You’re foolish if you want the Steelers to fire Mike Tomlin | Steel City Underground

Steel City Underground

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin

I’m usually not so brash in my opinions, but one thing that has really gotten under my skin lately is the “fire Mike Tomlin” crowd. It’s not because they have any valid arguments as to why the Steelers current head coach should be fired. No, on the contrary, it’s usually because of their entitlement mentality which leads them to believe that the Pittsburgh Steelers should win every single game they play in.

Newsflash: this isn’t John Madden Football by EA Sports where the outcomes play out like a video game.

I’ve often said on the Steel City Underground Podcast that coaches coach and players play. During the 2017 season former Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley was the fall guy for what felt like the team’s shortcomings. I thought this was odd given their success, in a sport where parity is the rule and super teams, such as the Boston Red Sox or Golden State Warriors are the exception.

Yes, I understand the New England Patriots, mainly Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, have won five Super Bowl rings: he’s also been coaching the Pats for 19 seasons now, meaning he’s had 13 failures under his tenure, according to the same measuring stick some of “Steelers Nation” uses to judge Tomlin.

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Then there are the sheer number of NFL head coaches who have won a Super Bowl who currently have a job with the same organization who they won it with. Aside from Belichick and Tomlin, those coaches are the Ravens John Harbaugh, the Saints Sean Payton, the Eagles Doug Pederson, and the Seahawks Pete Carroll.

Even including Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, who won his in 2002 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, only brings that list to five besides Belichick and Tomlin: and only Belichick has more victories in the big game when compared to his peers.

That’s why the “Fire Tomlin” crowd, led by infamous Pittsburgh sports talk shock jock Mark Madden, is beyond foolish to argue for his head on a platter. Here’s a coach who has never had a losing season and has brought the Steelers to two Super Bowl appearances in his first eleven seasons as a head coach.

So why fire him?

That’s what I’m asking too… and I’m not afraid to call people “dumb” for this notion. Look, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Looking at other top coaches around the league, you can already get a sense for how difficult it is to be consistent. The Patriots are a rare breed and playing in the same conference, their success negates that of the Steelers. Yet, it’s not as if the Saints and Seahawks are always lighting the world on fire with multiple appearances in the NFL’s title game.

Taking this a step further, I’ve often advocated for Tomlin and his job performance by comparing him to coaches in the Hall of Fame. Four of the last five who were inducted are as follows: Tony Dungy, John Madden, Marv Levy and Bill Parcells.

Of those coaches, only Parcells is a multiple-time winner, having won a pair of Lombardi trophies with the New York Giants. He also took the Patriots to a Super Bowl appearance in a losing effort against the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XXXI. He would be lured out of retirement to become a head coach two more times, with the Jets and Cowboys, but would never have the same success. Even a Hall of Fame coach such as Parcells’ caliber would miss the postseason four out of seven times with those two franchises and even five out of twelve with his Super Bowl contending organizations.

Tony Dungy coached Peyton Manning to “choke” status, or so the public called it, on many occasions with early playoff exists. Marv Levy lost four consecutive Super Bowls with the Buffalo Bills, and John Madden, whom I compare with Mike Tomlin most, only has one ring in his trophy case after a stellar ten-year coaching tenure with the Raiders.

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Surely these Hall of Fame coaches could’ve done better with “talented teams” just like Tomlin could or should have, right? Or is that Tomlin’s success should be credited with inheriting Ben Roethlisberger and previous head coach Bill Cowher’s players? While that’s an argument I hear made often, it’s not remotely true: Cowher couldn’t even win with Cowher’s players.

If 15 seasons the former Steelers head coach only has one Super Bowl win on his resume, with one other appearance total. In fact, he didn’t get that win until Ben Roethlisberger arrived in town: he lost four of his five AFC Championship appearances, all of which were played at home. (And two of those to Belichick-led Patriots squads to boot!)

Just to be clear, I don’t want to show each of these coaches’ failures as an excuse for Mike Tomlin’s: in fact, it’s the opposite. These coaches each had success in the NFL, which could otherwise be seen as not being too successful. That’s because winning in the NFL is rare… and winning consistently even rarer.

For his record, Bill Cowher had missed the postseason five out of his fifteen total seasons. His teams, like others listed, also had early exists and shortcomings that ended a year with anything but hoisting a Lombardi Trophy at the end.

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It takes a special person to lead a group of men being paid millions of dollars to be successful each season. That special person must also coach through injuries and rebuild his team’s roster each season as well. For what it’s worth, Mike Tomlin is one of the best there is. He very well, to the chagrin of those who are dissatisfied with his “lack of success” lately, be one of the best ever.

Putting his ability to keep the Steelers in contention through each season is remarkable and makes him stand out among his peers, such as the Panthers Ron Rivera, Cowboys Jason Garrett or Bengals Marvin Lewis: all who have nowhere near the pedigree that Tomlin has to show for their efforst.

Perhaps we should think twice before firing off a frustrated quip of “Fire Tomlin”. You just don’t know what you’re going to get if your wish comes true. Instead, we should relish what we have while we have it and understand that winning in the NFL is never a given.

That’s the reason the “NFL” is also known as the “Not For Long” league. That’s why when someone comes along and has a great rate of success over a long period, they are retained as a head coach.

Not fired.

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  1. Tomlin recently coached this team to outplay the Chargers, Cheatriots and Saints. Now if he can only get the competition committee to outfit their refs with corrective lenses….

  2. Well said Joe. I agree. However, I only commented so I could add this fine literary observation —- Mark Madden is an insufferable prick. Only reason I’m glad I don’t live in Pittsburgh any longer is that I NEVER have to be subjected to that level of idiocy consistently. Well. until & unless I watch an NFL game and am subjected to the idiocy of your average officiating crew. But THAT is another story altogether. Haha…


        • Brad P says:

          I’m not here to start any argument, call people names, or to just be angry. I’ll start by saying I was never really sold on Tomlin to begin with but I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. He’s won a lot of games which nobody can take away from him. My main gripes with him as a coach are these, seems to make flat out dumb decisions as far as clock management and play calling goes. While he has drafted some very good players, his misses on defensive backs (his calling card) in recent early rounds is troubling to say the least. The penalties this year is unsettling because I believe it shows the surface of a deeper problem. My biggest problem with him is that there seems to be no leadership with this team. Everyone is out there for themselves. And nobody wants to take charge and be the disciplinarian which we all can see they need. I know the grass isn’t always greener but something needs to be done to change the culture back to one of discipline and team first.

          • Joe Kuzma says:

            Well said. I won’t lay the drafting on DBs on just Tomlin. Look at Colbert’s track record with picks before Tomlin and it wasn’t all that great either. Anthony Smith anyone?

            Clock management is always hindsight IMO. I think some coaches are lucky to be more right than wrong, but it’s an educated split-second guess where I’ve seen many others botch those decisions too.

            The locker room is another issue too, but we’re in a digital age where everyone’s dirty laundry is aired instantly. Set Bell’s drama aside and I think Tomlin has had a better go at it than some others. (Cough: Giants.)

  3. Turk says:

    Hmmmm. It’s the refs fault. Are we blaming the refs for losing to the Raiders too. Please explain how a coach loses 10 straight coaching challenges. Here’s a stat for you Tomlin lovers. In the last 10 years road teams favored by 9.5 or more are 52 and 10. The Steelers are 6 and 5. How’s his clock management. The Steelers are about super bowls. How many winning season trophys do they display in the compound. Hmmmm. There’s a problem with this team if you can’t see it your blind. How about 3rd and 20 yesterday. Oh wide open receiver in the middle of the field. Hmm. Never see that with this team. Something tells me you guys are happy with being mediocre. The games are so close now you can’t afford to not be buttoned up. Which they are not. They are terrible at the details. There special teams are awful. Name a better roster in the afc. Waiting and they are going to miss the playoffs . Fire tomlin!!!!!!

  4. Frank says:

    Your argument consists of multiple fallacies…appeal to authority, burden of proof, ad hominem, take your pick.

    First, comparing Belichick to Tomlin is absurd, especially when you attack the former for merely winning a Super Bowl in 25% of his seasons. (By that logic, Tomlin is less than 10%.)

    Second, you see fit to compare Tomlin to Garrett, Rivera, and Lewis all the while avoiding the fact that none of these coaches have a Hall of Fame QB.

    Lastly, you conveniently avoid why critics claim Tomlin should be fired…repeated failures in the postseason, poor judge of talent, ineptitude with in-game decisions, lousy clock management to name just a few.

    Is Tomlin a good coach? Maybe, and chances are, if he were fired, a lesser team would immediately hire him. But the reality is he has underachieved for 8 seasons, all the while with first ballot HoFers at QB and WR along with a number of complimentary Pro Bowl players on both sides of the ball.

    Green Bay finally understood it was stagnate with McCarthy, it’s time the Stillers realize they’ve plateaued with Tomlin.

    • Joe Kuzma says:

      All of those things were the reason for the article. I’m not comparing Tomlin to Belichick, rather, mentioning that his success is not common. The more common coaches like Rivera and Garrett have far less success. Need I remind folks how many of Big Ben’s “Hall of Fame” seasons were all under Mike Tomlin’s tenure. Does Roethlisberger have the same success with Rivera or Marvin Lewis? Debatable.

      • Turk says:

        Debatable by who You? Lewis has won with Andy Daulton. Please address any points. How about the road favorite the last 10 years. How about not having a replay person the booth. He relies on the score board. SERIOUSLY.

        • I anticipate Lewis is out of Cincy after this season ends. Almost guarantee it. Where did you get that Tomlin does not have help in the booth? That’s a bizarre bit of generalization, don’t you think?

          • Tomlin allegedly said that he refuses to hire someone to sit in the booth and make, on average, 1.2 decisions per week for him per an anonymous Twitter account. Tomlin may have said it in a press conference, but I never heard it.

            You’re so fired up to make your point, though, that you aren’t realizing when someone is asking you a legitimate question. I asked where you got it, you said, “TOMLIN DO YOUR HOMEWORK”, so I did. I still have not found a source outside of a Twitter account with the handle “Coach Bomblin”. Then a Reddit thread…and a Twitter thread.

            25 days ago
            They don’t have such a guy, as Tomlin apparently scoffed at the idea according to the twitter thread.

            And the Twitter thread involved Mark Kaboly and the following comments:

            Replying to @MarkKaboly @TheAthleticPGH
            Who’s his challenge guy in the booth? They need a new one.

            They do not employ one

            They do. At least that’s what I’ve heard before.

            They don’t, and Tomlin scoffed at the idea of employing one during an interview earlier in the season.

            Now, I went back farther (to 2017)… because I wanted to do due diligence since the accusation is that no one on the staff of SCU apparently knows anything per your comments.

            Per Ed Bouchette regarding Tomlin: He did not rely on coaches in the booth to advise him on either losing challenge, including one on a spot for a Jaguars first down.

            That ^^^ indicates that Tomlin does indeed have people in the booth. And that’s straight from Pittsburgh Sports God Ed Bouchette, so until I can find actual audio or video of Tomlin saying that he has no one in the booth, I’m not convinced you are accurate either, Turk.

          • Turk says:

            Please explain this then. On the second pi on Haden asked if he thought the ball was tipped he said yes but didn’t have the courtsey of a replay. Research that. I had one and I was sitting in my living room.

      • Article writer sir…you realize Ben was only under coach Cowher for 2 years….so OBVIOUSLY most of his winning seasons were under Tomlin…lol.
        And again, we Tomlin dislikers all have the very same reasons it’s time for Tomlin to go…
        Inadequate drafting.
        Inadequate decisions.
        Blowing leads…almost always collapsing in the 2nd half. Lack of discipline. Just terrible coaching decisions. Look at his ONLY super bowl win…we had the talent. He inherited Cowhers team and now he has ruined it. How can any Tomlin supporter stay one after this debacle of a season…poor coaching lead to the Steelers loss to Oakland, Denver and the chargers. It’s because of TOMLIN careless boneheaded decisions we now will more than likely miss the playoffs. It’s time. It’s been long overdue. But its time for Tomlin to go. Winning regular seasons mean NOTHING if you cannot win in the post season.
        You do not get a Lombardi trophy for having winning regular seasons.

        • Joe Kuzma says:

          Timmons, Woodley and several others weren’t “Cowher’s players”. They weren’t even on Cowher’s last team that went 8-8.

          Roster turnover in 2-3 seasons is a lifetime in the NFL. The only common link is Ben Roethlisberger and one can argue that he is responsible for BOTH Cowher and Tomlin’s success!

          • Tomlin is suppose to be a defensive minded coach. But our defense has been dreadful because of bad schemes, average players and very bad coaching decisions. With a d coordinator AND HC whom are suppose to be smart at their respective decisions have failed the SteelerNation. Tomlin is not a ever going to win another SB because he just isn’t smart enough too. Belichick has one with a much less talented roster than what the Steelers have.
            Answer my questions: What is Tomlins postseason record? What is Tomlins record against under .500 teams? Where has Tomlins Defense ranked since he took over? Has Tomlin drafted some star defenders? Where do they rank against other teams draft picks of the same year?

            Ben deserves 1 or 2 more rings. He should HAVE at least 2 or 3 more SB appearances.
            Numbers favor us Anti-Tomlin fans. No Pro-Tomlin ones.
            Fact. Period.

          • My only question is this: Why does Ben “deserve” 1 or 2 more rings? Players deserve rings, now? Players earn rings. Period. And as for numbers favoring Anti-Tomlin fans? The Rooney Family and the other owners of the Steelers trump any numbers any fan has, including you and I, so getting ugly does no one any good. In fact, it reminds me of when the Chiefs fans were rated the worst fan base in the NFL for throwing beer bottles and trash at their own players.

          • Joe Kuzma says:

            Can’t be serious with this… has he drafted any star defenders?

            Ryan Shazier?
            TJ Watt?
            Lawrence Timmons?
            LaMarr Woodley?

            Do we not like Vince Williams? Cam Heyward or Stephon Tuitt? Or are we somehow going to say they’re all “Cowher’s players?”

            Come on… this is just venting for the sake of frustration. You’re the same crowd who wanted Haley gone and Arians before him, then cried about the results. Ditto for Dick LeBeau too! That proves my point of the grass not always being greener.

            I also wrote extensively about overcoming the defensive losses following that Tebow loss in the 2011 season: Aaron Smith, Hampton, Harrison and Woodley both got injured and missed time, they lost Larry Foote in the opener the one year, Troy Polamalu hurt/retiring… it was a revolving door of bad luck. No team can wholesale replace all of those players especially operating at the bottom of the draft constantly.

        • Now look. Steelers are eliminated. And don’t be dumb. When I say Ben deserved a few more rings, it means the steelers have the talent and ability to make it to the super bowl. Yet they cannot and will not under Tomlin HC.
          That’s my point. We have the talent. We have the ability and yet all of it is wasted because of Tomlin and his terrible DC….Butler said they had to prepare for Tyler Eifret this week…dudes on IR.
          Tomlin is a joke and at this point, if you support him, you support not having another SB win. So let me tweak the article title. “You’re foolish if you want Tomlin to stay.”

          • Joe Kuzma says:

            Ben deserves more rings: he also has to work for them too. Throwing all of the picks he’s thrown over the last four seasons have been self-defeating. This year is the prime example of that.

            Ben got his guy as the OC now and threw for 5,000 yards. Now that we see what that looks like, the “should’ve paid Bell” group is out in full force again. I mean, which is it? (Question not directed at you BTW.) Do we want a running game? Passing game? Who does the accountability lie on?

            In a lot of cases it’s the head coach, but not always. Head coach and QB are two spots closest tied together and it’s usually one or the other, or both, that gets canned. Big Ben has been around a long time and earned his place, but I suggest if he were a 1-3 year player in this league he would’ve been sent to sit on the bench like Blake Bortles this season. We need him to lead the team. He’s more than capable, I just think there’s more than enough blame to go around for 2018.

    • Phil Burk says:

      That also does not take into consideration all of the other plays that could have been successful challenges, but he decided not to throw the red flag.

      • Joe Kuzma says:

        You have some good insight, but I’d like to know what plays he should’ve challenged that he could’ve actually won? The Chargers game, those calls are not permitted to be challenged. In fact, they may not have allowed the “incomplete pass” call to be challenged against the Saints, which was noted in Tomlin’s press conference.

    • Joe Kuzma says:

      I’m sorry Turk, but you must’ve missed the giant spot on the homepage that said we took the day off to be with friends and family, not argue with strangers over a football game. You’ll find my replies throughout. Thanks for taking time out of your holiday weekend to comment. 🙂

  5. Phil Burk says:

    Tony Dungy was fired from Tampa for repeated playoff failures, and they won the Super Bowl the following season with Jon Gruden. A case built around “well these other great coaches did not win multiple Super Bowls” is comical. You gloss over that he “inherited Roethlisberger” as if that is not a huge contribution to his early success. Tomlin may have been put into the best coaching situation in NFL history. A team two years removed from a Super Bowl, three years removed from a 15-1 season, the core of those teams still in place, and an organization that had a long history of not firing head coaches. It is not a coincidence that as Cower’s players slowly started retiring/leaving, the defense went from elite to bottom of the league. Look down the road to the Penguins organization and how they handled an underperforming coach wasting the prime of generational talents. They fired both the coach and GM, and then were man enough to realize they hired the wrong coach within 15 months, and they are now on the verge of a dynasty. Tomlin may very well be a good coach, but a culture shift is needed for the Steelers to have any chance at winning another Super Bowl before Ben retires, and Tomlin cannot become a disciplinarian after establishing himself as a “players coach.”

    • Joe Kuzma says:

      Having a QB is huge. QB and HC go hand-in-hand, no doubt. Just look around the league. BB was lucky Bledsoe got hurt or else Brady may have never been. Payton with Brees, Carroll with Wilson, McCarthy with Rodgers, Coughlin with Eli, and the list goes on. Yet, Philip Rivers or Dan Marino are cases that having an all-time passer doesn’t necessarily win you rings by default.

      “It is not a coincidence that as Cower’s players slowly started retiring/leaving, the defense went from elite to bottom of the league.”

      I think the confusion here is that it’s not “Cowher’s players”. If you want to say Kevin Colbert or Dick LeBeau’s players, that might be more accurate, but only to a degree. I’ve discussed this in the past, but those defenses had some key differences. Joey Porter and Clark Haggans were gone, James Harrison became a starter under Tomlin, who also drafted Timmons and Woodley. Secondary also looked different too, naming Ryan Clark, Gay/McFadden coming and going, etc. Your argument for “great defense” actually lends more credibility to Tomlin’s 2008 squad since two key contributors are 100% “Tomlin guys”.

          • Harrison just handed the Super Bowl to Tomlin all by himself? You are hilarious.

            Harrison was signed as an UDFA in 2002 – Bill Cowher was the head coach. He then went to Baltimore Ravens, Rhein Fire, came back for three seasons – again under Cowher.

            Under Tomlin, Harrison became the “starter” over Joey Porter (who was cut). Harrison helped the Steelers reach their third Super Bowl trip in six years (Super Bowl XLV), but they lost to the Packers in 2010. Harrison then went to Cincy and was pretty close to being mothballed. Harrison was given yet another shot in Pittsburgh, but most Steelers fans remember how disruptive and negative he became after he saw limited time on the field – and he left to join the Patriots in December 2017. He went to the Super Bowl with the Patriots (and Bill and Tom), but got beat by the Eagles and retired officially once again

            I’m not going to debate the worth of James Harrison while with the Steelers or any other team. He aired his grievances many times and it isn’t surprising that he doesn’t hold the Steelers very high, especially Tomlin, who he felt limited his playing time.

            So, back to your comment that Harrison “gave” Tomlin his only Super Bowl… Jan 2009 Steelers to Super Bowl under Tomlin (Super Bowl XLIII)… you’d be correct that Harrison was on the roster of the Steelers under Tomlin and all of the coordinators and assistants when the Steelers won that game over the Arizona Cardinals. It’s a stretch to say Harrison “gave” it to anyone, though. There are 53 men on a roster.

            Tomlin got a Super Bowl win when he was under Jon Gruden in Tampa Bay, so technically, Tomlin has 2 Super Bowl wins to 1 loss.

            Harrison won a ring in Super Bowl XL (under Cowher) and Super Bowl XLIII under Tomlin. He also lost in two Super Bowl games (one with Steelers, one with Patriots).

          • Turk says:

            You really think it’s a stretch. Who had the biggest play of the game maybe of any super bowl. He diagnosed the play himself from film study. Research it . Intercepted warmer in the end zone returned for 100 + yards for 14 point swing I think he had a slight hand in that victory

  6. JDD says:

    Hello all,
    This is my first post. I created an account and am posting to this thread because I took offense to the title and the content. I do not consider myself “dumb” (as the author suggests) for wanting Mike Tomlin fired. First and foremost, I believe Tomlin was hired strictly because of the Rooney Rule, how are the Rooney’s gonna have a rule named after them, if they are not going to walk the walk – think about it. I’m not even going to dwell on the fact that Tomlin cannot prepare this team for a 2018 Raiders(4-11) matchup, much less have New England make him their annual Beeeotch, except this year, since brady is close to AARP eligibility. No, I am going to focus on the content of your article. You said “Bill Cowher could not win with Bill Cowher’s players. Fact: Bill Cowher is 29-11 (.725) with Roethlisberger during regular season. Fact: Bill Cowher is 5-1 (.833) with Roethlisberger in post season – Far better than Mike Tomlin’s 8-7 postseason record. Tomlin won SB 43 with Cowher’s team – admit it so you can sleep better. The game against the Saints did not have to be a “must-win” game, but since Tomlin can’t coach this stacked team past the raiders, chargers, broncos, and the browns in week 1, we are now sitting on the edge of .500 with a looooong shot at the playoffs.. The Tomlin experiment is a failure, given the talent this team has. I’m cutting my post short, where’s the Tylenol?

    • Joe Kuzma says:

      But the fact is Bill Cowher couldn’t win with “his players” if we’re holding him to the same standard everyone wants to hold Mike Tomlin. Look at 2003, they went 6-10. 2004 they lost at home in the AFC Championship. 2005 they snuck into the backdoor for the playoffs and had a wild run with a group of HOF-caliber players, then totally fell flat with an 8-8 hangover season in 2006.

      Was anyone saying “The Chin” should be “doing more with a talented roster”? I bet they were, but there was no social media to have an outcry just yet. I could only imagine!

      • JDD says:

        In 04 season, they lost to Tom Brady the eventual sb champ Pats in AFC chip, Ben’s rookie year, 15-1 record. Never seen Tomlin post a 15-1 record. Tomlin lost to Tim Tebow and Blake Bortles in the postseason, with Roethlisberger lol. Wasn’t 2006 the year Cowher announced his intent to retire? Ben had his motorcycle accident and emergency appendectomy? Hard to hold ’06 against Cowher.

        • Turk says:

          Notice how the writer doesn’t address your points which are extremely insightful and dead on. Because he has no response to reason.

    • Roethlisberger is one player. You wrote: “Bill Cowher is 29-11 (.725) with Roethlisberger during regular season. Fact: Bill Cowher is 5-1 (.833) with Roethlisberger in post season” —- so, say the Steelers didn’t draft Roethlisberger, who would Cowher have won with? Tommy Maddox? Kordell Stewart? Neil O’Donnell? Mark Malone? Bubby Brister? Mike Tomczak? I remember those days and they were not the best of years for Pittsburgh. Take Big Ben out of the equation and I wonder how well any coach would have done with those quarterbacks as their starters. I didn’t even bring up the backup guys.

      • Turk says:

        Cowher went to an afc championship and a super bowl back to back with Neil O’Donnell. Ok now that foolish point is shredded

          • Turk says:

            Ummm when you go 25 years in between super bowls and 2 years between super bowls slight difference right. Another point shedded

          • Exactly. Earlier it wasn’t enough to just get to the playoffs…only Super Bowl wins mattered. Now suddenly it is ok to jump to Cowher being given credit for anything beyond a regular season win. I have come to the conclusion that, despite his claims, Turk is not open to reasonable discussion because when we attempt to present reason, he cries foul…then moves the goalposts in what IS and what IS NOT allowed to be entered as evidence.

        • Turk says:

          You just made everyone’s point. Tomlin has had a hall of fame qb his whole coaching career. He has no excuses. Come on you can’t be that ignorant.

          • Joe Kuzma says:

            But your point is that Tomlin only won because of “Cowher’s players” yet the only time Cowher made the SB without Big Ben is with Noll’s QB. So which is it?

            BTW, your tone and the language – chill. We can be civil ya know?

  7. Anthony says:

    Your a fool if you think he shouldn’t b fired. Consistently gets out coached in playoffs and other big games, don’t know how to manage clock or use timeouts or challenges(0-10) loses to inferior teams year in and year out. The what would have been fumble by Michael Thomas.. had the idiot challenged it could have changed the game is just one of many examples of his ineptitude. He needs to go YESTERDAY!!!!

    • Joe Kuzma says:

      If you don’t listen to our podcast it might be worth your while. I get into greater detail with officiating, and the NFL is setup in such a way that it doesn’t overturn calls on the field. I highly doubt he would’ve been successful in that challenge. I would’ve liked to see him try, but then people would’ve just criticized him for it and added another number, making it 11-0. No win situation IMO.

    • Stop just watching football and learn the game! Probably have never played a down of football, or any sports for that matter in your life!!!! Fare weathered fan!!!!!!!!

  8. I have ONE question? How many times did Cowher make it to the division/conference championship and loss, but was not fired? We need better players on both sides of the ball. Players willing to put it all on the line to win and not just pad their stats! Stop wanting to fire fire fire all the time. Get rid of the pre-Madonna’s and we will be champs again!

    • Joe Kuzma says:

      Mike I agree with you. Tomlin has had to replace a number of world class players in recent years and those guys like Aaron Smith, Harrison, Woodley, Polamalu, Clark, Farrior, Hampton, Keisel… special group of guys that just don’t grow on trees. But IMO, they’re getting there. If only Shazier had not had that freak accident I wonder what may have been, even last season…

        • Turk says:

          Can you please answer someone’s legitimate questions. What about the replays. What about the failures as big road favorites. You keep saying he has to replace players but that’s part of his job. You keep naming guys that have been gone 4 or 5 years. Please just address one of these issues. Or can you name one defensive back that Tomlin has developed

          • Joe Kuzma says:

            I don’t understand the gripe with replays/Tomlin. Doesn’t this just mean the league stands behind the officials’ calls more often with the Steelers or that there are less obvious botched calls that get overturned in the Steelers favor? It’s really out of his control… I mean come on here: JESSE CAUGHT IT! LOL

          • Replays? Replays?! I can not believe we are blaming NFL coaches for replays now.

            Thank New York, the NFL and their lack of ability to get professionally trained officials (who go through an extensive process to do their jobs) to actually understand the rulebook well enough to consistently call any game. Any game! There have been so many issuances from the NFL’s heads of officiating that calls were made that were improper or flat out wrong this year that it makes the league look like complete bufoons. Just wait until the Owner’s Meetings and NFLPA meet after this season. I expect some heated discussions taking place (and heated is saying it nicely).

          • Turk says:

            You really can’t be SERIOUS. You are either stupid or just don’t want to address anything seriously. If you don’t see a problem with the fact he doesn’t have someone in the booth helping with replays you shouldn’t be allowed to write these articles. By the way do you know you lose a timeout right when you lose a challange

          • Joe Kuzma says:

            Yes, you lose a timeout… which is why he doesn’t throw the red hanky for everything you sit at your living room complaining about. He’s doing his best in that moment to predict the later outcome and flow of the game, and best be prepared for a number of situations. It’s easy to see in hindsight, but in that moment, do you challenge something you’re going to lose and then forfeit a timeout too? It’s a Catch-22. There is no right answer here other than it’s a no-win situation from his critics.

          • I think it is a better question to ask who the defensive coordinator(s) and defensive backs coaches have developed. Everyone hears someone over at NFL Network say that Tomlin is a “defense coach” and thinks he has never spent any time coaching offense. VMI, Memphis, Arkansas State (wide receivers coach). Arkansas State, Cincinnati, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (defensive backs coach). He was the defensive coordinator (as in the entire defense) with the Minnesota Vikings before becoming the head coach in Pittsburgh. He played wide receiver.

            So, please address my issue, Turk: Can you name one defensive back that Bill Belichick DIRECTLY developed (not his coordinators or assistants, just Bill)? What about a famous coach like Vince Lombardi?

            I’m not a “Tomlin is infallible” team member, but everyone is asking for legitimacy here… but those making accusations have yet to present legitimate, factual information either.

      • Turk says:

        Ok brilliant. Logan Ryan Patrick Chung Devin Mcordy and so on. So what exactly do we expect from tomlin. So the head coach is not responsible for developing players

        • Turk says:

          Who hires the assistants. I mean what does he do. Can you guys at least honestly address these issues and at least admit he needs a lot of improvement. I think it’s time for a change. You can’t change your stripes . They need more discipline and he’s just not that coach. You can’t go from players coach to disciplinarian. Maybe you can go the other way bit not soft to hard. It’s time for a change plain and simple if it works out ok if not we’ll see.

          • Here’s my admission: Tomlin is, and never has been, a perfect coach. Like many coaches in the NFL, he does not always make decisions on the sidelines that I agree with. The Steelers could use a change, but I am not sure if it is Tomlin that needs to be swapped out. I can tell you that I feel the best coach on the Steelers’ staff is Mike Munchak. As for discipline, I believe that is something that has to be addressed by the general manager and coaching staff. I have witnessed players being disciplined and corrected. Artie Burns is an example from this season. He was not playing his position well, and he was kept on the sideline. James Washington is another example. They had him inactive so that he could watch. To me, that is how you help “develop” and coach players. When there have been issues in regards to personal matters, that is an internal thing that fans are unlikely to ever hear about in regards to possible discipline because it is “personal”. The organization has no reason to share 100 percent of their daily operations to the public… and certainly do not to members of the media.

            As for if Tomlin wins this weekend’s game, let’s let him stay? I think that is a seriously flawed outlook. If he’s bad for the team after a loss, then he’s bad for the team after a win. We can’t have our cake and eat it, too. If Tomlin needs to be removed from the coaching position, then he needs to be removed, period. Flip-flopping on it is silly… and frankly, a lot of the crowd that has asked for his head this season have been silent after wins but start campaigns to remove him after losses. To me, that shows they’re reacting to the loss.

            I feel I’ve answered your questions to the best of my ability. It has not been easy because you have not stayed on one line of discussion, but I think you’d find that if you had visited another site and had such a lengthy discussion that their staff did not appreciate or agree with, you’d have been blocked or banned. We’re not like that. We don’t tolerate abuse towards ourselves or other fans, but we have always been open to listening to what fans of the team (and we’re fans too aside from our actual job titles and media experience) have to say and give people a forum for discussion.

            I don’t think you will change your position that you believe that Mike Tomlin is a coach that should no longer be with the Steelers. And I think there are plenty of people who will defend him. We will have to wait and see what the Rooney family and other players who are in the position to make that decision for the franchise do when the season is over.

        • Sorry, Bill Belichick did not directly develop those players mentioned. He did not one-on-one coach them to the players they are or are not no matter how much you want to argue that point. And Tomlin, as a head coach, is not going to directly develop a player either. Even high school kids get coached by multiple coaches and assistants, not just a head coach.

          I realize you’re enjoying criticizing SCU for the points that have been made, and I’m sure you’ll continue to use personal attacks to deflect (as you have many times), but nearly everyone understands that there is a reason any team has a coaching staff and that one of the functions of that staff is to help develop players. Ask a few pro players, like Antonio Brown, who developed him. I am pretty sure he’ll tell you he gets more development time with a personal trainer than the coaching staff of the Steelers, but that’s AB. And there are a lot of NFL players that similarly use non-team trainers to help them improve their athleticism, health regimen and skill sets.

          • Turk says:

            Again I apologize but your not addressing anything I bring up. What is the head coaches job then. I get it. A head coach doesn’t always coach one on one but sometimes they do. What is tomlin role when does he get held accountable for something

  9. JDD says:

    Tomlin isnt even the best coach in the AFC North, that would be Harbaugh. Look what he can do with the “inferior” Ravens talent.

    • Joe Kuzma says:

      So for everyone talking about Tomlin not winning recently, Harbaugh has missed the postseason the last three seasons, could be on the verge of their fourth miss and also missed five of the last six. One playoff win in since the SB win in 2012 and did most of that with “Brian Billick’s players!”

        • Joe Kuzma says:

          But if you want to pick and choose here, Harbaugh missed the postseason four times to Tomlin’s three, but Tomlin has coached one more season. Also, Tomlin has been to one more Super Bowl with both having the same amount of AFC Championship appearances… and Tomlin defeating Harbaugh in that very game in 2008. 🙂

          Side note: Harbaugh was one of the handful of coaches myself and Zach Metkler said were top tier on a recent podcast discussing Tomlin’s success and/or failure. We also mentioned a few others, including BB, Pete Carroll, and Sean Payton as the best in the league. There are several others who retain jobs with far less success and no rings to show for, such as Jason Garrett, Ron Rivera, and (drumroll please) Marvin Lewis!

    • I’m voting Gregg Williams as best coach in the AFC North based on the discussion. Look at the “inferior” team he got from Hue Jackson… and how he turned them into winners. Or were they already winners and someone was holding them back?

  10. Man Joe, congrats! This article brought out some lively trolls. I’ve been hanging around these parts for a few years and never seen any of these commenters. Congrats on stirring them up. Haha

    • Joe can delete this comment if he needs to, but I’ll say it anyway; f*ck you. You don’t know me. And you sound — in this entire thread — like a bitter ass old man. Grow up. I care as much about winning championships as anyone. The difference between me and you is that while I hate not winning, I don’t have to be an absolute prick to everyone around me because I’m pissed. Learn how to converse in an adult conversation and maybe you’ll get a response that means something to you. Until then? You know what to do…

  11. Besides the obvious answer in Bill Belichick, what other franchise/organization has had more wins than Tomlin since he took over 2007? The answer is no one. Tomlin has the second best record in the entire league since taking over. He’s had to deal with quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, in the same conference no less. There’s a reason 14 out of the past 15 Super Bowls have featured either Ben, Brady, or Peyton from the AFC. You can’t win the Super Bowl every year. There’s a reason that out of 52 Super Bowls, the team with the most victories is 6. Some haven’t even won it, ever. You don’t just fire a coach, who has the second best record to arguably the greatest coach, because he isn’t getting past (arguably) the greatest dynasty to ever play football with (arguably) the greatest qb to ever play, along with Peyton in one of the best qb’s to ever play the game. It’s foolish, like the title of the article, to expect Super Bowl wins every other year. Sure, it’s been a while, but give me a list of 5 other coaches, that would be on the market and available, that would do a better job than Tomlin.

  12. Turk says:

    I know you guys support Tomlin but how does it look when your defensive coordinator is talking about having trouble matching up with a player that has been on the IR FOR most of the season. Including the teams first matchup

    • Joe Kuzma says:

      He didn’t. You must’ve missed the retraction by Bob Labriola who inserted Tyler Eifert’s name into his article but merely asked Keith Butler about the “tight end”. Labs apologized for having a brain fart and putting Eifert’s name into the story: Butler never mentioned Eifert by name.

      • Turk says:

        Omg are you kidding me now your just lying. Sorry but I saw the video before they took it down. Come on your losing all credibility now. Sorry that’s sad.

  13. Turk says:

    Ok guys tell me how I’m foolish for wanting a change after watching the Steelers barely get by a bungles team with just about everybody out. A 14.5 favorite at home season on the line and you need a late field goal to win. Very inspiring

    • Turk says:

      Out of the playoffs. 3rd time since 1990 with new playoff format a team has started 7-2-1 or better and misses playoffs. The other 2 raiders and dolphins both were 8-2. Except they lost there starting qbs. No such excuse for Tomlin. Just a couple of more facts for ya

  14. Turk says:

    Hmmm silence from tomlin supporters. Well it now comes out that brown was benched the locker room has had enough. Fire tomlin

    • Joe Kuzma says:

      Maybe, must maybe (like last week) there’s holidays going on and we have better things to do than jump on a website, even our own website, to continue picking fights with you. Especially since I’ve already beaten the dead horse on this topic.

        • Case in point. Despite me just typing out a long comment to try to give you some benefit of the doubt, you come in here with this and prove beyond a doubt that you are simply a douche-nozzle. You have no interest in debating/discussing anything. You only want to wave your e-penis around and tell everybody how superior you are. You are so smart. You have all the answers. Please shoot your resume to the Rooney’s. Your intelligence on football matters will ooze off the pages and they will have no choice but to find a key executive roll for you. Can’t wait for the big announcement on the Steelers site. Congratulations in advance.

    • I’m not even a Tomlin supporter. I’m very middle of the road and wouldn’t be upset at all if he is shown the exit. Hell, I’d even close the door behind him. But, I’m also not blind enough to think he’s been bad for this team. In fact, when all chips fall where they may, then we may find out that the job he’s done to keep the egos on this team in check, is far better than we’ve even given him credit for (this is a point made by Mike Golic this morning post-Brown meltdown info leak. So, to be clear, this was a point made by Golic, not me. I don’t know the answer, but Brown sure as hell seems to be a challenge to handle on & off the field). He (Tomlin) certainly has plenty of warts that piss me off. However, overall he also has plenty to offer as well. I find myself vascillating between “Fire Tomlin” & “Keep him.”

      All that said, your attitude on this board since your first post in this thread has been “below the line”. If you were offended by Joe putting, “You’re a fool if…” then you don’t understand the simple idea of Joe making an argument for one side. His article was followed up the next day by another writer offering an argument for the other side — Tomlin has to go. But, by that time, you’d already insulted Joe and his site and basically his entire team. I don’t want to drive traffic from this site because I think they offer great insights and content, but I’m confused by why, if you have such a low opinion of the intelligence of this site, you’re still here? Maybe just because you enjoy this argument in this article? Not sure, but you do you.

      Final point, I don’t even know you, so I have no idea what your purpose was in coming on so strongly to the content of this article. If you disagreed with the points Joe made (and agree/like them or not, he DID make his points clear), then your aggressive diatribe from post #1 weren’t necessary. Just make your counterpoints and go from there. You have seemed incapable.

  15. I don’t know whether or not Tomlin should go, but I do know that AB needs to go. We’ve debated before what a cancer he is, and now we’re learning for sure that Tomlin has been making sure to cover that fact. At least one player admitted that it’s hard to get up for game day with his me first cancer affecting the team. It’s no wonder the team collapsed. Maybe all the team needs is a little radiation and chemo.

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