The Pittsburgh Steelers are a bit of a mess right now and head coach Mike Tomlin is getting sick of what he is seeing.
Following their nightmare 30-6 loss to the Houston Texans, Tomlin was blunt in his assessment and declared his intention to make changes before their upcoming showdown against the Baltimore Ravens.
“Hell yeah, we’ve got to make some changes,” Tomlin stated emphatically after the game.
“That was an ugly product we put out there today, and so we’re not going to do the same things and hope for a different outcome. What those changes are, we’ll put together a plan in preparation this week.”
— Dominic DiTommaso (@DominicDiTo) October 1, 2023
The Steelers offense struggled mightily against the Texans, managing just 53 yards in the first half and failing to score a touchdown against a Texans defense that had been ranked 22nd in points allowed entering the game.
Quarterback Kenny Pickett’s late-third-quarter exit due to a knee injury only added to the frustration.
Tomlin’s first target for change seems to be the offensive play calling, which has come under heavy scrutiny, particularly offensive coordinator Matt Canada.
While acknowledging Canada’s limitations, Tomlin stressed that execution on the field is equally crucial for success.
Mike Tomlin hasn’t won a playoff game in 6 years. Soon to be 7.
He’s turning into Marvin Lewis.
Time for change.
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) October 1, 2023
The offensive line, despite offseason acquisitions like Isaac Seumalo and rookie Broderick Jones, has underperformed this season, raising concerns about coaching and personnel.
The departure of former offensive line coach Mike Munchak in 2018 is often cited as a turning point in the line’s performance.
To address this, Tomlin may consider altering the coaching structure on the offensive line and bringing in experienced veterans from the outside, with La’el Collins mentioned as one option.
In addition to changes in the offensive line, the Steelers may adjust their running back roles, possibly expanding Jaylen Warren’s involvement. However, the success of any running game relies heavily on the offensive line’s performance.
Tomlin also highlighted the need to create more opportunities in the passing game, whether through designed routes for running backs like Warren or tight ends Darnell Washington and Connor Heyward, who have been largely absent from the passing game this season.
Tomlin also emphasized the importance of getting star receiver George Pickens more involved in the offense. Pickens had only seven targets in Sunday’s game, a figure Tomlin believes is inadequate for a player of his caliber.
All of this sounds well and good – but as many Steelers fans point out, maybe it’s Tomlin who is a large part of the problem…
To the rest of the NFL, Mike Tomlin is a beautiful, cherry red Porsche with every accessory known to man that only the luckiest of teams would be blessed to have. In Pittsburgh, we know what's under the hood. There is no engine, it doesn't work.
— Yinzer G (@yinzer_g) October 1, 2023
What do you make of the Steelers struggles?
What needs to be done to fix it? (Fire Canada???)
Is Tomlin indeed a major part of the problem?