Pittsburgh Steelers End 2017 on a Low Note
By Sonia Millett
Special to Pro Football Guru
What could have been? A week ago, here were the Pittsburgh Steelers getting ready to face the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Playoffs. The thought was that the team would be prepared and with a game plan to beat the team they had lost to back in Week 5, 30-9, at Heinz Field.
The assumption was that the defense came together and was solid once again. Rumor had it that the players wanted to win this game for No. 50 Ryan Shazier and, of course, Mr. Dan Rooney.
As is known by now, the game didn’t go as planned and the team’s offseason has started three weeks earlier than they would have liked. Now we are in the offseason discussions as the Steelers organization prepares to make changes to staff on and off the field. Some will agree some of the decisions, disagree with others and some we will not agree with each other. All in the name of football.
In just one week, the “fun” has already begun. Tweets and columns of “Fire Tomlin”… “Fire Haley” … “Fire Butler”. Was even the Gatorade crew safe?
As we know, offensive coordinator Todd Haley indeed won’t be coming back. Wait! What and why? The offense was scoring the points. The Steelers finished 13-3. Yet Haley had to go first. Did it make sake sense? Was it because of the play-calling in Sunday’s loss to Jacksonville? Then again, it might have been the coach not getting along with the quarterback or the offensive players in general. Who really knows? In any case, the Steelers just didn’t renew his contract.
Meanwhile, many still can’t decide if head coach Mike Tomlin should be fired. Why is this? He can certainly coach and his style is certainly different from that of Bill Cowher. The latter was Tomlin’s predecessor and led the club for 15 seasons and has only one Super Bowl title to show for it. Some use the excuse that he didn’t have a franchise quarterback (until Ben Roethlisberger arrived in 2004) and only had a defense. During his time (1992-2006), defense appeared to be more of a priority.
Some could use the same excuse for Tomlin. Today, the NFL is more of an offensive game. Fair or unfair, out-coached and out-played is our favorite phrases when describing Tomlin. But who is better than Tomlin There never seems to be a true answer.
Another year and the Pittsburgh Steelers fell short of a ninth Super Bowl appearance. Patience must continue to be exercised.