Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin does a lot of lip service during his press conferences, obviously. And, there are few instances where the press and those of us in Steeler Nation really gain an understanding of what the heck Tomlin is actually saying. But, on Tuesday Tomlin answered a key question about clock management so sensibly that I feel it is a big tell to not only how inept Tomlin has become at managing a game but also how much of a non-believer Tomlin has become himself of his own squad.
Steelers analyst, writer, and radio host David Todd confronted Tomlin about his clock management near the end of the game during Tomlin’s latest presser. Todd ascertains that the Steelers made three mistakes regarding clock management during the final scoring drive of the game. The first mistake was on Ben who took a timeout instead losing 5 yards on a delay penalty with 1:43 left in the game. The Steelers coaches – mainly Tomlin – made the worst mistake earlier in in the drive. On 3 and 1 with 2:44 left in the game, the Steelers came out of a clock stoppage with only one play called in the huddle. Just one. The Steelers picked up the first down, and rather than getting up to the line quickly and running the next play, the Steelers took :34 to snap the ball. THIRTY. FOUR. SECONDS. When confronted by Todd about the coache’s lack of foresight to have at least two plays called in the huddle prior to that two-minute warning, Tomlin had this to say:
For us more than anything it was about getting quality plays and putting ourself in position to score a touchdown that wasn’t a given at that point. We had been down the field a few times in the game and come away with no points. We had missed a couple field goals and obviously in one instance we had settled for a field goal. So I don’t want to be presumptuous and make it seem like getting a touchdown in that circumstance was easy because it hadn’t been to that point in the football game.
I could be way off base here, but it seems like this is the exact WRONG thing to do at the end of a game when down by 11 points. What Tomlin says is so damning. “I don’t want to be presumptuous and make it seem like getting a touchdown in that circumstance was easy because it hadn’t been to that point in the football game.” In other words – “I don’t want to be overconfident and make it seem like we could actually win a football game.” In that one sentence, Tomlin not only sums up the 2013 season for the Steelers, but also sums up his own lack of faith in his personnel and players.
This wasn’t the end of a quarter or the end of the first half. This was the end of the game. A game that if won, could keep your team at pace with the rest of the AFC North and stay on the uptick with your team being on a three game win streak. You needed points and fast. And then you would need more points after that and fast. I gotta tell ya, chief – 11 points down with almost three minutes left on the clock and all your timeouts, and you can’t believe and push your team to believing that they can win this football game? There’s the door and kindly show yourself out. That whole series, that whole game, the whole season, and this press conference is a direct indication of just how much Tomlin is insufficient as a head coach for this football team.
And, as long as Tomlin continues as the head coach in this manner, David Todd will be exactly right when he says that this coaching staff lacks the recognition of their own errors, and ‘we are very likely to see them happen again.’