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Breaking: Steelers Owners Reportedly Lobbying to fire Mike Tomlin

January 16, 2018
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Breaking: Steelers Owners Reportedly Lobbying to fire Mike Tomlin

Sunday afternoon was not the highest point of Mike Tomlin’s coaching career. Losing 45-42 to the Jaguars in an AFC divisional round game is bad enough just on the surface, but digging deeper it’s not hard to find multiple instances of the Steelers being out coached by the Jags and unprepared for certain scenarios. And now some Steelers minority owners are reportedly getting in Art Rooney’s ear about firing Tomlin over the game.

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported on Tuesday he’s hearing “some of the team’s limited partners intend to lobby owner Art Rooney to fire of Tomlin and to hire a new coach.”

To be clear: these members of ownership, who bought into the team about a decade ago, do not have the authority to hire or fire anyone or to make any sort of management decisions. They are minority owners without a controlling interest; Florio lists “Rob Citrone, Paul Evanson, Larry Paul, Stephen Paul, Bruce Rauner, Paul Sams, John Stallworth, Benjamin Statler, Scott Swank, David Tepper, Thomas Tull, Peter Varischetti, and Mike Wilkins” as names involved.

This group is particularly incensed about the final 47 seconds of the Steelers’ loss after the Jaguars kicked a field goal to go up 10 points. The Steelers had the ball in the red zone but moved in a slow fashion, melted a ton of clock without any clear urgency and ended up throwing a meaningless touchdown (unless you bet the second half line of Steelers -7.5) with mere seconds remaining on the clock.

“The source specifically pointed to those key 47 seconds, noting that the players were moving without any real sense of urgency as the clock was ticking and the Steelers needed two scores,” Florio writes.

It truly looked like the Steelers either didn’t know what to do or that they didn’t care, that they were assuming the game was basically over. It was not the best look for a playoff team, especially a playoff team that has not advanced to the Super Bowl since 2010.

Tomlin is just 3-5 in the playoffs since that 2010 run to the Super Bowl in Dallas (a loss to the Packers), but it’s hard to argue with his consistent success. He’s won 11, 10, 11 and 13 games the last four years.

The Titans just fired their coach hoping to land Josh McDaniels and it’s not going to happen because he’s already locked into the Colts. Pittsburgh would be a high-profile job and could potentially land a big fish, but it is late in the game. Plus, again, Tomlin’s won 45 games the last four years.

You can never say never when it comes to something happening in the NFL, but it would be a massive stunner if the Steelers ended up parting ways with Tomlin, however it came to pass, in the middle of January coming off a 13-win season.

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