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5 Burning Questions for the Playoffless Pittsburgh Steelers

The NFL playoffs are here, and the Steelers will watch from the couch. How much do you blame Mike Tomlin? What would Kevin Colbert to over if he could? Should the Steelers play for draft position. Answer these and other questions.

Geno Atkins slam dunks Ben Roethlisberger as David DeCatro can only look on....
Geno Atkins slam dunks Ben Roethlisberger as David DeCatro can only look on....
Jared Wickerham

The Pittsburgh Steelers are "supposed" to excel when everything is on the line, with their backs are to the wall, and when they're the underdogs. Heck, it was even the 40th Anniversary of the Immaculate Reception, yet the Steelers still couldn't get it done vs. the Cincinnati Bengals, ending their playoff hopes and leaving Steelers Nation to sort through 5 Burning Questions...

1. In his absolute "Must Read" article on the game, Mary Rose labeled the Immaculate Reception as turning point of the franchise. While no one, least of all me, would discount the importance of the Immaculate Reception, you can make an argument that the true turning point came else where.

Which of the following points do you think was pivotal in changing the fortunes of the Steelers:

A. Art Rooney Sr. handing the reigns over to Dan Rooney
B. Dan Rooney's decision to hire Chuck Noll as his head coach
C. Art Rooney Jr's decision to hire Bill Nunn and actively tap the oft-overlooked talent pool provided by the Historically Black Colleges?
D. Chuck Noll's decision to pick Joe Greene with his first draft choice
E. The moment the Steelers won the toss of the 1921 Silver Dollar to and with it the right to draft Terry Bradshaw
F. The Immaculate Reception
G. The 1974 Draft's Hall of Fame haul that brought the Steelers Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster

Defend your choice.

2. Head coaches are ultimately responsible for the success or failure of their teams. But the Steelers lost their last two games because of: a fumble on a return, a forced ball turned INT in overtime, an errant long snap, and two more forced balls turned into INT's at critical junctures. Objectively speaking, how much "blame" falls on Mike Tomlin's shoulders those two losses?

3. In a word, the Steelers 2012 season did not go as planned. Knowing what you know now, in terms of injuries and player development/or lack thereof, if you're Kevin Colbert and you had one personnel decision as a do over, what would that be?

4. In the same spirit has question number 3, if you're Mike Tomlin, and you get one do over in terms of coaching decisions, what would that be?

5. Every fiber of my being goes against "playing for draft position" and Steelers history shows good things happen to teams that play to win. Yet, its already been pointed out that the difference between a 7-9 record and 8-8 record can be up to 4 draft choices perhaps more. So which would be the better outcome for the Steelers vs. the Cleveland Browns this Sunday, victory or defeat? Again, defend your answer.

Well folks, this is the last week of the season for us, so as coaches like to say, "Leave it all out on the field."