U mad, bro? Steelers are bad, so it’s all Mike Tomlin, all the time for readers | TribLIVE.com
Breakfast With Benz

U mad, bro? Steelers are bad, so it’s all Mike Tomlin, all the time for readers

Tim Benz
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin speaks to the media during his weekly news conference Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019 at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex.

It’s all Mike Tomlin, all the time in “U mad, bro?” this week.

His decision to kick away in overtime. His hypothetical relocation to Washington. His superiority to me as a head coach.

All of these matters are clearly up for debate.

Well, most of them anyway.

Billy did not agree with my assessment of how Mike Tomlin’s decision to kick away in overtime against Baltimore played out last Sunday.


I was going by the book. Tomlin was being “too sharp.” This logic-for-logic’s sake approach to football was the very definition of being “too sharp.”

The simple, easy, smart thing to do would be to take the ball in overtime and try to win the game, as I suggest. Tomlin tried to out-think the process.

Or — if you are a defeatist with a conservative mindset — by receiving, you are at least preventing the other team from winning the game with a touchdown.

It’s not complicated. Don’t try to make it so.

Also, what Tomlin chose to do didn’t “work” because his team lost. Maybe you turned the game off after the Baltimore punt?

Supporters of Tomlin’s decision fail to understand an important point — you can’t prove a negative into existence.

You can’t prove that the Steelers wouldn’t have scored a touchdown on the initial drive if they tried to do so. Who is to say JuJu Smith-Schuster wouldn’t have channeled his inner Demaryius Thomas instead of fumbling if they got the ball first?

All you can prove is that they ignored their shot, and the Ravens won.

You do know Baltimore won because they got a second overtime possession on a short field, right?

I just went back and checked the box score. They didn’t stop the game after the first punt. I swear. I’m not lying.

Despite all the Twitter praise for ol’ “Coach T,” he lost. Again.

Sorry if this is breaking news to you.

Jeff thinks I was being hypocritical because I criticized the Steelers’ return units but also criticized Tomlin’s decision.

“Tim Benz states that kicking off first in overtime is ‘always the wrong decision.’ Yet, just one post down is an article by Tim stating the Steelers kick return game is atrocious.

Seriously, that was a bit contradictory and invalidates any opinion he may actually have.”

Jeff, it only invalidates my opinion if the reader can’t tell the difference between a commentary about personnel and a commentary about strategy.

Tomlin had that problem Sunday afternoon.

It appears you did Monday morning.

The personnel can stink, and the coaching can stink. The two don’t have to be mutually exclusive.

I wish you — and Tomlin — understood those concepts better.

Teddy sent me an email regarding the story I posted about the Washington Redskins’ potential interest in trading for Tomlin to become their next head coach.

“You sound like you are towing the party line. If Tomlin was traded, I would love it.”

Teddy, the first line of the story — literally, the first line — states, quite bluntly, “I’d do this.”

I said in the story that I’d trade Tomlin for Washington’s first-round pick if I was in charge of the Steelers.

It’s right there in black and white.

How is that “towing the company line” when the rest of the article puts forth the commonly held belief that the “company line” is that “the company” will keep Tomlin?

You seem very confused. Can I help?

Here’s an email from John about Tomlin.

“There’s an enormous difference between having the sense that you won’t be fired (Noll, Cowher) and being certain you will never be fired (Tomlin).

The former facilitates stability, the latter breeds complacency.

Who in 2010, if they were told that the Steelers would have Ben (Roethlisberger) as their QB for the next 9 years but would win only 3 playoff games, would not declare that to be an abject failure.

Tomlin does have a very good regular season record, but statistically it did not hurt to play in a division that spotted him two guaranteed wins each season — Cleveland — and remember two prominent Pittsburgh coaches have been fired/ushered out for poor postseason records; Jamie Dixon and Dan Bylsma.”

Yes. That’s why I’d trade him to Washington for their first-round pick.

Can I send you my friend Teddy’s email? Maybe you can reach him in a way I can’t.

Finally, Trey seems to be upset that I’m being too hard on the 1-4 Steelers and their coach.


As it is obvious Trey has no answers either and prefers to criticize the media for pointing out the Steelers’ flaws.

Why not? That’s easier to do than screaming into the void of 1-4 with 11 weeks of football remaining.

No, Trey. I don’t think the Steelers would be better if I was the head coach. But I do know it’s better to take the ball in overtime than kick it away for free.

That much, I’d get right.

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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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