During an interview with ESPN after the win over the Colts, Mike Mitchell showed a major flaw in the way Steeler players approach football games. Unprompted, Mitchell calls out Ravens receiver Steve Smith and says “Steve I’m coming for you”. Not only does this say a lot about Mike Mitchell the player, but the whole team in general. It’s a group that is undisciplined and lacks real focus. On what may have been his best game in a Steeler uniform, why in the world is Mitchell focused on Smith and a Ravens team they won’t play again for weeks? Shouldn’t he be concerned with Odell Beckham jr and the New York Giants for next weeks game? Mitchell represents everything that is wrong with this team, the defense in particular. He is a very talented player who lets his emotions get the best of him and it clouds his judgment. Bad penalties and presnap confusion plague the Steelers defense. The offense is no better, lead by Antonio Brown’s consistent penalties for celebration after touchdowns. It’s becoming a huge problem as Pittsburgh relies more and more on young players. A veteran team may be able to overcome being undisciplined at times, but a team filled with first and second year players will not.
This kind of behavior can be traced directly to the head coach. Mike Tomlin leads by emotion, and often pleads for his team to play with it as well. The result of that is uneven play and costly mistakes that have been a trademark of this team in the Tomlin era. It can be an effective way to play in the short term, but relying too much on emotion causes let downs. That may be a reason for the Steelers struggles with bad teams over the years. Mike Tomlin is not ever going to change his coaching style, so the roller coaster ride will continue for Steeler fans as long as he is the head coach.