Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



The amount of post-game Yinzer bitching following a division road win after a cautious preseason that left some rust to be knocked off is astounding.

Here’s some perspective: Joe Haden has never been 1-0 before.

Fans like to criticize coaches. That’s often because fans don’t know what they’re talking about, and coaches are easy targets.

But you can trace yesterday’s biggest flaw to coaching: 13 flags that cost the Steelers 144 yards. Most of those were superfluous, including four penalties for unnecessary roughness.

NFL games are gratuitously over-officiated, and yesterday’s contest at Cleveland was no exception.

But that many flags, especially the dumb ones, can be traced directly to coaching. It’s got to stop.

It’s not a new problem. The Steelers were the NFL’s eighth-most penalized team last year and led the league in unnecessary roughness infractions with 11. (Compare that to four such flags in yesterday’s season opener.)

Such an inordinate amount of tossed laundry indicates lack of accountability and lack of discipline.

That’s on the coach. Mike Tomlin needs to be more of a boss, less of a buddy.

After the game, Tomlin practically bellowed that his offense struggled because it was behind the chains due to too many penalties, and that’s what minimized the running game, so don’t blame Le’Veon Bell for missing camp.

No problem. I’ll blame the coach for insufficient control, and will continue to do so until the Steelers cut down their penalties to an acceptable level.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

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