2018 Steelers: For Whom the Bell Tolls

dcmissle

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The last paragraph was a good laugh. He’s been the coach of an NFL team for a decade or so and he’s just learning this now?

Moving forward, Tomlin made it clear that he’ll be more inclined to be strict with players in the future, acknowledging his own responsibility for the mess that he now must clean up, as another season of high expectations and championship potential ended with a failure to make it to the playoffs.
I meant the answers he provided regarding what happened. Wisely or not, you wouldn’t get a quarter of it in a BB press conference. We lived a version of this in his very first year. Terry Glenn.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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I hate Tomlin and the Steelers every bit as much as the next guy, but to give the devil his due:
1.) Tomlin apparently managed the absence of Bell well, both in terms of Conner's prep and play and in terms of the team not letting the contract situation divide the team.
2.) The Steelers did outplay and outscore their nemesis Patriots, which obviously isn't something they've accomplished with much regularity in the past. Outcoached the Pats too, with a great run scheme.
3.) Of what we know so far, it seems like Tomlin handled the AB situation about as well as he could've. While his prize diva threatened to drag the whole team down, Tomlin appropriately benched him, kept the team together, and still got a win in Week 17.

On the downside, USA Network cancelled "Shooter" and the residuals for "House" have to be running thin.
 

Red Averages

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I hate Tomlin and the Steelers every bit as much as the next guy, but to give the devil his due:
1.) Tomlin apparently managed the absence of Bell well, both in terms of Conner's prep and play and in terms of the team not letting the contract situation divide the team.
2.) The Steelers did outplay and outscore their nemesis Patriots, which obviously isn't something they've accomplished with much regularity in the past. Outcoached the Pats too, with a great run scheme.
3.) Of what we know so far, it seems like Tomlin handled the AB situation about as well as he could've. While his prize diva threatened to drag the whole team down, Tomlin appropriately benched him, kept the team together, and still got a win in Week 17.

On the downside, USA Network cancelled "Shooter" and the residuals for "House" have to be running thin.
The Steelers narrowly beat the Bengals, a team without their starting QB and their own all pro WR who had lost 6 of their last 7 (beating only Oakland) with absolutely nothing to play for. The Bell situation was horribly handled, he strung them along all year causing a distraction that likely led to some of their troubles. Likely in no small part to tomlin allowing the stars to get away with special treatment for years.

They did beat the Patriots at home. Of course this occurred after they looked past Oakland and lost - a team even the Bengals could beat.

As a Patriots fan I hope Tomlin stays. I’m enjoying their explosion almost as much as Rex Ryan’s various struggles.
 

luckiestman

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I hate Tomlin and the Steelers every bit as much as the next guy, but to give the devil his due:
1.) Tomlin apparently managed the absence of Bell well, both in terms of Conner's prep and play and in terms of the team not letting the contract situation divide the team.
2.) The Steelers did outplay and outscore their nemesis Patriots, which obviously isn't something they've accomplished with much regularity in the past. Outcoached the Pats too, with a great run scheme.
3.) Of what we know so far, it seems like Tomlin handled the AB situation about as well as he could've. While his prize diva threatened to drag the whole team down, Tomlin appropriately benched him, kept the team together, and still got a win in Week 17.

On the downside, USA Network cancelled "Shooter" and the residuals for "House" have to be running thin.

The whole post is good and you killed me with the last line.

I like Tomlin. There is only one Billy B. After that Tomlin is in the next tier. Maybe slightly below Harbaugh, Payton, and McVay.

Edit: Fat Andy is there too.

Edit2: I forgot Pete the USC cheat
 
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Rough Carrigan

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Saw this prior to their last game; don't want to overplay what may well have been a throwaway comment; on the other hand, it does not speak all that well of the DC either.

http://www.sportingnews.com/us/nfl/news/pittsburgh-steelers-tyler-eifert-dc-keith-butler-cincinnati-bengals-injury-injured-reserve-nfl-news/1u38w71ellh2d10v9zp0zr5obe
Well, come on, you saw in The Godfather how you can move those hospital beds around to protect Vito Corleone. It works the same way with Bengals tight ends.
 

Cellar-Door

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I don't generally think Tomlin is a good coach, I feel he's under performed his talent year after year on the other hand..... Roethlisberger is an almost unique problem for a coach. Way too good to bench, but not a truly elite talent and by most accounts one of the shittiest teammates in the league. Tough to have any kind of accountability in the lockerroom when your QB is notorious for going on the radio to throw his teammates under the bus for his own mistakes time after time.
 

RedOctober3829

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Two nuggets from Schefter/Mort that make me think AB is a goner

1) Ben is restructuring his contract and extending it to create more cap room. It’s expected to be a large savings on the 2019 cap.

2) They will be getting a $14.5 million cap credit for Bell that hasn’t been calculated into their cap space yet.
 

koufax32

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Two nuggets from Schefter/Mort that make me think AB is a goner

1) Ben is restructuring his contract and extending it to create more cap room. It’s expected to be a large savings on the 2019 cap.

2) They will be getting a $14.5 million cap credit for Bell that hasn’t been calculated into their cap space yet.
You may be right but isn’t the easier conclusion that they are just making space for other players/extensions?
 

BigJimEd

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Ben is going into the last year of his deal so an extension was always the likely case.
We'll see how much savings though. With a QB that had talked about retirement, I'm not sure how much they want push to future years. Ben counts around 23 against the cap currently. I'd expect that to go down but unless he takes significantly less, I'm not sure it will be that great of a savings.

I still think Brown is traded though. They just went through the Bell situation and will likely let him walk for a comp pick. I think they learn their lesson and cut their losses with Brown target than taking the risk of it blowing up later.

Cap wise, Pitt actually saves a bit with Brown gone. Although that is without replacing him. Still it won't cripple them cap wise.
 

KiltedFool

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Yeah an extension was always likely, that's just how they do things. They've proven in the past they can and will trade away a star receiver, they did it with Holmes not long after he was a SB hero. Different circumstances but not much surprises me anymore.

Can't be too surprised at Brown, the level of drive and self confidence you have to have to push yourself to have your work ethic compared to Jerry Rice (even by Jerry Rice himself) it's kinda hard to do that without being self-absorbed.
 

RedOctober3829

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Steelers president Art Rooney II said the team is not going to release Antonio Brown, but “all other options are on the table” following the wide receiver’s insubordinate behavior before and after the final regular-season game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

In an interview Thursday with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Rooney would not come out and say the Steelers are going to trade their All-Pro receiver, but he left no doubt that is a strong possibility.

He even went so far as to say it would be “hard to envision” Brown being with the Steelers when they report to training camp in July.

“There’s not much we can do right now; we have time to make a decision,” Rooney said in his first public comments since Brown skipped out on practices and team meetings leading up to the Dec. 30 game at Heinz Field. “We’ll look at all the options. We’re not going to release him, that’s not on the table. But I will say all other options are on the table.

“Whether the situation can be reconciled and have him back on the team next year, we’re a long way away from thinking that can happen. We’re not closing the door on anything at this point.”

Brown is scheduled to count $22,165,000 against the salary cap in 2019. If the Steelers trade him, he would still count $21,120,000 against their cap — $12.6 million salary, $7 million pro-rated signing bonus and $2.5 million roster bonus. However, the Steelers would save $15.1 million — his 2019 salary plus roster bonus — in real money.

Rooney, though, indicated Brown’s salary-cap ramifications would not play into whatever decision the team makes.

“That has to be taken into consideration, but, as I sit here today, “I’m not going to say that’s going to box us into anything,” Rooney said. “If we decide something has to be done, we’ll figure out how to deal with that.”

https://www.post-gazette.com/sports/steelers/2019/01/10/antonio-brown-trade-rumors-steelers-art-rooney/stories/201901100125
 

Marciano490

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I’m not sure how it doesn’t reflect terribly on the coach or organzation that they essentially lost their two best offensive players.
 

Vinho Tinto

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I’m not sure how it doesn’t reflect terribly on the coach or organzation that they essentially lost their two best offensive players.
It’s intellectually lazy to lump Brown and Bell together. Their departures have been fiascos, but they’re leaving for different reasons.

I think Tomlin has done a good job for giving Rooney and Colbert cover.
 

Marciano490

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It’s intellectually lazy to lump Brown and Bell together. Their departures have been fiascos, but they’re leaving for different reasons.

I think Tomlin has done a good job for giving Rooney and Colbert cover.
That’s a smidge harsh, my man. When’s the last time a high profile NFL player sat out a whole season? You don’t think it’s a bit telling Brown and Bell both did as they did this year?
 

SMU_Sox

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That’s a smidge harsh, my man. When’s the last time a high profile NFL player sat out a whole season? You don’t think it’s a bit telling Brown and Bell both did as they did this year?
Year after year it’s the same shit different day with Tomlin and this team. I love ownerships commitment and investment in a good coaching staff and front office but I think it’s time to move on. Obviously it doesn’t look like that is happening. As much as I do not like the Steelers I respect the organization for being competitive over the past 2-3 decades. I wouldn’t be surprised if Tomlin gets let go next year if they miss the playoffs again.
 

Papelbon's Poutine

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It’s intellectually lazy to lump Brown and Bell together. Their departures have been fiascos, but they’re leaving for different reasons.

I think Tomlin has done a good job for giving Rooney and Colbert cover.
It doesn’t really matter why, they’ve been unable to keep 2 arguably top 3 skill position players happy enough to stay. They deserve derision and it likely starts with Tomlin. Being a scape goat doesn’t deserve applause. Coach, owner and FO should be a unit. The only thing Tomlin does well is trip kick returners.
 

bigq

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It doesn’t really matter why, they’ve been unable to keep 2 arguably top 3 skill position players happy enough to stay. They deserve derision and it likely starts with Tomlin. Being a scape goat doesn’t deserve applause. Coach, owner and FO should be a unit. The only thing Tomlin does well is trip kick returners.
Speaking of a smidge harsh. He has certainly been a part of developing talent well and I think his teams have the third best overall record in the league on an aggregate basis over the past ten or so years. I dislike Tomlin and the Steelers but I think the team’s performance relative to the rest of the league particularly in the regular season has been pretty good.
 

Vinho Tinto

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That’s a smidge harsh, my man. When’s the last time a high profile NFL player sat out a whole season? You don’t think it’s a bit telling Brown and Bell both did as they did this year?
Apologies. Didn’t mean to come at you.

I’m 100% placing the blame on management. Tomlin is not involved in contracts. He’s like most coaches not named Belichick or Carroll in that regard. Management got way too cute with Bell and have pretended the AB/Ben feud was irrelevant. Specifically with Bell, I think Tomlin doesn’t deserve a drop of blame.

I’ve just developed the opinion over the years that the Steelers coaches (from Noll to Tomlin) don’t get enough credit for their success and the management get way too much. Tomlin is now like Cowher in the final third of his run with the Steelers. After getting too much praise in the beginning, media/fans would exclusively focus on Cowher’s faults. Like Cowher, Tomlin has faults; but he brings more good than bad to the table.

Colbert rarely lets a player walk before he hits the wall, which is a driver in their never ending cap issues. But he chose Bell to be the guy to not extend/franchise after he repeatedly told them not to. He played with fire and it blew up in his face.

Art Rooney II has been fine taking over for his dad, but he’s not his dad and it bugs me that the media gives him that level of respect. The loose locker rooms run by Cowher and Tomlin have been under his ownership. Inherently, he has signed off on that dynamic. I would argue that is more of a reflection on Rooney since it has been a dynamic under two coaches.
 
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Mugsy's Jock

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So realistically, what are the Steelers options now for moving ABnand Bell? RedOctober describes above how trading AB would result in a net 6 million effect on the 2019 payroll... what kind of return can they get for AB’s contract (and talent..and personality) that is realistic and justifies eating the 6 mill?

And I’ve totally lost track of the Bell scenario.... I thought sitting out the year got him to unrestricted free agency, but I just heard a report that the Steelers were weighing trade options for him too?
 

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Michelle34B

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Mike Munchak interviews for the Broncos HC job, loses out to Vic Fangio. He still decides to make a lateral move as OL coach for the Broncos. Big loss is an understatement.
 

KiltedFool

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Yeah Munchak is a serious loss, his statements are that his daughter and grandchild living in the Denver area was a huge factor ring true to me. The Steelers have had several major losses in the last two years for different reasons, Shazier, Bell, Munchak, and now potentially Brown.

There's a national narrative run by people like Peter King that the place is a circus, Pats fans should have the radar to spot lazy narrative building when they see it. Aside from the current local newspaper guys, two people who have a lot of credibility because they are longtime local reporters is Jim Wexell and Dale Lolley. Jim's stuff is behind a paywall, so I'll just snag a tidbit, couple paragraphs out of roughly 30 paragraph piece.

It was Week 13 of the 2017 season and the Steelers were cruising along with a 9-2 record. They had won three of those games by three points, and were about to win another by the same margin that Monday night. But they also lost Ryan Shazier, the heart and soul and best player on their defense, to a broken neck.

At the end of that season, they lost Le'Veon Bell, the motor of the Steelers running game. Bell proclaimed he was holding out for the benefit of future running backs, but his altruistic talk became nothing more than blather when he informed the Steelers he would play the final six games of the 2018 season only if they pay him the full $14.5 million of his franchise tag.

And after that season, they lost Mike Munchak. The offensive line coach, who was approaching Dick LeBeau-level love and respect not only in the locker room but in the city, had a chance to work and live near his daughter, her husband and their children, in the Denver area. So he accepted a lateral move and the Steelers lost the figurehead of the backbone of their team.
and
The mutual respect was obvious, and what struck me, particularly with Villanueva, is that these guys, these linemen, can spot a phony from a mile away. That's how the drama-chasers in the media are basically labeling Roethlisberger these days, a phony, and in my opinion that label couldn't be more wrong.

However Brown will label Roethlisberger when he finally figures out his side of the story really won't matter to me. Brown has lied to my face before, so I'm fully expecting him to do it again. And I won't care. I have my opinion, and it hasn't changed after talking to people within the locker room and organization this week.
 

Silverdude2167

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Yeah Munchak is a serious loss, his statements are that his daughter and grandchild living in the Denver area was a huge factor ring true to me. The Steelers have had several major losses in the last two years for different reasons, Shazier, Bell, Munchak, and now potentially Brown.

There's a national narrative run by people like Peter King that the place is a circus, Pats fans should have the radar to spot lazy narrative building when they see it. Aside from the current local newspaper guys, two people who have a lot of credibility because they are longtime local reporters is Jim Wexell and Dale Lolley. Jim's stuff is behind a paywall, so I'll just snag a tidbit, couple paragraphs out of roughly 30 paragraph piece.



and
Is the narrative that the place is a circus really wrong?
They have always had players not paying attention to the coach and doing things that are detrimental to the team etc. Bell and Brown acting the way they do is probably more indicative of a trend than two bad apples (two of their three best players acting out is a problem...)

And any writer who is supporting Roethlisberger is probably carrying his water. We saw him multiple times this year calling our or blaming his WR's and he always has his "I'm hurt act" running for most of the season so maybe he is a phony/asshole.

Also blaming the team's performance on a few player losses calls into question the style of team building Pitt follows with their top-heavy approach. Having four 3 point wins should be an indication not that you are cruising along, but winning a bunch of coin flips (I believe team records in one-score games is random from year to year.)
 

pappymojo

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Is the narrative that the place is a circus really wrong?
They have always had players not paying attention to the coach and doing things that are detrimental to the team etc. Bell and Brown acting the way they do is probably more indicative of a trend than two bad apples (two of their three best players acting out is a problem...)

And any writer who is supporting Roethlisberger is probably carrying his water. We saw him multiple times this year calling our or blaming his WR's and he always has his "I'm hurt act" running for most of the season so maybe he is a phony/asshole.

Also blaming the team's performance on a few player losses calls into question the style of team building Pitt follows with their top-heavy approach. Having four 3 point wins should be an indication not that you are cruising along, but winning a bunch of coin flips (I believe team records in one-score games is random from year to year.)
Does your opinion change if Ben actually were hurt all the time? He's an old dude playing a violent sport.
 

KiltedFool

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*shrug* There's elements of circus. And the guy is actually not much of a Ben supporter, and his drama queen injury tendencies have long been hashed out. He's got another section of the same article noting that Ben's great playing as the underdog or from behind but has historically been poor with the lead, and they don't have the horses on defense to make narrow leads stand up consistently.

Ben also took serious beatings for much of the beginning half of his career, between poor O-line play and holding the ball too long. Since he has had a quality line and has somewhat internalized the "get the ball out, don't hold the ball forever" he's taken a lot less pounding the last few years.

Everyone loses players, the specific players noted aren't JAGs. Next man up is a thing, though usually there's dropoff. Bell to Conner to Samuels was less drop off than anticipated. Shazier to the current replacement cast if ILB has been huge.

Been reading the guy for years, can't share more than a clip or two here or there, but he has credibility with me.
 

Silverdude2167

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@pappymojo Ben has always acted hurt, if he has been hurt all those times then, um ouch.

@KiltedFool I did hesitate to respond as I did since it was just snippets without an overall context, so apologies on my part. I found it weird for the author to use the Oline as a reason to like Ben a guy who from everything that has ever come out about him sounds like a completely terrible person. While all he had to say was that Brown has lied to him many times and not bring Ben into it at all beyond whatever labels Brown applied.
 

Rough Carrigan

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I don't generally think Tomlin is a good coach, I feel he's under performed his talent year after year on the other hand..... Roethlisberger is an almost unique problem for a coach. Way too good to bench, but not a truly elite talent and by most accounts one of the shittiest teammates in the league. Tough to have any kind of accountability in the lockerroom when your QB is notorious for going on the radio to throw his teammates under the bus for his own mistakes time after time.
I saw a bit of a football life sort of thing about Troy Aikman. And after Jimmy Johnson left, and lazy idiot Barry Switzer was made coach, team discipline went steadily downhill and the team got steadily worse. (Yes, they won a Super Bowl. after an intervening year but by all accounts they weren't actually better. The competition had gotten worse too)

Anyway, Aikman is filmed on the sidelines absolutely furious at the lack of discipline with which the Cowboys are playing and how the coach -- lazy idiot Barry Switzer -- refuses to do anything about it seemingly because he never wants to be the hardass or to be disliked by the players.

What if Roethlisberger's situation is the same? He's got an unimpressive coach who won't enforce discipline in how the team is run, at least not enough for them to be their best. And a desperate Roethlisberger, not making a wise choice but a somewhat understandable one, occasionally takes pot shots at teammates out of frustration.

I have absolutely zero unique knowledge of the internal workings of the Steelers. I just wonder if it couldn't be the same dynamic going on. I bet a lot of Aikman's teammates those last 3 or 4 years didn't like him much when he was the guy who stalked around the sidelines furious at how the team played stupid football because nobody pushed them to play smart football. I'm not excusing Roethlisberger. I've made all the Rapistberger jokes, too. I just wonder if a more sympathetic perspective isn't possible? What if Tomlin is just Barry Switzer and this is Roethlisberger's version of stalking around on the sidelines?
 

Cellar-Door

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I saw a bit of a football life sort of thing about Troy Aikman. And after Jimmy Johnson left, and lazy idiot Barry Switzer was made coach, team discipline went steadily downhill and the team got steadily worse. (Yes, they won a Super Bowl. after an intervening year but by all accounts they weren't actually better. The competition had gotten worse too)

Anyway, Aikman is filmed on the sidelines absolutely furious at the lack of discipline with which the Cowboys are playing and how the coach -- lazy idiot Barry Switzer -- refuses to do anything about it seemingly because he never wants to be the hardass or to be disliked by the players.

What if Roethlisberger's situation is the same? He's got an unimpressive coach who won't enforce discipline in how the team is run, at least not enough for them to be their best. And a desperate Roethlisberger, not making a wise choice but a somewhat understandable one, occasionally takes pot shots at teammates out of frustration.

I have absolutely zero unique knowledge of the internal workings of the Steelers. I just wonder if it couldn't be the same dynamic going on. I bet a lot of Aikman's teammates those last 3 or 4 years didn't like him much when he was the guy who stalked around the sidelines furious at how the team played stupid football because nobody pushed them to play smart football. I'm not excusing Roethlisberger. I've made all the Rapistberger jokes, too. I just wonder if a more sympathetic perspective isn't possible? What if Tomlin is just Barry Switzer and this is Roethlisberger's version of stalking around on the sidelines?
Nah, I don't buy it because of how Roethlisberger does it. He's most aggressive about throwing teammates under the bus when it is something that is clearly his own fault. Ben doesn't take shots at teammates for ill discipline, he blames teammates to deflect any blame for his own shortcomings.
This quote gives you an idea what kind of teammate he is:
https://deadspin.com/ben-roethlisberger-defends-his-right-to-publicly-crap-o-1830721826
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Hey guys, it's time to get a 2019 thread going. Please feel free to start one & I'll lock this one up.