Now that the bashing of coaches has died down a little, I want to give a few positive random thoughts.
Pros: If the Steelers had time left in most of those games they lost, the offense would have most likely won the games. The home Bengal game and the away Browns game had serious offensive breakdowns. You can't tell me that you didn't feel like the Steelers offense could get points when they needed them.
Cons: He hardly ever used one of his best tools, Play action passing. Why? Because he didn't run enough to make it a viable part of the gameplan. I think that is the major reason they didn't score on many of their trips into enemy territory/Redzone. I think he felt that his receivers and quarterback were far superior to the opponent's defensive backfield.
What I'd like to see: I would like to at least see them run the ball more. I'm not saying they should go to 4 yards and a cloud of dust, but I am saying they have the tools for it so do it. I will even compromise on the fullback, though it would be nice to have one that actually blocks. Anyway you put it the BFG needs more bullets. Maybe with a new line coach they can get some holes opened up. Let the big boys grind it out instead of finessing the defense.
His pros & cons really remain to be seen. Tomlin gives his guys an opportunity to be a man. Make no mistake though, he is in charge. He also knows what he wants. Some criticize him because he says there will be changes but they aren't noticeable. He knows what he's looking for and if the options are not viable he will not make a change just because he said he would. The change has to be something he sees throughout the week that will make an improvement. He has no obligation to what he says in the media. His obligation is to the team.
Some said he looked lost and indecisive in the 5 game losing streak. I don't think so. He was definite and stayed the course through the storm. Failure is not all bad. He now has a year of evidence to go over to decide what did and didn't work. If he had made a bunch of changes and been indecisive then he would have a jumbled mess to look at.
I think you learn more in failure than you do in victory in many cases. He can now take Arians and show him a year's body of evidence and show him what he wants. Then Arians has to create something for next year that fits in his vision. You have to remember, The margin of victory/defeat was very small this year and last. Making a drastic change to fix a small margin could bring worse results.
Now is the time for reflecting, retooling & restrategizing (if that's a word…no it’s not). You may remember the Steelers having the same problem of losing games late two years ago. Polamalu and Smith were interestingly in a similar position as this year. One thing is for sure. This team has come from disappointment to the pinnacle. I don't think Tomlin's job is any different next year than it was two years ago. He has to find talent that will make his team better and find the best method to motivate and prepare his team for another championship.
Some have even said "we should have kept the coaches that went to AZ." Really? The team that has all of the probowlers in it's defensive backfield but can't stop anyone? As a matter of fact their offense didn't look much different from ours either. Again, as a matter of fact we ran the ball better than they did. They scored 7 more points than us but I'm not sure how many were defense. I can only think of 14 defensive for us.
I think he will prove that he is a great coach. I think he will because I don't think he lives life looking in the rearview mirror. He seems take success and failure as a classroom lesson, taking only what is useful and constructive and using it to build. Like I said there is still much to be seen.
I may be all over the place, but I have so much going on I only have time for random thoughts. I'm sure they will produce much conversation though, which is what I did this for.