Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



It won't happen. But the Steelers need to change head coaches. They need to fire Mike Tomlin.

It's taken a lot for me to propose that. Replacing Tomlin guarantees nothing, and it could go bad. The Steelers could waste what's left of Ben Roethlisberger.

But the Steelers have three playoff wins in seven seasons. They just went from 7-2-1 to missing the postseason via epic fail. Tomlin has been wasting Roethlisberger for years.

Tomlin presides over a laissez-faire culture. He relies on his players to be adults. Too many aren't.

Tomlin's method has run its course. It's not working.

If it works, you overlook a certain amount of BS.

But it's not working, and the amount of BS has hit critical mass.

Steelers ownership undoubtedly wants the situation fixed. Wants the noise, turmoil and distraction minimized, if not eliminated.

Tomlin can't do that. He can't fix it.

A) He wouldn't know how.

B) The enabler can't suddenly become the fixer.

If Tomlin suddenly demanded accountability, discipline and structure, most of the locker room would laugh at him.

There's only one way to fix it: Tomlin has to go.

Roethlisberger would be antsy about a coaching change because he's only got a few years left. So make Bruce Arians, Roethlisberger’s former offensive coordinator, the head coach until Roethlisberger retires. That would be a relatively easy transition.

Hire the long-term replacement after. Not every Steelers coach has to serve 10-plus years. It’s not a law, or a commandment.

Arians could miss the playoffs with Roethlisberger as easy as Tomlin just did. Arians might do better.

I don't care about Tomlin's regular-season record. Pittsburgh isn't a regular-season town. Tomlin has won playoff games in just four of his 12 campaigns.

Tomlin can't fix it. He might not even see a need to fix it.

Ownership could demand Tomlin overhaul his coaching staff and/or cede certain responsibilities. That wouldn't be enough.

This season's collapse - despite perhaps the NFL's best group on offense - is indicative of mismanagement.

All the tumult and noise for the last half-decade is indicative of mismanagement.

Three playoff victories in seven seasons with a Hall-of-Fame quarterback and a host of All-Pros and Pro Bowlers is indicative of mismanagement. The Steelers' achievement has rarely lived up to their talent since they last made it to the Super Bowl following the 2010 season.

If you think Tomlin is a good coach, tell me what he does that's good, and where it shows up in the Steelers' record.

That's my argument for replacing Tomlin. Your argument for keeping him won't be nearly as good.

That's because there isn't one. The enabler can't suddenly be the fixer. Tomlin can't/won't do something he doesn't believe in.

Image Courtesy of Getty Images.

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