Who Is to Blame for the Steelers Collapse of 2009?

Well, the sun did come out today. This despite the Steelers 2009 season going down the toilet in a serious hurry. Thursday the team takes on the awful Cleveland Browns, but of course with the way the team is playing (or not playing), who really knows what to expect?

For now, there’s a lot of blame game being given around the Burgh these days, and here’s some people that should be on your list for being at fault for the recent letdowns:

1. Mike Tomlin – This is by far the most adversity that Tomlin has had to face in his short time as Steelers coach. He has been unable to get his team to finish games, and it’s been their downfall all season. Last week he talked about ‘unleashing hell’ in December, and it worked backwards in it was a motivator for the Raiders to pull the upset. Has he lost the team? Did he read too many of his own press clippings? It will be interesting to see if his latest promise of making lineup changes work at all.

2. Dick LeBeau – When the offense doesn’t step up, everyone wants to fire Bruce Arians. Now though, it’s the defense that has faltered and let the team down, yet I hear no one talking about wanting LeBeau out. Many feel that LeBeau belongs in the Hall of Fame for what he’s done as a coordinator, and I don’t disagree with that. Right now though, his defense looks like Swiss cheese.

3. William Gay and Ike Taylor – Both these guys have simply not stepped up at the corner spot this year, and each have had ample shots to make game-changing plays that could have sealed wins. Taylor is coming off his best year in 08 and looks like he can’t cover anyone. Louis Murphy made him look like a practice squad player Sunday. As for Gay, he’s been a terrible cover corner all year, and it’s time to get a look at another player at that spot.

4. Bruce Arians – Yeah, I know, the offense is basically doing their job. But enough of you have expressed displeasure in what Arians has done to the offense to deserve a spot on this list. Should the combo of Rashard Mendenhall and Willie Parker have more carries? Would that help the defense late in games? I can’t really say to much about the offense, as they scored 24 points against both the Chiefs and Raiders, and lost both, to me, that’s on the defense.

So give me your feedback, what is the reason for the second straight post Super Bowl letdown? Is it too late? If this team finds a way to win the last four, has Tomlin redeemed himself? To me, it’s a direct result of Tomlin, the injury to Troy Polamalu, and the lack of attention to detail like they had last December. Of course, there’s four games left to get it turned around. Or to finish the complete collapse of 2009.

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8 Responses to “Who Is to Blame for the Steelers Collapse of 2009?”

  1. Steelers4043 says:

    Ok Look it’s BRuce Arians

  2. Osbuck says:

    It is no one person’s fault, history shows there is usually a letdown following a championship season. Add to that, several injuries, plus I think Mike Tomlin has been given too much accolade too fast. All these things and more explain their current state. As Dick Lebeau likes to say, “sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you”.

  3. Steelers4043 says:

    Yeah I guess your right especially since we always run on 1st down and if it’s a good one the guess what we do it again and again and agian and then we have a bad run then the defense knows we’ll pass because that’s what we do

  4. Art says:

    Arians has been so inept in calling games that the offense is usually three-and-out. This puts the pressure on a defense that has a mediocre secondary. Really shows what a phenomenal player Troy really is. The real disappointment is Tomlin who has allowed Arians to determine the course of this team.

  5. bumpy says:

    How is it that people feel that it’s lebeau’s fault? If he changed his scheme, people would ask “why did he do that, it’s worked so far”. This is 90% Arians and 8% Ben and 2% players. Tape the game and watch it CLOSELY. The offensive line has a terrible scheme that they are using. Peyton manning has a perfect “V” pocket to throw from. Our guys spend more time trying to double block weak “D” lineman than concentrating on the guy that is line up right in front of them. OUR center sucks and has sucked since he’s been here. Our Guards are too FAT. They get bullied and out-quicked. We have hard running RB’s and we continually throw on 3rd and 4 or less. When it is 3rd and 5 ALLLLL Wr’s patterns are run 10 to 12 yrds down the field. Why?? I don’t believe we have more than 3 plays where the receiver doesn’t run way down field. The last offensive play in the browns game was 3rd and 6 and all receivers were 12 yrds down the field or more. if you couple that with Ben holding too long, turning 2nd 4’s into 3rd and 12’s because of sacks and not throwing the ball away. HORRIBLE special teams. 8 or so returned td’s how can it possibly be the “D” coordinators fault. Our opponent’s avg. starting field position must be near the top in the league because we cannot tackle. Ike got his money and turned into “SWAGG’n”. The team is 2nd from last in INT’s and their leading INT guy has been out (again). But I guess you don’t get to have an INT if the other team keeps running back punts, kickoffs and Ben throwing int’s for td’s. Bruce’s “O” causes a trickle down and when you have that with bad blocking and tackling you have a big fat “L”.

  6. Temple3 says:

    Bruce Arians ranked #4?

    That’s only possible if you have failed to watch the team play a single game for the past two seasons.

    The offense has been abysmal this season. If by solid offense we mean both moving the ball AND scoring points, the team has played 1 solid game all season — the 1st half vs. San Diego and the 2nd half vs. Denver.

    This team should be able to rush for 150+ yds against most teams in the league. They’ve done it 3 times this season: vs. San Diego, vs. Denver, and vs. Baltimore with Dennis Dixon at the helm.

    The struggles of the offense, the careless approach to ball security and atrocious special teams (no touchbacks, Reed ranked 31st in avg. kickoff distance, poor coverage) have basically allowed casual observers to believe that the defense is the problem. The defense entered Week 13 having allowed the fewest TDs in the ENTIRE NFL.

    The team is losing because the offense is incapable of putting teams away, because the special teams unit forces the defense to play with a short field — and for a host of other reasons…not the least of which is the curious presence of William Gay in that locker room.

    Arians has to go. The Steelers need to use RM much more frequently and they need to attack down the seam with Heath Miller. They don’t do it. The turnovers, the sloppy play on offense has caught up to this team. It was around the same time last year that a great defense began to show signs of vulnerability — not because they suck but because they’re overworked.

    Reorganize that list…and prove to your readers you’ve actually watched them play. 🙂 Keep ’em coming…good columns, but you’ve GOTTA get this one right.

  7. Temple3 says:

    A lot of the problems this season are carry overs from last season.


    And the team was getting outscored in the 4th quarter LAST season, too. Turnovers in the passing game — poor execution in the red zone (Tennessee) — dropped interceptions (Indianapolis) — poor tackling on 3rd down (Giants).

    I wrote that piece in September…the fact that the wheels have come off isn’t surprising, but it is disappointing. I believe Tomlin’s next and best move is to release Bruce from his duties.

    And perhaps you could add Limas Sweed to that list. Who knows how the season turns out if he catches that pass in Cincinnati.
    Have a good one!

  8. quieteye says:

    1. D playmaker Troy down = excellent to below average
    2. ST Ace madison out = excellent to below average
    3. Smith & Foote done & gone = run stop decline
    4. Big Ben figured out (shutdown cover & contain in pocket till swarmed)
    5. Bruce Arians air-predictable
    6. Power run game decline = red zone decline
    7. Age and ?