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Steelers News: Mike Tomlin taking plenty of heat after big loss to the Chiefs

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Time to check on the latest news surrounding the Black-and-gold.

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh Steelers Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Steelers are dealing with disappointment for the second week in a row after the Kansas City Chiefs came into Heinz Field and dismantled the home team. Heading into Week 3, the team must slowly turn its attention away from the embarrassing loss and solely focus on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their Week-3, prime time matchup. Something I did last season and I’m going to start again is the Black-and-Gold Links article.

This is an article where I take stories from quality news sources across the Internet, and add them here for your viewing pleasure. I won’t be posting the entire articles, but I’ll link each story and author so that you can read the full article.

Today we focus on something many in the fan base have been longing for — Mike Tomlin to take heat for the team’s shortcomings. If you think the Pittsburgh media doesn’t criticize Tomlin for the team not playing up to ‘the standard’, you might just be looking in the wrong places.

Tomlin will have to take his medicine with this loss, but it’s nothing that a few wins strung together can’t cure — if that’s possible.

Let’s get to the news:

Joe Starkey: The Steelers stink — and that falls on Mike Tomlin

By: Joe Starkey, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

I have long been a card-carrying member of The Mike Tomlin Apologist Society. It’s true.

Whenever people want him fired, I laugh and respond with inconvenient facts like his career winning percentage (.656), or, say, his 20-3-1 record in the previous 24 regular-season games as of Sunday morning.

But my membership has never meant putting Tomlin above criticism — and as we sit here now, a long ways from Sunday morning, in the wake of a disastrous performance against the Kansas City Chiefs, he is more deserving of criticism than at any time in his 12-year tenure.

This team stinks.

It’s not just that the Steelers are 0-1-1 after their 42-37 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Or that they tied the ridiculous Cleveland Browns last weekend. Or that they have committed 23 (accepted) penalties and countless mental errors in those two games (I think Bud Dupree just jumped offside again).

It’s more than that.

It’s the fact that the following statement is frighteningly accurate in describing their past two home games, including the playoff debacle against Jacksonville …

That was one of the worst defensive performances in franchise history.

Paul Zeise: Mike Tomlin needs to be held accountable for this sloppy mess of a football team

By: Paul Zeise, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Pat Mahomes talked glowingly about the number of weapons the Chiefs have on offense after he torched the Steelers for six touchdowns in a 42-37 win at Heinz Field Sunday. He said that takes the pressure off of him and makes the Chiefs extremely hard to defend.

“They can’t stop everybody,” Mahomes said.

Actually, I’d disagree with Mahomes, well at least with respect to the Steelers’ defense.

They can’t stop anybody. And it has been like that pretty much every game since Ryan Shazier went down with an injury in Cincinnati last season. It actually hasn’t been consistently very good in a long, long time. The defense cost them the playoff game against Jacksonville last season. The defensive backfield has gotten worse, not better. The young linebackers don’t seem to be progressing like first-round picks should.

And yet, it was the offensive coordinator that lost his job after last season.

Think about how silly that is. The Steelers’ offense and Ben Roethlisberger were never better than when Todd Haley was calling plays, yet he got fired and sentenced to a stay in Cleveland. Defensive coordinator Keith Butler, on the other hand, and linebackers coach Joey Porter are still on the staff and that’s ridiculous.

Here’s the thing, though, the spin last season as to why Butler deserved to keep his job is that Mike Tomlin took over the defense late last season and was calling virtually all of the plays. Tomlin, who was a defensive coordinator in a different life, was the one responsible for the defensive meltdown against Jacksonville and therefore Butler should be blameless in this mess. The rationale for keeping Porter around is, well, I have no idea. The linebackers under his direction have not gotten better despite the fact that he has been handed first-round pick after first-round pick.

Mike Tomlin trusted his defense. The question is why?

By: Ray Fittipaldo, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers defense was shredded by Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes Sunday afternoon and the secondary will be rightfully ripped for its overall ineptitude in defending the pass. The Steelers had to put the Chiefs in a situation where they had to run.

Maybe that’s what Mike Tomlin was thinking with his questionable decision to kick it deep rather than attempt an onside kick with 1:59 remaining after the Steelers pulled to within five points. The Steelers possessed all three of their timeouts, and the Steelers knew the Chiefs were going to run the ball, bleed the clock and try to pick up a first down.

Every one of the 63,956 in attendance knew a run was coming, and Kareem Hunt gained nine yards on first down. Perhaps it was a fitting away to end the game.

The Steelers defense did nothing to support Tomlin’s decision to kick it away, and in the end, they let him down.

Ron Cook: Team Turmoil has made its return

By: Ron Cook, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

They are laughing at the Steelers in many parts of the football world, almost looking at them as if they are a bad joke. Because they stumbled and almost fell against the Cleveland Browns, of all teams, in their opening game, sure. But just as much because they seem to be an undisciplined, out-of-control bunch.

Team Turmoil.

Here we go again.

“They’re just a mess,” Colin Cowherd said last week on Fox Sports, offering a growing national perspective.

It’s hard to argue.

We are one game into the new season and look at what already has happened. Le’Veon Bell didn’t sign his franchise tag, didn’t show up for training camp and sent out posts as he partied at a Miami strip club while his teammates toiled in the hot sun at Latrobe. Bell didn’t show up for the Cleveland game, prompting his teammates to lash out in a bitter, almost unprecedented manner. “Stay away all season,” David DeCastro growled. Bell sent out more posts the night after the Cleveland game as he partied into the early morning at a Miami club, almost sticking out his tongue at his teammates. Antonio Brown threatened a reporter with physical violence, forcing Mike Tomlin and Art Rooney II to use their precious time and get involved with Rooney saying this nonsense won’t be tolerated.

Except that it is.

The nonsense keeps happening, again and again and again.

“There’s no concern whatsoever about our team’s attitude, discipline, all that other stuff that gets talked about. Absolutely no concern,” Kevin Colbert said during camp. “I had no question about our mental preparation [last season], our internal organization, how our team was run.”

I think Colbert is a really good general manager and an even better person, but his words didn’t make sense at the time and make even less sense now. The Steelers were coming off a 2017 season in which Brown threw a sideline temper tantrum in Baltimore, Martavis Bryant was suspended for the Detroit game for demanding a trade on social media and dissing JuJu Smith-Schuster to make his point, and James Harrison openly disrespected Tomlin by sleeping through team meetings before eventually forcing the Steelers to release him. That is only a partial list.

All of it made Tomlin look bad and weak.