Tomlin said in his interview on Monday that he would ‘probably’ devise a similar game plan if he had to do it over again when playing the Denver Broncos last Sunday. ‘Probably devise a similar game plan’ is like saying that hoping ‘60% of the time it works every time.’ It’s one thing to do pre game planning based on tape and evaluating match ups. So sure, go ahead and draw up the same plan. But what kills me about Sunday’s loss is the lack of defensive adjustment on coverages and the lack of offensive adjustment to help out the defense. Check out the poll, decide for yourself, then see my thoughts on the matter.
Two major things were taking place on Sunday afternoon/evening that, despise all the pre game planning you do, were breaking the backs of the Steelers and adjustments needed. 1) The Broncos receivers were getting open on man coverage and getting tons of yardage afterwards because of the lack of safety help. After the second time Taylor got burned, LeBeau should have made an adjustment to coverages to help out his corners. I understand that Tebow had to be contained in the pocket. But I would rather take some chances in letting him gain 10-15 yards every so often but ensure the ‘big plays’ are squashed with safety help while my corners are struggling. Four big plays in regulation and the game ending monumental play in OT, the Steelers got spanked for Godly inspired 316 yards in the air. (Seriously if I hear one more comparison to the passing yard numbers, Tebow’s average passing yards and John 3:16 I’m going to punch someone in the throat. It’s insulting to anyone who knows basic math. Of course his average is going to be 31.6 yards – he only passed 10 times… you’re just moving the decimal point ya jag)
2) Redman ran for
1:21 121 yards on 17 carries for an average of 7.11 (ooh 7/11 how I love your slushies) yards. Instead of Brucy making adjustments to the game plan once the Broncos went up a couple scores, he continued to put the weight of the world on Big Ben’s sprained ankle. Ok, I can understand that you want to change how the offense philosophically is run. But if that isn’t working, or if your defense is showing that it needs to have a young QB on the opposing sideline cool off a bit, or begin to question if what was happening in front of him just a dream you need to adjust your game plan to let those things happen. Aka – run the damn ball more. Redman could certainly have run for more than 17 carries. John Clay came in a few time to give him a breather, and did fine moving the ball forward. I completely agree with D-Buzz, telegraphing the pass with no running back on the field is ruining your chances of extending that drive – especially if your QB can’t run (although Ben proved most of us wrong late in the game).
So who does this fall on? LeBeau? Arians? Tomlin? All three? It seems to me that if a coordinator is executing a game plan that is not setting your team up for its best chances to win, it’s up to the head coach to tell the coordinator to ‘fix it.’ So I think it’s fine for Tomlin to go ahead and plan out a scheme with his coaches in the same exact way they did for this last Sunday. In theory, it should have worked very well. But, our corners were out to lunch that day and a very mediocre QB got hot. Bummer. But I think it falls completely on Tomlin to make those adjustments – even prior to halftime to help out both sides of the ball. This is just another example of putting Tomlin’s game management skills into question.