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Spinning Tires: Steelers 2021 Offseason and Beyond...


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This is kind of leaching off of the GDT, but I felt like it needed its own thread.   Lets start here....

 

ben sounding like a guy who still wants to play..

Selfish prick.   Always has been.

I wouldnt have an issue with him wanting to play another year if I thought it had to do with winning....but we know it doesnt.   Ben knows he is done, and so does everyone else.   This is the same guy who cant throw a decent deep ball (or anything beyond 10 yards for that matter) any more, struggles moving outside the pocket, has become extremely predictable and readable (hence so many tipped passes), will hardly ever take any snaps under center anymore (taking away things like play action and possible I formation) and wont do a QB sneak.       This is a $40M ******* quarterback in the NFL.....a $40M QB who is eating up cap space that will cause us to lose key players this offseason, which will ultimately cost this team in the long run.

I truly and honestly believe Ben wants this team to suck for years after he leaves.   I think it would harm his delicate little ego if another vet or hell...a rookie came in and was an improvement over him....which wouldnt be a HUGE stretch at this point.     I know you can certainly do worse than Ben, even at this stage in his career, but I am willing to take that chance, because while he may be better than anything we can get this offseason or even the next few years....we arent doing anything with him except spinning our tires.

Someone needs to make the tough decision or tell him to retire or be cut.   He isnt getting traded with that contract, so people need to forget about that.     Unfortunately, that wont happen, because Art II just likes to say he owns the team, but doesnt have a fraction of the football minds his father and grandfather had.    Tomlin wont stand up because I honestly believe he doesnt have the ability to learn from past mistakes or notably grow as a coach.    14 years, and where exactly has he grown as a coach?   If anything, Id say he has regressed....significantly.    Colbert is just collecting a paycheck.    Im not saying Colbert is horrible, but much like Tomlin, he has the same issues year after year after year. 

I just feel like the current makeup of this team AS A WHOLE is to stagnate in mediocrity or at best, mere decency.    I dont think we have the coaches or players to take this team any further.    Tomlin IMO is a training wheels coach.    I think he can be great at turning around a dysfunctional or untalented team....but I dont think he has what it takes to  take a team all the way.   He made two SBs essentially riding the coattails of Cowher's team and an elite defense coached by LeBeau....but what has he done NOTABLE since those players left?   Dont get me wrong...I dont hate Tomlin or think he is a BAD coach.  He has many good qualities....but every single ******* year, its the same problems over and over and over....so much like with Ben and finding a new QB, the question becomes, do you just dwell in that stagnation and learn to live with it....or do you take the chance finding someone else, but risk getting a downgrade?   

As far as Tomlin, I know he isnt getting fired this offseason.   In fact, he wont get fired at all.  At best, we wouldnt renew his next contract...which expires at the end of next year, with a joint option for 2022.     It would kind of be nice if they just mutually decided to part ways.   Tomlin is going to get hired somewhere else....and even he has to realize that his time here has seemingly run its course.    

Major changes are needed, but Im not convinced they will ever be made under Tomlin.   Every year, him and Colbert talk about how major changes arent needed, just tweaks.   Well, we see where that gets us....another embarrassing first round exit from the playoffs....culminating a 6 week stretch where we were likely a bottom 5 or 10 team in the league.  I dont care about our damn final record.   Any Steeler fans bragging about how we started needs to shut the **** up.     Outside of one half of football, this team was an absolute embarrassment the last 6 weeks, and our coaches and $40M QB had no idea how to fix it, if they even tried.   

Ive prepared myself for this for years.   I knew it was only a matter of time before this franchise entered an 80's-esque dark stretch.   Hell, I was prepared for it as soon as Ben got hurt last season....so I guess in ways, we surpassed my expectations for the 2020 season....so its not that we failed to win the Superbowl that bothers me....its HOW we failed.      Its just the same old story with Tomlin...every single year.     I get that most coaches have notable flaws and that players not executing is always going to play a bigger part than coaching, but Tomlin's inability to grow and have this team grow with him has worn really thin. 

So the question is....

When do we stop tweaking and start rebuilding?   

Everyone may have different views and opinions on this, but one thing is inarguable....that rebuiilding cannot begin until Ben is gone.   The part that CAN be argued is whether Tomlin and Colbert are the right people to do that rebuilding with.   I personally dont think so, but I also fully acknowledge the risk we would be taking by moving on from them.   There are definitely notably worse coaches and GMs out there, but this kind of reminds me of something happened during the game.     At the beginning of the 4th quarter, Tomlin decided to punt when we had momentum, down by 12....and that decision very well may have ended the game, because the Browns went right downfield and scored.      Several Steeler fans stated Tomlin was a coward and living in his fears.....but thats kind of what fans are doing too.     I mean, if you just think Tomlin is a good coach and want to keep him...thats one thing, but I think many (including myself) are just more afraid of possibly going backwards with a coach and/or GM.

At this point, I am ready to take the leap.   If a new coach sucks...oh well, we will move on to a different one...but I cant keep coming back to the same dysfunction year after year with no changes being made.    At least go down swinging.     Staying with Tomlin much longer is like watching strikes cross the plate.   

Once again, I know Tomlin wont be fired, but we are coming up on his contract year, so that decision could be made very soon.   All I know is that if he decides to make another run with Ben, all three of them need to go after 2021...and if that happens, the entire coaching staff is likely gone, which is fine with me.

Realistically, for 2021, Im HOPING...

1) After a few weeks to mull it over, Ben decides he is done.     If not, they tell Ben he can either retire or be cut....kinda like they did with Troy.
2) Pouncey follows him out the door.
3) Fitcher is demoted to working in the gift shop....which he would likely suck at, too.
4)  Resign Watt to a long term deal.  
5) Looking over our free agents, Dupree and Hilton are the only two I think would be hugely impactful.   Juju is a great player, but I think we can move on from him just like we have with other WRs.    Villanueva fell out of my graces this year, but I wouldnt be opposed to a 1 or 2 year deal, but its doubtful.
6)  Realistically, even if Ben retires, the chances of signing or trading for a high priced vet are extremely extremely low.    My bet is we sign a mid ranged vet like Andy Dalton or Tyrod Taylor (maybe Ryan Fitzpatrick, even though he is the same age as Ben), and then POSSIBLY draft a QB.   I doubt we trade up or force a pick with how many players we are about to lose, but if a decent opportunity is there to get someone they like, its not out of the question....but we wont give up anything significant.

However, what I EXPECT....

1) Ben comes back, acting as if he cares about the team, when all he wants is his last pay day.
2) Pouncey remains with the Steelers and makes another pro bowl because voters are morons.
3) While they would prefer to get rid of Fitchner, they keep him around for Ben, but Matt Canada gets more say in the offense, but not enough to make notable differences.   Another "tweak" that does nothing.
4)  I think Watt resigns either way, but maybe not this offseason.   I think they will go into 2022 with the intent of franchising Watt.
5) We retain a few lower end free agents and maybe get a small deal done with Villanueva.    Everyone else is gone.   Sign a no name or two in free agency....all we can afford.
6)   No vet signing, but same deal with possibly drafting one.

....and if that happens....

1) 2021 we finish around .500 again.   Ben and the offense finish bottom 10.    Defense is still solid, but inconsistent...and the offense constantly puts them in tough situations.
2) Ben will retire.   Like I said, he already knows he is done.  He just wants the money.
3) Tomlin and the Steelers SHOULD part ways, but I feel like Tomlin at least gets the option for 2022.     Colbert stays too.
4) Fitcher is replaced since Ben is gone, but probably with another mediocre coach who wont have a decent QB to work with.     Wouldnt be shocked to see Butler either canned or retire.   A few other position coaches are changed.
5) At best, expect a season like 2019....even though the best thing would probably be for the team to finish with a top 3 pick, and the entire front office is purged, and the rebuild can begin properly.

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So a few things:

1 - I think there's a lot of overreaction to last night.

2 - The calls for mass changes ain't gonna happen.  And honestly, I rather Tomlin stay for a year or two after Ben leaves to lend some stability as we transition to a new age of this team.

3 - Whether Ben stays or retires this team is in for a major overhaul even if the cap stays flat at $198mil.

4 - I think some of yall need to take a few days off, clear your mind, and come back after emotions have settled ( @43M this isn't directed at you mind you).

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I gotta say @43M I’m usually on you for being too pessimistic especially against Tomlin but this entire post is pretty much on point and I can’t find much I disagree with. I know we got into it a bit about Tomlin earlier in the season and I will happily concede and say you were mostly right and I was mostly wrong about the amount of criticism he deserves. Only two things I would say:

- I have no issues with Colbert, I think he’s one of the few that is absent from any blame in all of this. What he’s done with our defense from trading for Bush/Minkah, signing Haden/Nelson/Alualu, the track record of skill position and even O-Lineman we’ve been able to bring in, and how he was able to get draft capital out of Martavis and AB situations is pretty exceptional. Whether the team executes on the field or not is out of his control and I hope we can keep him around even if Tomlin goes, but I doubt it.

- I wouldn’t mind seeing what Tomlin could do with this team with a “fresh start”. Get Ben and Fichtner out of here. Screw Canada as OC, I think he’s fine as a QB coach and a guy who can provide input but we need someone who can come in and provide a completely fresh identity on offense who has proven to have done it before.

Last night watching Tomlin pull the coward BS was absolutely infuriating and was one of the most frustrating moments I can recall as a Steelers fan (I’ve been watching since 2002). I was more ticked off in that moment than I was with us spotting the browns 28 points in the first quarter. Literally the definition of “living in your fears.” 

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2 minutes ago, August4th said:

apparently they're whispers from Pittsburgh media that Butler might retire

After his rough start, Butler has really come into his own as a DC so this is somewhat disappointing to me.

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2020 draft gives me optimism for a post-Ben era

claypool, Highsmith, Dotson and minka for our 1st. All 4 could be productive cheap starters for us for a few yrs and help offset the lose we;re about to experience in FA. I think the team will regress, but I don't see a black hole of losing for a decade. I see 2012-13 all over again, although I see the potential of being worse since this team won't have a top 10 QB in his prime like those teams did. Finding a productive QB will be crucial, as it is for every franchise

Edited by August4th
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6 minutes ago, warfelg said:

After his rough start, Butler has really come into his own as a DC so this is somewhat disappointing to me.

I wonder what they'll to replace him. Stay in house by promoting Teryl Austin or Tom Bradley? both have DC experience

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1 minute ago, August4th said:

I wonder what they'll to replace him. Stay in house by promoting Teryl Austin or Tom Bradley? both have DC experience

I could see it being a bit of a battle between Coach O and Austin.  Coach O would carry forth the zone-blitz schemes with 3-4 base ideals, while I think that Austin would go a little more to a 4-3 Cover-2 base with a few zone blitz wrinkles thrown in.  

I honestly think that the Rooney's should go for some outside hires keeping Tomlin in place.  Sure some may think that Tomlin's voice is getting stale, I think in reality the offense and defense are too based in almost decade old schemes.

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thinking on Ben's playoff legacy. Their is a whole a lot of ugliness when you take out the two SB runs. Several games were he put us in big holes or bad situations. I think he and Mike share a 50/50 blame when it comes to our postseason troubles the last 10 yrs.

 

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52 minutes ago, warfelg said:

So a few things:

1 - I think there's a lot of overreaction to last night.

2 - The calls for mass changes ain't gonna happen.  And honestly, I rather Tomlin stay for a year or two after Ben leaves to lend some stability as we transition to a new age of this team.

3 - Whether Ben stays or retires this team is in for a major overhaul even if the cap stays flat at $198mil.

4 - I think some of yall need to take a few days off, clear your mind, and come back after emotions have settled ( @43M this isn't directed at you mind you).

1.  Depends what you believe to be "overreacting".

2.  I know mass changes wont happen...but they need to.

3.  Nothing is really getting overhauled.   We are losing several key players.    Major changes are coming, but not really by design.   

4.  Again, it really depends what you are speaking about.   Ive admittedly overreacted in the past to bad losses.  I am perfectly calm and level headed.

Major changes need to happen IMO.  Sooner the better.   Im done clinging on to false hope.

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2 minutes ago, August4th said:

thinking on Ben's playoff legacy. Their is a whole a lot of ugliness when you take out the two SB runs. Several games were he put us in big holes or bad situations. I think he and Mike share a 50/50 blame when it comes to our postseason troubles the last 10 yrs.

 

Ben was never a good postseason QB.    He has some great playoff MOMENTS, but very few great (or even good) playoff PERFORMANCES.  Most have been average or worse.

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5 minutes ago, 43M said:

1.  Depends what you believe to be "overreacting".

2.  I know mass changes wont happen...but they need to.

3.  Nothing is really getting overhauled.   We are losing several key players.    Major changes are coming, but not really by design.   

4.  Again, it really depends what you are speaking about.   Ive admittedly overreacted in the past to bad losses.  I am perfectly calm and level headed.

Major changes need to happen IMO.  Sooner the better.   Im done clinging on to false hope.

1 & 4 - People saying to blow it all up, cut everyone, making statements about so many players suck.  I know it wasn't on here, but I saw someone say they wouldn't resign Watt because he didn't have any TO's or sacks last night.  Yes I think we all see it coming to a close with Ben, but he's not going to say anything right after that loss, so I think there's an overreaction to his statement minutes after the game ended.  

I'd say I'm not clinging on to false hope, I'm just not going to spew a bunch of hate towards the team for the loss.

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8 minutes ago, 43M said:

Ben was never a good postseason QB.    He has some great playoff MOMENTS, but very few great (or even good) playoff PERFORMANCES.  Most have been average or worse.

He's either played like a decent QB manager with moments of greatness sprinkled in here and there or  Jameis Winston in every playoff game since his 05 run

 

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