Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
I balked at a few articles that asked the question, should Mike Tomlin be on the hot seat? Yes, I have disagreed with a lot of things he's done this year and the way he's coached this team, but he's won a lot of games here.
Sunday may have changed my mind.
If his seat's not hot, it's warming up. The Steelers continued to struggle in the same areas they have all season, and you have to wonder if Tomlin is losing his locker room.
The Steelers again were halted by penalties, being flagged nine times for a total of 68 yards. They also turned the ball over eight times. These are both discipline issues that Tomlin hasn't been able to address all year long.
But it's not just the penalties and turnovers that irk me. It's the way he's handled guys who make big mistakes in games.
Tomlin is known as being a players' coach and puts a lot of trust in his guys. But when his guys are underperforming, he refuses to pull them.
Rashard Mendenhall is a perfect example of this. He fumbles early and does actually hit the bench for a little, but is given a second chance despite playing as poor a game as he could imagine. The result? Another fumble by Mendenhall that is covered up by Will Johnson.
Tomlin also refused to bench Byron Leftwich last week when it was apparent that he was injured and couldn't move the ball.
There's no question that Tomlin has been a good coach for the Steelers, but he's got to make a statement here and now. Eight turnovers and nine penalties can not go unnoticed and somebody needs to pay.
Tomlin has to make an example out of one or a few players by sitting them down and putting the rest of the team on notice. Poor, undisciplined play will no longer be tolerated in Pittsburgh.