Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has come under fire recently, but he does not need to be ousted from Pittsburgh.
As a loyal Steeler fan for my entire life, I’ll admit that Steelers fans are spoiled.
The team has had three head coaches in nearly 60 years. Pittsburgh has won six super bowls, 8 AFC championships and is in the thick of things year after year. While I’m not here to advocate mediocrity, I am here to advocate for a man who has done what a head coach needs to do.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has averaged 10.6 wins per season, that is more that Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher had. Cowher won one super bowl and had been to two during his 14 seasons. Tomlin has already achieved that in his ninth season.
Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens let the twitter trolls out of their cages. Many took to social media to call for Tomlin’s head on a silver platter. What theses couch coaches don’t understand is that a head coach cannot force a two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback to show up and play.
The fact of the matter is that coaches can coach all they want, but players have to go out and play. Roethlisberger and the offense did not do that on Sunday.
Part of what makes the Steelers organization great is the fact that they will ride the waves that their coaches are on. Both Cowher and Noll have had much worse times than Tomlin has had, but were still able to ride the wave because the organization trusted in them.
There’s a reason why the Steelers have won six super bowls and teams like the Browns are firing a coach every other season. The key to success in the NFL comes from players, not necessarily from coaches.
Sure, a great coach can help mastermind a dynasty like Bill Belichick with the New England Patriots. A coach can create something out of nothing in certain situations. Still, these are grown men and if their careers aren’t motivation enough for them to show up and perform, there is likely no motivation.
The true reason that the Steelers have turned in mediocre late-season performances is the fact that the team has gone away from what it was built on. The two core principles of defense and running the football still apply in today’s NFL.
Seattle, Carolina and other top teams still value this principle over anything else. Some may blame coaching for this shift in mantra, but look further into the team’s personnel and you’ll see the true issue.