Mike Tomlin: We didn’t adapt to changed circumstances

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Many believed that the Patriots would design a game plan aimed at taking away Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell. The Patriots didn’t have to.

A groin injury limited Bell to 11 snaps on Sunday night, carrying the ball six times for 20 yards.

After the game, coach Mike Tomlin was asked whether the injury changed the offensive strategy.

“No question,” Tomlin said, “but like I said, injuries are part of the game. We didn’t do a good enough job or a quick enough job adapting to the circumstance.”

The Steelers got away from running the ball, in part because they fell behind. DeAngelo Williams carried 14 times for 34 yards with a long of 15. Which means that his 13 other carries generated 19 yards.

Of course, a defense that performed like it usually does against Tom Brady didn’t help, forcing the Steelers to throw in order to close a gap that kept getting bigger and bigger.

41 responses to “Mike Tomlin: We didn’t adapt to changed circumstances

  1. They locked the doors to their locker room with a chain in the first half. They couldnt have been more paranoid

  2. You simply are not a great X and O coach IN MY OPINION. Great motivator however. Maybe Bradshaw was right after all.
    Find a WR for opposite Brown, cut Green, draft a pass rusher and more DB’s. Then go at it again!

  3. At least Tomlin knew enough to avoid the usual whimpathon and excuses.

    It’s just a tall order game planning against the Greatest Coach All Time in Any Sport. Not my words – that’s from Coach K, Dion, Michael Irving, LaDamion Tomlinson just a few of the many with that opinion.

    Atlanta’s great but who knows, maybe Big Bill gets that 7th ring!

  4. Doesn’t matter who was running the football tonight with the way the Pats front was playing. Alan Branch is one of the premier run stoppers in the league, and he consistently dominated the center when he lined up at zero technique. Add in Valentine, Malcolm Brown, Hightower, Chung, just a very good group.

  5. .
    Once Pittsburgh fell behind and lost Bell, they became one dimensional. The Patriots then waited for a mistake in the passing game.

  6. When you have a QB like Ben Roethlisberger or Tom Brady, it’s to your advantage to throw the football. The Patriots did this until the game was out of reach. The Steelers kept running on first down for little or no gain. So they basically were giving away first down. That’s just dumb coaching. That primitive notion of establishing the run is a dumb way to play football. Or should I say it’s a losing way to play football. Throw short, high percentage passes, and let your receivers run after the catch. That’s what Joe Gibbs did, and now Belichick is doing the same thing. I’m surprised more coaches haven’t figured this out. Of course Tom Brady is great, but they’re smart too. How old is Deangelo Williams? I wouldn’t be surprised if I heard that Tomlin and Haley got in a fist fight after the game.

  7. The Steelers D needed to come up with a strategy that didn’t include ‘leave every Patriot open on every play, always’. This is always a bad match-up for the Steelers. They’ll never get past the Patriots head to head until they figure out how to play defense against them. That begs the question: How come they keep making the same mistakes every time they play? Try something different!

  8. like I said earlier. The offense suffered too many stupid mistakes (drops, turnovers, etc) but was not the reason for the loss.

    Tomlin’s inability to adapt is our problem.

    Pats receivers were wide open all game against our zone coverage, like they always are. For some reason Tomlin refuses to abandon this strategy despite this happening every time we play them.

  9. Mike Tomlin: We thought if we tried the same defensive scheme one more time against Brady, it might work……. There I fixed it for you.


    Don’t worry Mike, I am sure you will make no changes this off season to get the team further. You will be able to ride this AFC Championship Game appearance for a few years. Study up so you can have some snazzy phrases at press conferences next season.

    Now I know why you were so confident about being ready in the video AB took when you said, “we will be ready.” You were just dusting off the same Pats game plan.

    Coach this team to a number 1 seed for once. Key word, Coach.

  10. And there is your excuse. Lets not pretend that the Pats didn’t shut down Bell before he even got injured. the Patriots have a very good run defense and Bell was getting nowhere waiting 5 seconds for a hole to open to go through.

  11. Would someone please play the Patriots with a full team. The playoffs in the AFC were a joke.

    Raiders without Carr so Houston wins….
    Houston without a QB and Watt ….
    Steelers without Bell…

    I hope the Falcons stay healthy so we can have a good Superbowl.

  12. ThePats continued beating the Steelers in the Tomlinson era. Tom came ready to play, so did his teammates. Pittsburgh couldn’t get their head in the game. If Brady has time to throw, you’re screwed.

    The ATL will have a more difficult challenge against Brady and Belichick. Prolific ATL O trying to continue preforimg on the biggest stage in football? No problem scoring against GB defense, but two weeks of Pinada Colada’s and casual tension relievers will lull you into a false sense of security?

  13. Big Ben came up small in a big game yet again. For a QB with so much hype, he never plays great on the big stage and that supposed high powered offense was AWOL the last couple weeks.

  14. The Pats had Bell under control because they clogged all the holes, stutter step was not gonna have a big game and you could feel that early on when he was gaining 2 yds a pop.

    He should have been split out like Williams was after Bell went down. Steelers moved the ball at will in the spread, unfortunately they have a poor group of wr’s after Brown that have trouble holding onto the ball.

  15. To address the elephant in the room. Did the guy who pulled the fire alarm get an honorable mention during the Lamar Hunt trophy presentation? Steelers clearly looked unusually fatigued. Must hand it to the Cheaties, that was creative. I’m guessing Ernie Adams was behind it.

  16. Remember that time when the Patriots beat the Steelers and their players and coaches gave the Patriots credit? Me either. Never happened. Always next year.

  17. When those Antonio Brown commercials come on I see them in a different light now. But the bright lights will be on him again and he will probably lose track of priorities again. Same for OBJ and a host of other “celebrated” players

  18. Sounds like a man willing to say anything to prevent being fired. Little Ben putting up an awesome 9 points in 3.5 quarters should tell him where the problem lies. And that defense? What a joke!

  19. If I’m not mistaken, Tomlin isn’t the defensive coordinator who let Hogan crush them early and often. He is also not the offensive coordinator who kept running the ball on first down with a very predictable offense, even when the box was loaded.

    However, it is his job to make these coordinators make adjustments when the game is evolving. This is the best thing that the Patriots coaching staff does. They make minor adjustments to take advantage of your weaknesses. It was apparent that Haley and Keith Butler stuck to their plans regardless of outcome, apparently with the blessing of Tomlin. The Steelers made no adjustments at the half.

    I just don’t hear those names coming out of any of you guy’s mouths. So when you talk about Xs and Os, Tomlin and many other coaches aren’t directly responsible for that. Just like Phil Jackson didn’t create nor run the triangle offense. Thank Tex Winter for it’s success, and oh yeah, several HOFs.

  20. “He had some shiny snot on his nose” makes it past the PFT censors, but legit posts don’t. Makes sense.

  21. @crawdaddy1212 “Pats receivers were wide open all game against our zone coverage, like they always are. For some reason Tomlin refuses to abandon this strategy despite this happening every time we play them.”

    Thank you for saying that! So, it’s not just me that feels this way! I like Tomlin, but his and his staff’s inability to adapt a different strategy, when it’s clearly needed, is infuriating.

  22. They’re saying Bell has been injured all along – which would explain his ineffectiveness before he left the game. That said, if the injury had been properly reported the spread would have been more like 12 points than 6.

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