On Friday’s episode of the Zach Gelb Present, CBS Sports activities Radio host Zach Gelb mentioned Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Matt Canada must be fired if the offense fails to outscore a Cleveland Browns crew that begins with rookie QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson. Nicely, lo and behold, the Steelers misplaced the sport 13-10 and the offense regarded completely horrible exterior of RB Jaylen Warren.
So when Gelb kicked off Monday’s episode of his present, it ought to shock completely nobody that he as soon as once more referred to as for Canada’s resignation. Nevertheless, he centered a lot of his commentary on Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin.
“You need to do one thing,” Gelb mentioned. “As a result of doing nothing makes completely no sense, and it’s, fairly frankly, the definition of jackassery. Though Mike Tomlin is an excellent coach, and I am not sitting right here advocating for Mike Tomlin to be fired… You continue to must discover a technique to meet the usual.”
The subject of “The Commonplace” is an enormous one surrounding the Steelers and Tomlin. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re new to the crew, you’d most likely assume the usual is just non-losing seasons. Whereas Tomlin’s string of seasons with no shedding report is completely unbelievable and must be celebrated, that is Pittsburgh. The expectation is to compete for the Tremendous Bowl and seize extra Lombardi Trophies, not simply end seasons at .500 or increased.
Gelb claims the offense is what’s holding the Steelers again, and there isn’t any argument in opposition to that. After Sunday’s loss, Pittsburgh’s protection is averaging 19.5 factors per recreation allowed, the seventh-best mark within the league. The crew averages 16.6 factors per recreation, which ranks twenty eighth within the league. The numbers get even worse once you understand that two of the touchdowns included within the total numbers have been scored by the protection.
Nevertheless, the group is understood for being affected person and constant and offers the top coaches (solely three since 1969!) numerous management and leeway. It is also why Gelb says it is all as much as Tomlin, whereas anticipating nothing to truly occur.
“It includes Mike Tomlin, who’s at present the CEO of the Steelers,” Gelb mentioned. He has to make the change. I mentioned this on Friday and I am going to say it once more: I do not anticipate any change to occur, however that does not imply I’ve to sit down right here and be silent… We have to maintain Mike Tomlin accountable as a result of the Steelers we used to run this proud, profitable, successful group.”
Gelb additional elaborates on Tomlin because the one in the end chargeable for the scenario. Clearly Gelb is a Tomlin supporter, however Tomlin is the one who has each the facility and duty for what occurs to the Steelers.
“What are you doing to place your self in a greater place?” Gelb requested. “That is my downside with Mike Tomlin proper now. If it is loyalty, if it is stubbornness, if it is stupidity, no matter it’s, or possibly Alternative D, all the above, then it is acquired to alter… If Mike Tomlin is severe about successful, if Mike Tomlin needs a playoff recreation needs to win what he has gained. Mike Tomlin hasn’t been completed since 2016 and needs the Steelers to win playoff video games once more and win a Tremendous Bowl. He has to return to the drafting board this season. You want a brand new offensive coordinator, and subsequent yr you want a brand new quarterback. As a result of you have got a championship protection, however you are the furthest away from a championship offense.”
The worst half about that is that Canada had a solution on Sunday, however did not use that reply on the finish of the sport. As I mentioned earlier than, Warren had a day in opposition to Cleveland. Warren was a part of the third straight recreation during which the Steelers rushed for greater than 160 yards. He had 9 carries for 129 yards (74 of which got here on a single landing carry), whereas additionally contributing three catches for 16 yards.
Nevertheless, when Pittsburgh acquired the ball again with 1:42 to play on their very own 30-yard line in a tied recreation, Warren didn’t contact the ball. In truth, his final contact of the sport got here on the earlier drive, when the Steelers confronted a Third-and-15 from the Cleveland 45. He caught a fast go from QB Kenny Pickett, which gained simply two yards. That was after posting three performs on the earlier drive that lined greater than 10 yards and helped arrange the tying subject objective.
When the time comes and an offensive coordinator would not have a look at the participant who has carried out one of the best as much as that time, issues do not look good. Jaylen Warren had a profession day, averaging 12.1 yards per contact with 145 yards from scrimmage plus the aforementioned landing.
Seeing so little involvement within the recreation on the road late may very well be thought of a fireable offense. Then you may think about that Canada referred to as three straight passes with lower than two minutes left, with a quarterback who had accomplished simply 15 passes for 106 yards and had already been sacked 3 times. It by no means gave the offense an opportunity to mount a possible game-winning drive and as a substitute gave Cleveland an opportunity because the three passes ran simply 14 seconds off the clock.
Nonetheless, Gelb, like most individuals, believes nothing will change earlier than the top of the season. Tomlin and the Steelers will level to the 6-4 report and the truth that they’re nonetheless within the thick of the playoff race as cause sufficient to maintain all of it collectively.
Sadly for Pittsburgh’s protection and the followers, this implies sticking with a play-caller who would not embrace the second-year quarterback. Pickett’s completion proportion is down two and a half proportion factors from his rookie season. He is throwing for 12.7 fewer yards per recreation, and as a rookie he solely threw for nearly precisely 185 yards per recreation.
Sure, Pickett has seen a slight improve in his landing fee from 1.8 to 2.1 %. He additionally turns the ball over a lot much less. Nevertheless, nobody calls 2023 a profitable yr for him. The Steelers gained due to their protection, and Sunday was a brand new low for Pickett and the passing recreation. He posted his second-lowest completion proportion of the season and threw for his fewest yards, not together with the Jacksonville Jaguars recreation the place he performed solely half. He additionally averaged simply 3.8 yards per try.
So what now? As Gelb requested, what’s Tomlin doing to place himself and his crew in a greater place? The on-field outcomes for the offense do not appear to imply a lot. So one thing has to alter, but it surely would not appear seemingly till the low season. Then we are able to say goodbye to a different season of the careers of TJ Watt, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Cam Heyward.
And simply to be clear, the definition of jackassery is foolishness or stupidity. Laborious to argue with Gelb’s eloquent, if not colourful, characterization of the scenario.