Sure, this Steelers squad isn't like your (grand)fathers. It's not even like the one I grew up watching throughout the 90's. But what we seen this year, just won't do. The reality is, they're not hard enough and too distracted. It's almost as if they're going through the motions at times. Like the Bears game this year, what was that about again?
I have to place blame where it belongs, this team is definitely in Tomlin's mold. It's high time he breaks that mold, however, and go much harder than this current group. His teams need to be more hard nosed if they want to succeed in their chase for #7. There's too many distractions from outside sources, players are caught up with whatever is going on with social media, and then, the actual media keeps mining the locker room for bulletin board material...and the players actually gives it to them. That can't continue. And as much as Tomlin likes to let players be who they are, there are times when he needs to be more hands on to rein the guys in a bit. They need to be more mindful of what they say and do. And they need to maintain discipline on and off the field. Not that they're the Bengals or anything close.
The issue is, the Steelers organization has a certain image to the rest of the league. We as fans know this too well. Other teams and their fans know it as well. Their assumption of the Steelers and their fans is that we're spoiled by success. But the truth is deeper than that, the Steelers organization and it's fans are driven to be the best. As fans, we want the Black and Gold to win at all costs, within the rules, of course. It's no different than what the organization expects out of themselves. The focus should always be on the prize at the end of the season: Bring that Lombardi back to Pittsburgh, where it belongs. Anything else is nonsense and shouldn't be accepted as 'alright' or 'good enough'. That just won't do.
So here we are, peering at the off-season and all the pending scenarios the Steelers could possibly take. Two things are currently known at this point in time...
1. Ben wants to come back next year.
2. Tomlin IS NOT going to be fired.
Everything else is pretty much in the air at this point and time, as far as the roster is concern. I intend to break this down the best I can as the off-season progresses. I'm currently thinking the biggest needs for this team are ILB (2?), S, P, RB, TE. (these are not in order of importance...) But definitely ILB and S.
Another issue that I think Tomlin needs to think about is replacing Butler. Hate to say it, but Butler's schemes leaves one wishing for better. Notice that I said replace Butler, not fire Butler...I still think he has some worth on this team.
Replacing Haley is a given, but finding a coordinator that can get the best out of this talent shouldn't be too difficult. I don't anticipate the Steelers asking Haley for another go...and they shouldn't. Imagine what Mike Martz could do with this talent. Chan Gailey would have a heart attack with this much talent at his disposal. I do have some interesting thoughts for OC. One of which would be to move Munchak to OC...and bring Faneca on board as OL coach.
Anyways...lots of time between now and next camp.