Five years. Five years since the Steelers last playoff win. The last time a Mike Tomlin coached team had any success in the playoffs was the 2016 post season. Since then, this franchise has managed two playoff appearances. Both of those ended in losses where the defense gave up in excess of 40 points. That streak promises to stay intact as this team has a very slim chance to even make the playoffs in 2021. When the Pittsburgh Steelers “standard” has gone from Super Bowls to cracking .500, it may be time to move on from Mike Tomlin.
At what point to we begin to seriously question Mike Tomlin’s ability to take this team to the next level? The defensive struggles in particular over the last ten years are extremely concerning. It has become increasingly clear that without overwhelming talent, this coaching staff is unable to sustain an even competent group. Save for 2019 and 2020 when the Steelers had multiple Pro-Bowl talents carrying them, this defense has been in shambles for the majority of the last decade. Defensive breakdowns have become an all too common thing with Mike Tomlin teams over his tenure. Look no further than the last three playoff games this franchise has been a part of. They have given up 36, 48, and 45 points for a whopping 43 point average in those games. This from a head coach who’s specialty is supposed to be on the defensive side of the ball.
Kevin Colbert has spent no shortage of draft capital to bolster the defense over the years. The Steelers spent eight straight first round picks on defense from 2013 to 2020. The preoccupation in fixing the defense year after year has brought about a lack of talent in other areas. Particularly in the offensive line, which has been ignored early in the draft throughout this time. Now they are paying the price with one of the poorest lines in the league.
Whether it’s the message getting old, or poor coaching on defense, the time has come for this team to move on from Mike Tomlin. The players clearly didn’t respond to the coach’s plea that the Cincinnati game was the most important of the season. As for the defensive game plan, well that speaks for itself. It’s time for a new face, and a fresh start for the Pittsburgh Steelers. This team will have a new quarterback in 2022, they need a new coach to go along with it.