Mike Tomlin says “bomb” made gameplan look worse than intended

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The criticism of the Steelers has been growing, even from their own locker room, after last week’s ugly loss to the Jaguars.

But Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said the circumstances of the game kept them from being as balanced as he might have preferred.

From the nuanced view of tight end Jesse James suggesting they were out-coached, to running back Le'Veon Bell‘s open declaration that they need to run more, there was plenty to work with.

The Steelers ran 20 times and threw 57 passes, and that backfired when quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw five interceptions, including two in the third quarter which were returned for touchdowns. They were up 9-7 at the time, and lost 30-9.

The bomb went off on us in the third quarter,” Tomlin said, via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “We threw a couple of pick-6s, so the stats aren’t going to reflect our plan or our intentions.”

At the time of the first pick-six, Bell had 12 carries and Roethlisberger had attempted 32 passes, which seemed odd considering the Jaguars had the league’s best pass defense but worst run defense.

“We weren’t as balanced as we would like,” Tomlin said. “If you look at our stats at halftime, they resemble what we anticipated. Our rush totals were very similar to Jacksonville’s rush totals at halftime. We hadn’t thrown two pick-6s at halftime, so that’s just the nature of ball.

“You’re always going to have questions in that area. Feature runners like Le’Veon Bell, you’re always going to have questions in that area. When you’re winning, you run the ball over the last quarter and a half of football games.”

The Steelers aren’t doing as much as they anticipated, and that has made a number of other issues percolate to the surface. And even though they’re 3-2, they still have the look of a team that isn’t on the same page, either on or off the field.

16 responses to “Mike Tomlin says “bomb” made gameplan look worse than intended

  1. .
    The Steelers can afford to take a few weeks off. Who’s going to dethrone them in the AFC North? The inept Ravens? The big game Bengals? Or the completely hapless Browns?

    If it were a presidential race, NBC News would have already projected Pittsburgh to be the winner.
    .

  2. The pass/run ratio was still almost 3/1 through the first half and at the time of the first pick six. The game was close and that clearly would have allowed running the ball more. The Jags had a supposedly much better pass defense than run defense. It shouldn’t be that hard to have a game plan that emphasized the run more even before that pick six, and considering the game Bell had last week. Even if your opponent knows what you will be doing, they still have to stop it. The Steeler offense has the talent (that needs to start playing much better), but needs to find an identity, and it starts with the coaches and the game plan. They also have to stop with so many offensive penalties that are wiping out some nice gains and forcing into second/third and long situations.

  3. Tomiln is 100% right in that 5 INTs (2 pick-6s) is gonna mess up any game plan. But two thoughts:
    1) Emotional-style or “cheerleader” coaching ends up with players shooting their mouths off, first at other teams and eventually at each other.
    2) With concerns about Ben’s longevity stretching back a few years, why did Steelers do nothing until this April to start trying to train up another potential future franchise QB when Landry Jones is clearly nothing more than an ok career backup?

  4. Without a doubt one of the most inept coaches in the NFL. Big Ben and the Rooney’s should sue him for 1. Wasting Roethlisberger’s career 2. Costing the franchise SB’s.

  5. If they don’t throw the 2 pick 6s, hell even just the 2nd one, they probably win that game. If you score on a pick 6 your odds of winning the game go to something like 80%, 2 and you are at 97-98%. It is almost impossible for an NFL team to overcome that.

    The 2nd pick 6 was the backbreaker. You can’t throw that ball. It is 3rd and 18. Take the check down putting the ball into one of your gamebreakers. Maybe they get the 1st maybe they don’t. If you don’t get it, you punt and play defense down 5 points. The Jags offense had 1 drive in the entire game up to that point. They’d done nothing. It was only in the 4tr qtr that the Steelers defense tired and was run on.

  6. I’ve always gotten the notion that Tomlin is a glorified placeholder coach who has coasted off of the talent of his coordinators. Very hands off and just serves as a glorified cheerleader wishing he was still playing but was never really any good but is still overly attached to the emotional part of the game. Cower was kind of like that but you Cower’s coaching talent shined through on occasion.

    I do agree with Tomlin, anytime you throw two pick 6’s and your qb turns it over 5 times the game plan is screwed. However, I’m surprised how the Steelers panicked in that situation. Remember last season they played an under manned Bengals team that jumped on top of them like 17-0. They didn’t blink an eye and with a sputtering red zone offense kicked like 6 field goals and took the lead and let the Bengals implode. They really seemed to panic last week which was unlike them. Maybe they realized that there are a lot more chinks in the armor than previously. Then again, it all could be much ado about nothing and they right the ship this week.

  7. holeinone09 says:
    October 11, 2017 at 7:20 am

    The pass/run ratio was still almost 3/1 through the first half and at the time of the first pick six.
    —————————————————————————————-
    Exactly.

    So not only was Tomlin’s explanation/excuse utter nonsense, it was their inept game plan against a strong pass defense that caused the “bomb to go off”.

    It’s bad enough to have a terrible game plan going in. It’s worse to fail to recognize it or make any in-game adjustments. It’s pathetic to do both of those, fail to understand
    what happened and then lie about it.

  8. “If you look at our stats at halftime, they resemble what we anticipated.”
    I just saw a stat that they had 11 rush attempts and 21 passes attempted in the 1st half. So you went into a game against the worst rush defense in the NFL and planned on throwing it twice as much as you ran it? There is no accountability on this team, from the coaching staff on down. Oh, and btw, maybe someone could have a chat with guys celebrating big hits while losing to big underdogs at home.

  9. Great talent, will still dominate a very weak division and make playoffs as they always do. Steelers always have more talent than the Patriots but they get out-coached every year when it counts. Harbaugh is a whiney, excuse-making jackass, but you can’t deny that the guy can coach. When he has better talent he can compete with Belichick.

  10. ibillwt says:
    October 11, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    Great talent, will still dominate a very weak division and make playoffs as they always do. Steelers always have more talent than the Patriots but they get out-coached every year when it counts. Harbaugh is a whiney, excuse-making jackass, but you can’t deny that the guy can coach. When he has better talent he can compete with Belichick.
    —————————————————————————————-
    This is all you need to know about Harbaugh: He’ll use some obscure rule to his advantage when it suits him (like on the last play of the game where he used a loophole to beat the Bengals by having all of his players hold every defender, took the safety and knew the game would end on the 15 offensive penalties on the play), but if his opponent does a similar move (Belichick using the fully legal elligible/inelligible receiver formation) Harbaugh will cry that he was cheated.

  11. Steelers haven’t had a losing decade since the merger, this was one game, a horrible display of football, but we’ll have another winning decade. Hi haters.

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