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Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin is hot topic for national media

Tribune-Review
| Thursday, December 13, 2018 1:00 p.m
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Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on the sideline during the Browns game Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018 at Heinz Field.

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is getting a lot heat from fans and local sports commentators for his handling of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s return to the game against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday, and in general his team’s performance this year.

And Tomlin has not escaped the attention of the national media with NFL analysts around the country wondering about Tomlin’s job performance and ultimate security.

Chris Broussard and Rob Parker on Fox Sports Radio said that inconsistencies could be catching up with Tomlin. They compared him to Houston Rockets’ coach Mike D’Antoni, who is considered a top-level coach, but who has never won a championship.

On Tomlin, the hosts ask, “You also have to say, ‘Have we hit the threshold of where he is going to take us?’”

Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd agreed with many of the points that Trib columnist Mark Madden made in his Monday column , but went on to wonder if Tomlin gets a pass because he’s a good “media coach” who is “likable and animated and frank and he’s a great quote, he’s great at the podium, but why isn’t Tomlin under the same microscope as [Green Bay’s recently-fire coach] Mike McCarthy?”

Jason Whitlock on Speak for Yourself on Fox Sports said that Roethlisberger and Tomlin (laying blame on the starting qb as well as the coach) overlooked the Raiders and thought they could get out of Oakland with a win without putting Ben back in the game. Not until the fourth quarter did the pair’s “mini-vacation” end.

Whitlock went on to rip the coach saying he’s always looking ahead to New England and calling Tomlin and Roethlisberger “two spoiled children born with silver mouthpieces” adding an amusing graphic to go along with his comments.

“It’s all been too easy for Tomlin and Roethlisberger, that’s why they haven’t grown up,” Whitlock continues. He ends by saying there’s a leadership void on the team and both are to blame.

Coming to his defense, analyst Stephen A. Smith believes Tomlin’s body of work (123-65 as a head coach, two Super Bowl trips, one Super Bowl win, a couple of AFC Championship games, 6 division titles, and more) means Tomlin gets to keep his job.

The Steelers have dropped three straight (also just barely getting by the Jaguars in week 11); and the New England Patriots are coming to Heinz Field Sunday.

Tribune-Review writers saw the Raiders loss as a low point of the season with the Steelers falling to a 3-10 team by failing to show up and execute.

Kevin Gorman wrote it was arrogance that lead Tomlin to leave Josh Dobbs in as quarterback in the second half against the Raiders after Big Ben returned to the sidelines from a rib injury.

Tim Benz wondered how Tomlin (and general manager Kevin Colbert) failed to see a scant four-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Raiders as anything less than an emergency.

And Mark Madden laid it bare , writing “if there’s ever been a time to seriously consider the wisdom of the Steelers continuing to employ Tomlin, it’s now. That’s in the wake of Sunday’s debacle at Oakland: yet another Tomlin loss to a much lesser team where the Steelers appeared to be absurdly not ready.”

And now the Steelers face the Pats this week, followed by a trip to New Orleans to face the Saints. They end the season at home against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Frank Carnevale is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Frank at 412-380-8511, fcarnevale@tribweb.com or via Twitter @frnkstar.

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