The cold hard truth for Pittsburgh Steelers fans is that the franchise has lost their way … They’ve lost their culture. They’ve lost their identity.
For the longest time, whenever you thought about the Steelers you immediately thought of tradition, toughness, consistency and discipline.
All of those thoughts and feelings have gone out the window.
Don’t get me wrong – There are much bigger disasters in the league, and I have no doubt that Pittsburgh will be able to figure things out and get their identity back.
However, for head coach Mike Tomlin to not punish diva wide receiver George Pickens for the disgraceful, effortless garbage he’s been displaying all season is extremely concerning.
All 22 George Pickens run blocking effort pic.twitter.com/Xt5G7klVXl
— Dave Pyper (@DaveAPyper) December 18, 2023
Clearly, you can’t pretend to have a strong culture if you allow Pickens (and Diontae Johnson) to continually display zero effort on the field – again, and again, and again.
The whole situation has raised bigger questions … For the first time ever, there are reports that Tomlin’s days in Pittsburgh may be coming to an end.
Peter King of NBC Sports has reported that Tomlin’s seat is “getting toasty.”
Of all organizations, it’s hard to imagine the Steelers actually firing Tomlin. Not only is he one of the most accomplished head coaches in the NFL, but the Rooney’s are well-known for their patience.
All of this is why the rumored departure of Tomlin has much more do with the coach than the organization.
According to Pro Football Talk, Tomlin may be seeking a fresh start with another team, and in turn give Pittsburgh a chance to trade him for valuable assets.
“For the first time since Tomlin became the coach of the team in early 2007, it feels like a divorce is coming. And it’s not that the Steelers would fire Tomlin. If a split occurs, it will happen either because Tomlin wants out — or because another team looking for a new head coach (Commanders, e.g.) calls the Steelers to initiate the process for essentially pulling off a trade,” Pro Football talk reported.
Mike Tomlin Trade Rumors Emerge Amid Steelers Struggle Season https://t.co/c4DIoGYLD1
— TMSPN.com (@sportsgossip) December 20, 2023
The Commanders, under new (wealthy) ownership, are mentioned as a potential suitor for Tomlin (who grew up in Virginia).
“Surely, it wouldn’t take that much to get Tomlin. Especially if Tomlin is willing to do what few coaches ever dare to try. Tomlin could make it clear, internally or externally or both, that he’s content to finish his contract and become a coaching free agent in 2025,” Pro Football Talk added.
@937theFan Steelers being embarrassed on National TV in three consecutive weeks will convince Mr. Rooney to trade Mike Tomlin. His appeal to Magic Johnson will lead to a trade to the Commanders. Tomlin being a Virginia native, will have a mutual interest in going back home.
— Frankie J Ryan (@Frankie32110332) December 20, 2023
The Los Angeles Chargers, who recently parted ways with head coach Brandon Staley, are also suggested as a possible destination for Tomlin…
Colin Cowherd thinks the Steelers could trade Mike Tomlin to the Chargers.
"I do think the [Los Angeles] Chargers make sense….I think it’s a time to exit….actually think Tomlin to the Chargers makes a ton of sense.”https://t.co/vgOUBuBO15
— Steelers Now (@PghSteelersNow) December 19, 2023
— BOLTS Draft Talk (@BoltsDraftTalk) December 18, 2023
While head coach trades are uncommon, they are not unprecedented. In the last 25 years, seven NFL coaches have been traded.
The most recent instance occurred in the previous offseason when the New Orleans Saints traded Sean Payton to the Denver Broncos. In that trade, Denver sent first and second-round picks to New Orleans and received a third-rounder along with Payton.
At 7-7, the Steelers still have a shot at the playoffs. However, it’s clear that there are deeper problems that need to be addressed.
— Blitzburgh (@Blitz_Burgh) December 13, 2023
Do you look at Tomlin’s refusal to punish Pickens and Johnson as a sign that he’s lost the locker room?
Would it be best for both Tomlin and the Steelers if they just went their separate ways?
What teams should be interested in Tomlin???