Sep 8, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin reacts to a called safety against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Tomlin Calls Week 1 Performance “Unacceptable,” But What Will He Do to Fix Problems?


Unacceptable performance.  I won’t accept it.  This team better not accept it.  We’ve got some work to do.

-Mike Tomlin during post-game press conference (via


I do not blame Mike Tomlin for referring to his team’s performance as “unacceptable.”  In fact, “unacceptable” perfectly describes the way the Steelers played during their 16-9 loss to Tennessee this afternoon.  I mean, unless one wants to use the phrase “dumpster fire” to refer to what took place on the field earlier today.

Nevertheless, it does not take a professional football coach to see that Pittsburgh’s performance was sub-par.  In fact, the rest of the fanbase and I simply want to know the following, Mr. Tomlin:


What will you and your coaching staff do to correct your mistakes and fix your pressing problems to improve this fall?

Moreover, will you, your staff, and players be able to do those things with the current problems your team is facing?


Offensive issues like pass-protection, running the football, flipping field-position, and cobbling together drives are not quick fixes by any means.  While it certainly helps that the team has a Pro Bowl quarterback, those problems cannot be addressed if your team’s Pro Bowl center is out indefinitely and the rest of the offensive line is populated by glorified blocking sleds.  Also standing in your way is your running back corps littered with mediocre and butter-fingered specialty backs.  And will Le’Veon Bell really be the “answer” to the running game woes once the injury-prone back returns from his foot sprain?

As far as your defensive problems are concerned, how will you address your team’s lack of pocket collapse and inability to win the turnover battle?  Jake Locker had plenty of time when he went to the air this afternoon, and he picked the defense apart when they went to soft zone coverage.  If you are unable to collapse the pocket on a quarterback like Locker, I will hate to see what happens when your team faces the likes of Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.  Moreover, who do you have set to replace the injured Larry Foote at inside linebacker?  While Lawrence Timmons can fill in for Foote, who will fill in for Timmons on the weakside?

I would discuss the team’s play on special teams, but that would imply me having positive things to say about it.  The costly penalties and ineffective kick and punt coverage units are still hurting the Steelers, and they will continue to do so until your players refuse to accept the type of special teams play we as fans have become accustomed to watching recently.


Final Thoughts

Although you say that you and your team will “not accept” the way they played this past Sunday, I would rather see your coaching staff and them actually improving correcting their mistakes than you spouting off ridiculous rhetoric during post-game press conferences and having nothing happen (“Unleash Hell,” “Standard is the Standard,” etc.).

You and your team have an important division game coming up, Mr. Tomlin.  Luckily for the Steelers and yourself, all of you have a chance next Monday night in Cincinnati to illustrated that you can correct your nagging mistakes and play with more discipline, tenacity, and vigor than the absolute garbage you put on display earlier today for those at Heinz Field and the millions watching at home.



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  • Nine

    I’ve got news for you, Dom. A lot of these problems aren’t going to be fixed this year. No coach in football can fix some of it so expect a long, long season in Pittsburgh. Best move to fix things would be to fire Haley but its way too late for that now, since we’ve spent all spring and summer developing this zone-blocking scheme that isn’t working.

  • Informed reader

    I don’t think they can truly fix most of these issues this season. Sure, they’ll look better than today and give us false hope…but this is not a playoff caliber team. The front office, Tomlin and LeBeau and Haley all share the blame. Rooney I blame for insisting that the Steelers prioritize the run like it is 1975…despite the fact that it is a throwing league now and they have an elite QB. This has driven a lot of the personnel decisions and even resulted in Haley’s hire. I blame Colbert, Rooney or whoever has the final say in drafting for not drafting linemen who can PASS PROTECT. When you have a $100 million QB, it is the height of incompetence to not protect him. Manning and Brady never had to play behind a line this bad. It’s amazing Ben isn’t sacked 10 times per game. He’ll soon be injured I am sure. We have some great receivers, but Ben has no time to get them the ball.

    I blame Lebeau for the lack of depth on defense. When your rookies barely see the field for 2 or 3 years, by the time you figure out they aren’t the caliber of future starters it is too late to find somebody else who is, or they are too expensive to resign if they are. And I blame him for what looks to be the 3rd season with no turnovers or pass rush. If the guys you have can’t get the job done, cut them or bench them. He has had two full seasons to fix the problem and hasn’t.

    I blame the Rooneys for making personnel decisions based on something other than football performance. Nothing else can explain cutting Dwyer (the top rusher last season and durable) for the frequently injured, fumble prone and mostly ineffective Redman. We got rid of Mendenhall largely (I believe) because someone didn’t like his politics. Redman averaged 1.1 YPC today…meanwhile Mendenhall averaged 3.8 for Arizona. I’m sure Dwyer will soon be doing something similar for somebody else. We bring Jones in, he does very well with no prep in the pre-season, and he gets ZERO carries today??? Why is he here if not to carry the ball? Stephens-Howling is a little guy to be used in special situations…why were we trying to use him as an every down back? It’s Haley’s fault his season is probably now over. Even Franco in his prime couldn’t run well behind this line. Dwyer and Mendenhall did better than most could and Jones seems to have potential. The coaches and front office have totally mismanaged this situation.

    I could go on and list more issues, but I am just too disgusted right now.

    • Nine

      Maybe Arians had it right? And we ran him out of town.

  • Ray Morris

    Pouncey, Decastro, Adams Gilbert all busts, either that or Steelers management doesn’t know what they are doing. Its gotta be one or the other

    • Jason

      Pouncey has made the Pro Bowl every year he has been in the league. Furthermore, if you think 1-2 years is enough time to judge a draft pick, you have no idea what you’re doing.

  • bk

    Tomlin is a poor coach, a very poor judge of coaching talent, and even worse judge of playing talent.
    but, he is well liked…LOL.. He is a head coach who inherited a lot of talent and managed to not get in the
    way for a few years, now he has a group of weak players (his guys) and has no chance of coaching them
    to be winners. The wheels have fallen off and he has no clue as to how to fix it. He thinks by getting up and
    orating at a PC is going to fix things, reminds me of the moron in DC who is doing the same… Talk is cheap,
    show us you have a clue by firing Haley NOW and hire someone to evaluate talent for you.

  • Justin

    Could not agree more with this post. I’ve never been a big Tomlin fan just because of the reasons listed above; he’s simply all talk. I have no clue as to what he does on the sidelines aside from cross his arms and yell at refs when WE blow plays. He’s the only coach that I can think of that, when the camera cuts to him, is never looking at a play sheet or in conversation with anyone in the booth or making any sort of game-related decision. I don’t even want to get started on his post-game ramblings. I think a political position is more up his alley.

  • Mike Popovich

    He’ll likely just talk. Thats what he has shown time and time again that he’s best at.

  • Richard Veluz

    He is not a good coach/he never makes any adjustments during the game even when the game plan is failing miserably /He looked good when we had all pro players the past years/now we have average talent and he can’t get them to perform

  • Carl Eagan

    For 6 years I’ve been saying Tomlin is good at 2 things sound bites that mean nothing and not preparing the team to play the teams we are supposed to beat. Tomlin needs to sit down and give himself a good talking to first of all because in the first quarter he should have called a timeout when he noticed the confusion and noticed the wrong personnel were on the field for the play. Then again that is assuming he actually knows who plays what, when but thats a stretch for Mikey. After he finished talking sternly to himself about learning the game plans and personnel packages he needs to tell his offensive coordinator, offensive line coach and special teams coach they need to actually start coaching and paying attention to those situational football plays he uses in his sound bites.Or he could just do Steeler Nation a favor and resign and go be a high school assistant coach.

  • Jason

    That defense looked good, I thought. Chris Johnson had 70 yards on 25 carries and Locker only threw for 125 yards with a 55% completion percentage. That’s not bad at all, but what can you expect when the offense doesn’t put up any points? Holding a team to 16 hard-earned points should be enough for a victory any day.