The Steelers are one of the most talented, but inconsistent teams currently in the league. They started off the year by embarrassingly tying to the Browns and losing to the Chiefs. They picked it up with some wins over the Falcons and Bengals, but they later in the season go on to lose 3 straight. When it looks like they are collapsing, they finally beat the Patriots. It’s hard to tell just how good they (the Steelers) truly are.
It’s no doubt that the Steelers have incredible talent. Like him or not, Ben Roethlisberger is still playing at a high level. Antonio Brown and JuJu Smith Schuster have both been playing great. James Washington has stepped up recently. Despite the injury to James Conner, Jaylen Samuels has been playing well. On top of this, the Steelers have a great offensive line. The defense is inconsistent, but has shown they can play at a very high level.
Talent wise, they should be a top 5 team competing for the 1st or 2nd seed. Instead, they are holding onto a half game lead in the AFC North. Despite them having some really impressive wins, they are still underachieving. Why is such a talented team not doing so well?
There is an obvious answer here- Mike Tomlin.
Mike Tomlin has a very successful track record. He is yet to have a losing record, has won the AFC North 6 times(will be 7 if he wins it this year), has made 2 Super Bowls, and one of those he has won. So why exactly is Tomlin the issue?
The problem isn’t his coaching ability- it’s how he manages his team. Tomlin is a “players coach.” He lets his player play loose. The team is very undisciplined. They will often have dumb penalties that put them in horrible spots. When they’re against bad teams, they can get away with it because they’re so talented. However, it becomes an issue when they play the better teams. They can’t get away with it. Them being so undisciplined, has caused them big games. They have shown they can win the big games when they are disciplined. They just recently beat the Patriots. They can a very good team, but bad discipline will be the downfall of them.
Another thing hurting them, is drama. There always seems to be drama surrounding the Steelers. Ben Roethlisberger is always talking, and is often publicly criticizing his teammates. He seems to always be attracting some sort of negative attention. Antonio Brown is a great player, but he doesn’t do well with the media. He’s gone as far to threaten to beat up a reporter over something he said about him. He’s also drawing bad attention towards him off the field. There are many Steeler players that are causing drama. That does affect them on the football field.
The Steelers really should be a threat. However, because of the history of this team, they won’t be one in the playoffs. They have underperformed in many games this year, and they tend to overlook teams. Just due to the fact of how dramatic they are, I just don’t see how they can control themselves to win it all. It seems as if Tomlin has lost control of the locker room. The Steelers have the talent to go to the super bowl, but the drama will be the downfall of them.