A flaw that Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin hid for the last 15 years is showing itself in 2022.

Well, Tomlin didn’t necessarily have to hide it — it just never came up because of the situation he inherited in 2007 when he took over for Bill Cowher.

Tomlin has never in his career had to manage a quarterback controversy.

The closest he’s come to having to manage one was in 2019 when Ben Roethlisberger missed nearly the entire season due to injury. Otherwise, Tomlin has always known he had Big Ben to count on.

And even in 2019, it’s not like Tomlin was having to make decisions that would shape the future of the franchise. He knew Roethlisberger would return in 2020.

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Dec 9, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin (left) looks at quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we’re seeing Tomlin have to navigate a full-blown quarterback controversy with Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett, it’s coming to light that the long-time Steelers head coach has no clue how to handle it.

Tomlin made it clear after Pittsburgh’s loss to the Cleveland Browns on Thursday that he’s not ready to make a change, despite the rest of the nation seemingly agreeing that it’s time for Pickett to get a shot (Trubisky has been largely ineffective and uninspiring).

Tomlin is obviously a future Hall of Fame coach. He’s never had a losing season. But he’s never faced this situation, either.

And for whatever reason, Tomlin seems to think rolling with a retread at quarterback is the best option.

Perhaps he should look to the 2004 season — a season that set the Steelers up for many years of future success — and realize that Cowher’s decision to go to Big Ben, a rookie, after week two is what got the Steelers on the right track.

Tomlin, however, seems to have something against going with a rookie (he essentially confirmed that last fall to Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer).

That approach is going to result in Tomlin’s first losing season if he’s not careful. He has time to get this fixed, but he needs to look in the mirror and start with himself first.

Featured image via Matt Pendleton-USA TODAY Sports