For years, the Steelers have gone as far as the Killer B’s have taken them. When clicking, they were one of the most explosive offenses in the league and had the ability to compete with anyone any week. Whether it was by injury, free agency, or whatever AB is up to, they are all gone and what we have is what we saw Sunday.
They couldn’t establish the run or get receivers open downfield. Yes — it was Rudolph’s first start and I really think he/the team will improve as the year goes on, but this tweet is VERY telling about the offense:
Just because the Killer B’s are gone, it doesn’t mean that all hope is gone also. The Steelers just have to find a different way to win. And when I say Steelers, I am talking about Tomlin and his coaching staff.
The Steelers have been blessed for the last several years with incredible talent. A HOF QB, rare breed of RB, freak talent(/person) of a WR, and a sturdy offensive line. The problem was that Tomlin and the team relied SOLELY on their individual sheer talent instead of scheme.
Take the dreaded 2017-18 Jaguars playoff loss as an example. Playing against a vastly inferior team, the Steelers didn’t develop an effective plan on either side of the ball and then had to play extreme catch up after falling behind 28-7.
And Pittsburgh did catch up, but it was with complete individual brilliance (long TD on 4 & 11 to Bryant, two freak athletic TD catches by AB, and the improv Ben/Bell touchdown scramble/behind the line pass). The defense failed to make any effective adjustments and the Jags shocked us all.
We saw this last season too. The absolute brilliance of Ben and company brought us the wild game against Carolina where the Steelers exploded for 52 points. But it is this reliance on talent that also brought us the devastating losses to the Broncos, Chargers, Raiders, etc. that kept the Steelers out of the playoffs.
More effective and consistent scheming paired with their undeniable talent, would have brought the Killer B’s era of the Steelers a lot closer to a ring. Unfortunately, that door is closed. And that’s on Tomlin.
This new era of Steelers football is promising. They have a young core to build the franchise around moving forward in the post-Ben era, whenever that is. What they don’t have is the ridiculous talent that we (and Tomlin) have been accustomed to.
Tomlin and his coordinators need to develop more effective game plans and schemes to help their promising assets perform to their fullest. More importantly, they need to be able to make adjustments on the fly as the game plays out.
Look at the defense the last two games. They played well in the first half, the opposing offense made second half adjustments and the Steelers defense gave up three second half touchdowns each game.
Look at the offense on Sunday. The play calling showed no ingenuity and Jaylen Samuels was not given a touch. That is inexcusable.
For the first time in a while, the Steelers won’t be stepping onto the field week in and week out as the team with the most talent. With that said, we are going to learn a lot about Tomlin and his coaching staff (specifically Randy Fichtner and Keith Butler) in these next three months.
Without being able to rely on freak talent, Tomlin needs to scheme a lot better and make stronger adjustments to avoid his first losing season.