U mad, bro? Readers aren’t happy with Mike Tomlin’s coaches, referees, Steelers’ defense | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

U mad, bro? Readers aren’t happy with Mike Tomlin’s coaches, referees, Steelers’ defense

Tim Benz
1813002_web1_ptr-Randy-Fichtner-Keith-Butler
AP
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner and defensive coordinator Keith Butler.

Stillers, Stillers, nuthin’ but Stillers, n’at!

That’s where we are living in our “U mad, bro?” post for the week.

Readers lob opinions on the Steelers defense, Mike Tomlin’s assistant coaches, referees and the field in Los Angeles.

What? Nothing about the return the Pirates got for Gerrit Cole? Or are you folks just waiting until he wins World Series MVP?


Jack is NOT a big fan of Mike Tomlin’s assistant coaches.

Bill Cowher hired 7 guys who became NFL head coaches. They were: Dom Capers, Jim Haslett, Marvin Lewis, Dick LeBeau, Mike Mularkey, Ken Whisenhunt and Bruce Arians. Tomlin has hired ZERO assistants who have become NFL head coaches in the same period of time. It is unlikely ANY of the current staff will become one. He’s also lost the best assistant, Munchak and it’s painfully obvious the Steelers miss him. The Offensive Line play is below expectations. The quality of the staff is a BIG issue!

Jack, if the last point is your biggest concern, I’m with you. It doesn’t appear Keith Butler and Randy Fichtner have the chops in the coordinator roles that their predecessors (LeBeau, Arians) did.

However, the “coaching tree” comp to Cowher isn’t exactly apples-to-apples, is it?

After all, LeBeau and Arians were bequeathed to Tomlin. LeBeau didn’t want to be a head coach again. Munchak pulled his name out of consideration for the Arizona job. And Arians went on to be a head coach in Arizona and Tampa Bay.

What the Steelers coaches do once they leave here isn’t of particular importance to me. It’s how good they are — or aren’t — while they are here that matters.


Kevin wasn’t thrilled with the Steelers defense late in the game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

That’s true, Kevin. As I mentioned in our “Airing of Grievances,” the fourth-quarter defense was swapping out yards and scores for time running off the clock.

Well, seeing as how the Chargers threw 17 points on the board in one quarter, it was too much yardage and points in too little time to keep that game comfortable.

The Steelers have been outscored 43-26 in the fourth quarter (and overtime) of games this year. Blame fatigue in games, if you want, because they play so many snaps.

But the defense needs to be better in that capacity.


Brad raises an interesting point about all the NFL officiating fiascos of late.

Remember when everybody was all up in arms during the NFL referee holdout of 2012? Everybody was subjected to those ‘horrible replacement officials’ for several weeks? Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but I feel like they were not nearly as bad as this year’s regular referees have been. They are slowly but surely making football harder and harder to watch.”

I do remember that, Brad. And what I remember that separated those lousy replacement refs from the regular lousy refs is that, at least, matters of procedure were cleaner.

I’m referencing mechanical minutia. Winding the clock. Moving the chains. Spotting the ball. Huddling non-stop over basic issues independent of major replay-related matters.

My memory makes me think that referee uncertainty about issues like those created more problems than what naturally exists in a game with real refs.

I’ll say this, too. Expansion of the rule book, further widening the scope of replay, and the increased demand to protect quarterbacks and receivers has also made the job harder on these officials than the replacement zebras in 2012.

If those guys had to do that same job in 2019, it’d be utter chaos.

Regardless, I get your point.


Michael wanted to chime in on the discussion Mark Madden and I had on “Madden & Benz: Unfiltered!”

We were trying to figure out if the Steelers could exploit some soft spots on their schedule over the next several weeks.

Well, yeah, Michael. That was kinda the point. Did you hit play or just read the tweet?

That’s exactly what I want to find out next Monday. And what I said in the video. The Steelers will host the worst team in football when the pathetic 0-5 Miami Dolphins come to town a week from Monday.

My hope is that, since the Steelers have no reason to think they are any good either, they won’t allow themselves to overlook a team just slightly worse than they are.

Again, that’s my hope.

My…. hope.


Tommy had a complaint about the field at the Chargers’ stadium Sunday night.

Seriously. What was the story with that?!

You’re right, Tommy. I’m color blind. And I thought my eyes were playing a prank on me.

That was a joke.

Then again, based on the quality of Heinz Field for its first few years of existence, I’m not so sure we should be throwing stones out of our glass house on the North Side.

Plus, since this is Pittsburgh in 2019, the stones we would be throwing would only average 3.5 yards in the air. They’d never reach Los Angeles.

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Tim Benz is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tim at [email protected] or via Twitter. All tweets could be reposted. All emails are subject to publication unless specified otherwise.

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