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Tim Benz: Based on his own “Tomlinisms”, Mike Tomlin has failed to meet this “standard” lately



We all know about “Tominisms” from Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. His colorful descriptive phrases to spin a sound bite.

There is usually a message emphasizing these quotes as well. Truth and lessons below.

The problem is that if you judge Tomlin by his own slogans, he has not matched them in the last 1

0 years.

At least not to the “standard” he mentions so often. Here’s a few examples.


Smile in the face of adversity: When the road gets rough, in recent years there have been many more frowning than smiles on the Heinz field. When things get tough, the Steelers leave …

… right out of the playoffs.

After a 7-2-1 start in 2018, the train began to shake. Tomlin and his players couldn’t keep him on the tracks. They finished 2-4 and missed the playoffs.

The team certainly smiled broadly in 2019 when they managed to reach 8-3 in their first 11 games after quarterback Ben Rotlisberger was injured in week 2. But he lost the last three games of the year to miss the playoffs.

Then there is this year’s total collapse after an unbeaten start with 11: 0.

“It was a disappointment. I will admit it, “Tomlin said on Wednesday. “I will not maintain the status quo and hope that the result will change. This is the definition of insanity. “

Watching the last six weeks of this season has certainly driven Steelers fans crazy. Tomlin understood this part correctly.

We can say that we have not smiled at the troubles during individual games and in the last two appearances after the season. There were bad starts against the Cleveland Browns this year and the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2017, and Tomlin’s Steelers failed to find a way to stop the bleeding fast enough in both races.

Both results ended in embarrassment in the playoffs.


We do not live in our fears: Yes, you understand. The whole time.

That’s why you decided to push on the Browns’ 38-yard line until you fell 28-0 early in the second quarter. Then again on the fourth-and-1, when you were 35-23 behind to find the fourth quarter.

That’s why you didn’t let Matthew Wright try a 45-yard goal at the end of the fourth quarter against Washington with a 17-17 draw. Or let your wrestling game try to get a yard. Instead, Roethlisberger prayed to a rookie who was running back.

You lived in your fears of the Dallas block with a strike point to the point that you avoided a late goal attempt in a late game that would put eight points on your team. Instead, the Cowboys were left with five points and almost won the game.

Last year, you were so afraid of your own offense and the bad teams to come back that you decided to kick the ball in continuation of a possible loss to Baltimore.

This is the height of life in your fears.

Now Steelers fans should be afraid to rank third – or worse – in AFC North for the foreseeable future.


High floor”: This is a phrase used by Tomlin to describe a player – or a team – that has a qualitative sequence of performance.

They / He may be capable of great things sometimes, but they never slip under the winning caliber of the game.

I mean, he actually describes himself, right? Of course, Mike Tomlin never goes below .500. He is always somewhere between 8-12 wins. And if the team is not in the playoffs, it is alive for the last two weeks.

Great. Here’s the worry. We haven’t seen Tomlin hit a “high ceiling” since 2010. We’ve only seen a few wins in the Pittsburgh playoffs since then.

This despite the many talents for a “high ceiling” on the list over the years.


If you have red paint, paint the barn red: I’m sure he stole this one from Dick LeBo, but that’s OK. I get the images.

The point is, you build your game plan based on the talent you have. The thing is, Steelers don’t have enough red paint.

When injuries or illnesses have struck Devin Bush, Bud Dupree, James Connor and Ben Rotlisberger in the last two years, it has proven how thin the Steelers’ depth is. And I think that’s part of the reason we’ve been seeing the team fade so dramatically in December lately.

When the paint starts to peel, Tomlin can’t find the right shade of red to patch the exposed areas.

It’s time to find some more flexible colors to repaint the barn. And since much of the barn will have to be rebuilt anyway, I’m worried about how much paint Kevin Colbert can afford to buy.


The standard is the standard”: We will finish with the big one.

Mike Tomlin mentioned that the “standard” has been the “standard” in the organization since he arrived as Steelers coach in 2007. And for most of his first few years, the team followed that credo.

As the Steelers and New England Patriots are the only teams in the NFL with six Super Bowl trophies, the Pittsburgh Standard is vying for titles. For the past 10 years, it feels like Steelers has flirted with that high bar, but he hasn’t reached it often enough.

In just two of those seasons (2015, 2016), the Steelers won a playoff game. This is the same as the franchise’s slogan in the 1980s (1984, 1989).

Tomlin’s teams have never reached the bottom like they did in the 1980s. But in the decade since the Super Bowl XLV, the Steelers have missed the playoffs four times and lost four times in their first game – with no playoff wins in the last four seasons.

All this with Roethlisberger in quarterback for nine of those years. Which is the biggest difference between this comparison and the 1980s.

Based on the “standard”, Tomlin claims to support it, he has not done so for most of the last decade.

“We want to be competitive,” Tomlin said. “Let’s compete for the World Cup and chase it every year. When we begin this process to prepare for 2021, it will be our thinking. “

Given Roethlisberger’s age and the appalling pay-as-you-go situation this season, it will be even harder to achieve next fall.


TribLive Steelers beat writer Joe Rutter joins me for our latest podcast at Mike Tomlin’s 2020-21 press conference. We are talking about the future of Ben Rotlisberger, the concern about the salaries for the off-season and Tomlin’s contract.

Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review writer. You can contact Tim at tbenz@triblive.com or via Twitter. All tweets can be reposted. All emails are subject to publication, unless otherwise stated.

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Sports Steelers / NFL | Breakfast with Benz




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