Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has a big question to answer.
And his answer could determine how hot his seat gets this off-season.
Can Tomlin win without Ben Roethlisberger? Is he a good head coach without Big Ben running the show?
So far, the answer has been no — though the offensive failures aren’t directly his fault.
Offensive coordinator Matt Canada has been a disaster so far in Pittsburgh. And there’s no sign that he’s going to improve.
The Steelers are averaging 18 points per game so far. That’s obviously not what Pittsburgh was hoping for this season.
And while Canada is to blame, this all ultimately falls on Tomlin.
The longtime Steelers head coach has been resistant to making a change at offensive coordinator — despite having a former offensive coordinator on his staff in quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan.
At this point, Pittsburgh has absolutely no identity on offense. And that’s not my opinion, that’s what the players in the locker room are saying.
Asked Chase Claypool today if the Steelers offense has an identity:— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) September 26, 2022
"We've got playmakers, but, uh, I don't know if we have an identity. I think we're still figuring that out."
Do you have to have an identity to be successful?
"I'm not sure. That's a good question."
It’s time for Tomlin to make a decision — is he going to continue with the status quo that clearly isn’t working, or is he going to change things up?
Tomlin can’t do what he did the last 15 years when Roethlisberger was in town and expect to reach the playoffs. We’ve quickly seen this season that it just isn’t working.
So Tomlin needs to fire Canada or bench Mitch Trubisky in favor of Kenny Pickett. Or maybe he needs to do both.
Either way, this is Tomlin’s chance to prove he’s an elite coach without Big Ben. So far, he’s failing. There’s time to turn it around, but he has to dramatically change his stubborn ways if that’s going to happen.
Featured image via David Dermer-USA TODAY Sports