am not sure why he is on the 53-man roster in the first place. But the fact that Tomlin admitted the coaches were only prepared for one injury on the line is staggering. Tomlin has coached teams when injuries have forced more than one reserve lineman into action in a game. Those teams had answers in the reserves. This one apparently does not.
That doesnít shine well on the coaches or the player personnel department whose job it is to find capable players to fill key roles in spite of the teamís salary cap restraints.
The Steelers signed Cody Wallace to replace John Malecki after the preseason, and Wallace has not dressed for a game yet. Either he is a slow learner and has trouble picking up the offense, or he too has been deemed not good enough to play.
Which brings us to another question regarding this tattered line: how did the talent get so depleted in a short time?
Everyone knows the Steelers won the Super Bowl in 2008 with an offensive line that was less than ideal. They made it back to the big game again two years later with a similar line. But those lines did not have as many problems protecting Ben Roethlisberger, and it certainly had players who were able to step in during games when injuries occurred.
Former offensive line coach Sean Kugler was hailed for his ability to make patchwork lines work in the face of adversity. Kugler left the team after last season to become the head coach at his alma mater, UTEP. Tomlin hired Jack Bicknell to replace him. To this point, Bicknell has not found the answers, and there donít appear to be any forthcoming for a team that is 0-4 for the first time since 1968.
Still wondering why we didn't give Adams help
Whimper was signed instead of keeping Starks.
Whimper was ranked as the worst T in the league last year.
Whimper was moved to G during training camp.
So its proven that he can't play T. But..... If he can't play G by now, freeing up Beachum to play T then why is he dressing? Why is he even on the roster?
"Anybody else we would have put in there would have been below the line of preparation, so there's no answers in that regard" - Tomlin.
It's the 4th week of the season and the coaching staff has just admitted that they don't have a single player that can come in and play tackle in a game scenario b/c they only dress ONE back-up for all positions. Beachum is literally the back up Tackle, Guard and Center. How insane is this?
You have Whimper dressing and they are afraid to put him in. Afraid. How @#$^ awful must he be that they can't trust him enough to spell Adams for even a play after the whipping Adams was taking? And instead of keeping Malecki (who's no savior but was on the roster from November on last year) they bring in C. Wallace (another team's re-tread) and then don't dress him for a single game. Why do we have Joe Long on the Practice Squad - is he really a worse tackle than a player they won't put into a game even after an injury or one they never dress?
I've always been a Tomlin supporter but this is one of the more embarrassing things I've heard come out of a coach's mouth in a very long time. If you're dressing guys for games that are so ill prepared to play you refuse to put them in; you're team is in shambles (at least at that position).
This is so disturbing.......Don't even no where to start....
True... but it also says a lot about our salary cap issue. IMO this team looks like we had enough money to sign 18 to 20 starters and everyone else is here on the cheap.
Originally Posted by Ghost
Tomlin is a great coach as long as things are going well. When adversity strikes, he seems to lack ideas to turn the tide. He says things like "unleash hell," but it's all about big show, no results. As time goes on and the most recent SB appearance gets farther away, his shortcomings become more glaring.
Originally Posted by Ghost
Whoever is responsible for only preparing for one OL injury--Bicknell, Haley, Tomlin--maybe all three of them--needs to be held accountable.
Tomlin seems to me to be clueless. I don't think the Rooneys would ever fire him, though...
We have 8 players taking up about half the cap space (see my thread). Those high-paid players aren't playing as they're getting paid to, and their salaries have prevented us from adding other players who could help.
Originally Posted by feltdizz
Hall of Famer
If you guys are really relying on Whimper to play and he really sucks then it says more about the talent than it does the preparation. Don't get me wrong all the coaches are failing LeBeau and Tomlin included but this speaks more on the Colbert and the personnel department.