Pittsburgh Steelers: Hot-Seat Meter for Players, Coaches and Personnel
An 0-4 start to the Pittsburgh Steelers season has been unheard of in Pittsburgh for almost a half-century, but reality has hit home with this Steelers team.
Despite being just two games behind the AFC North division lead, it appears the Steelers and their fans are in full-blown panic mode.
There are a lot of people in both the locker room and administrative offices at Heinz Field who should have some answers. Some have familiar faces while others you may not have expected.
Let's take a look at a few people within the Steelers organization who may be finding the seat under them getting a little warmer right now.
Mike Adams, Offensive Tackle
Hot-Seat Meter: 9/10
As Ben Roethlisberger's blindside blocker, second-year tackle Mike Adams really hasn't gotten the job done. Last week in London, Adams gave up two-and-a-half sacks to Jared Allen, one that included a game-ending forced fumble inside the Vikings' 10-yard line.
The Steelers responded this week by not only benching Adams in favor of second-year Southern Methodist product Kelvin Beachum, but also by trading for veteran tackle Levi Brown.
Things do not look good for Adams' status right now.
To be fair, the Steelers' coaching staff really set Adams up to fail. The man is a naturally built right tackle and played all of his games from the right side in 2012. Adams progressed well as a run blocker at right tackle last season and I fully expected him to return to that spot in 2013.
But the Steelers' staff saw something they liked on the left side and stuck him there.
Adams is only in his second year and it is ludicrous to think he's finished in Pittsburgh. In fact, adding Brown may give Adams the option to move back to the right side if Marcus Gilbert continues to struggle.
Regardless, one thing is clear: This offensive line was bad with Adams in it and it can be just as bad without him.
Todd Haley, Offensive Coordinator
Hot-Seat Meter: 7/10
There might not be a more hated man within Pittsburgh's city limits right now than Steelers' offensive coordinator Todd Haley—and Steelers fans have some legitimate points.
Under Haley, the Steelers offense has dropped from a middle-of-the-road unit to one of the lower-tier teams in the league. That includes a rushing attack that is among the worst in team history under Haley's watch.
But give Haley a little slack. He began the 2013 season with Felix Jones as his starting running back and David Paulson as his starting tight end. Since the return of tight end Heath Miller and the addition of Le'Veon Bell in the backfield, the offense has gotten progressively better each week.
We'll see how the offense looks coming out of the team's Week 5 bye, but Haley needs to start putting something together. Pittsburgh is about as healthy as it is going to be offensively, so it's up to Haley to wow fans after the break.
Cortez Allen, Cornerback
Hot-Seat Meter: 5/10
The Steelers found a very good first-year starter at cornerback last season with Keenan Lewis. Unfortunately, Lewis left Pittsburgh this offseason to return to his native New Orleans for a pretty sizable deal.
Pittsburgh thought it had a replacement for Lewis in Cortez Allen, but so far in 2013, that hasn't been the case.
Allen finished the 2012 season very strong and that was one consideration that made Lewis so expendable in the offseason. But so far, Allen has missed time with injury and he was smoked twice by Vikings wide receiver Greg Jennings last week for touchdowns.
The Steelers do have (dare I say) William Gay, who started while Allen was out and did an admirable job in his place. Allen needs to step up now if he wants to keep his starting job.
Mike Tomlin, Head Coach
Hot-Seat Meter: 3.5/10
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has taken a lot of heat so far in 2013 and rightfully so. His team is off to its worst start in 45 years and it's starting to look like he has no answers.
But Tomlin did keep his word following the Week 4 loss to Minnesota and began mixing up his lineup heading into the team's bye week.
Short of an 0-16 season or a locker room coup, I think Tomlin is pretty safe. The Steelers don't tend to overreact in the front office and, let's face it, this isn't a very talented team. Pittsburgh may end up with a top-10 draft choice and get a player that can help immediately.
Despite being 0-4, it's not too late for Tomlin to turn this season around. A strong finish for a 9-7 record might be enough to win Pittsburgh a mediocre AFC North crown. But that's a pretty steep uphill climb for this team.
Kevin Colbert, General Manager
Hot-Seat Meter: 6/10
One of the guys a lot of people aren't talking about is Steelers GM Kevin Colbert. The Steelers have looked bad on the field and that may not all be on the coaching.
There is a distinct lack of talent on this football team and that starts at the top.
Colbert has been praised for getting good value in recent drafts. Some of his "value" picks have included Cameron Heyward, Ziggy Hood, Mike Adams and Alameda Ta'amu among others. Maybe there's a reason all other 31 teams passed on these guys.
In my opinion, Mike Tomlin is actually safer than Colbert at this point. Colbert hasn't given this team a whole lot to work with in 2013 and was also instrumental in putting the Steelers in their recent cap confinements.
That seat under Colbert is getting warmer as each week passes.