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Benz is spot on today...

Discussion in 'Steelers Talk' started by Steelers4tim, Jan 10, 2023.

  1. Steelers4tim

    Steelers4tim Well-Known Member

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    Tim Benz: For Steelers, the 'standard' is now ... pretty standard

    TIM BENZ | Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023 6:16 a.m.




    [​IMG]
    AP
    Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin walks the sideline Dec. 4 during the game against the Falcons in Atlanta.







    The Pittsburgh Steelers are a 9-8 team in a league that wants everybody to be 9-8.

    There are 32 teams in the NFL, and 16 of them finished with win totals between seven and nine games.

    There are 16 teams in the American Football Conference. The Steelers finished eighth, one spot out of the playoffs.

    In terms of draft order, of the 31 first-round picks based on overall standing (the Miami Dolphins pick is forfeited), the Steelers will select 17th.

    By all definitions, the Steelers are average. “Average” means unspectacular. Nothing extraordinary. Not special.

    The Pittsburgh Steelers are no longer special. In case you’ve been asleep for five or six years, that’s been the case for a while now.

    The Steelers’ average win total over the past five seasons is 9.4. They haven’t yielded a playoff victory in the last six years, a record-long drought in the post-Immaculate Reception era. In fact, in 10 of the past 12 seasons, the Steelers have failed to win a playoff game.

    For perspective, the Steelers are now 12 full years removed from their last Super Bowl appearance. The rudderless amount of time between Super Bowl XIV and Chuck Noll’s final season was also 12 years.

    Early in his tenure, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin coined the phrase, “The standard is the standard,” to describe the definition of success for the franchise — a credo alluding to the team’s rich history of six Super Bowl Championships and 36 playoff victories.

    Now, it appears the Steelers standard is just … standard. It’s a middle-of-the-road, basic, cookie-cutter franchise.

    It has been for quite a few years. The team’s history is rich, flush with a championship legacy and chock full of Hall of Fame luminaries. But the recent iteration of this organization has been merely OK.

    Strangely, though, the recently concluded 9-8 campaign of 2022 forged by Tomlin and his players has been deemed a “wild” success by many fans, media and Steelers bloggers. Especially since the team rallied from a 2-6 start to close by winning seven of nine after the bye week.

    Not to mention, by finishing above .500, Tomlin managed to extend the franchise’s streak of non-losing seasons to 19 — the last 16 of which have come under his guidance.

    It “doesn’t matter” that the team got knocked out of the playoffs? Really? Why were all those teams trying so hard to get in then? I can’t think of a concept that would offend Tomlin more.

    If they did qualify because the Jets managed to beat the Dolphins on Sunday, should they have just declined the berth? Are the NFL playoffs a mid-tier college bowl game now? I suppose the Steelers now have a participation trophy to go along with their six Lombardi trophies.

    To me, that much praise for a 9-8 non-playoff season is an insulting pat on the head for a team that has such allegedly high “standards.” I mean, the Steelers are drafting between the Washington Commanders (16th, 8-8-1) and Detroit Lions (18th, 9-8) this year. Is that the kind of company the Steelers should be keeping? Let alone celebrating?

    To a degree, in the vacuum of what 2022 was all about, I appreciate what the team did. It’s noteworthy to finish above .500 with two new quarterbacks, a first-time general manager, a different defensive coordinator and new starting players at wide receiver, guard, center, defensive line, cornerback and inside linebacker.

    Had such a season occurred at a different point in this extensive streak without a losing year — one that was at least closer to another season that had a little bit of playoff success — maybe I’d be more embracing of it.

    But it didn’t. So I’m not.


    All this season did was extend a swath of time without a playoff victory the likes of which we haven’t seen in Pittsburgh since the Immaculate Reception. Only 10 franchises have a playoff-win drought longer than Pittsburgh’s. They are the likes of Denver, Carolina, Arizona, the New York teams, Washington, Chicago, Vegas, Miami and Detroit.

    Not exactly the NFL’s elite.

    You might say that makes this fan base greedy.

    I say it makes it special. Or at least it used to be. Now we seem plenty happy with being invited to the dance, but not actually allowed on the floor.

    “There are changes and complexities to the evaluation process every year,” Tomlin said of trying to get better in 2023. “There’s big-time urgency every year. This is a ‘now’ business. There are changes every year, players, coaches, etc. Nothing stays the same. Even those that remain, their roles change. They evolve. People ascend, people descend. It’s always different.”

    Yet the Steelers’ results have largely been the same since the kickoff of their loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in their first game of the 2017 postseason. They are good enough to be relevant at the end of the regular season. Not good enough to be relevant once the playoffs start.

    “My agenda is getting in the single-elimination tournament and pursuing the confetti game and winning it. That agenda will never change,” Tomlin said of the Super Bowl. “Talking about accolades and trivial things and streaks and things of that nature, if it’s not useful to me in terms of assessing our next battles, then I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it or focusing on it.”

    Neither should Steelers fans. In the absence of the occasional playoff win, “non-losing-season” streaks are being offered up as collateral. The Steelers track record of consistency is impressive. But to constantly laud this non-losing streak as if it’s the ultimate arbiter of success is counter to everything Tomlin claims to stand for.

    Note, at no point in this post was there ever a call for Tomlin’s job, a smear of his name by calling him a poor coach or an attempt to discredit his resume by assessing he “only won with Bill Cowher’s players” or that “he was just lucky to have inherited Ben Roethlisberger.”



    I didn’t write those things because I don’t believe them. I do, however, believe that the ongoing absence of the Steelers’ postseason success is a bigger deal than its current streak of moderately above-average play.

    The longer we applaud that mediocrity, the more “standard” it’ll become.
     
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  2. DJ18Baller

    DJ18Baller Well-Known Member

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    If we go 10 years without a playoff win I honestly think Danny Smith is on the hot seat.
     
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  3. BobbyBiz

    BobbyBiz Well-Known Member

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    Short sighted.
    You should embrace this season because it represents the nadir of this franchise.
    Things are looking up and will trend up in the years to come.
    All of those other franchises should be so lucky as to hit bottom at 9-8 and just miss the playoffs.
    There's no 7-10 in this franchise. No 5-12. No 3-14. No top 5....wait, no top 10 picks.
    This was it, the bottom. And it was 9-8
    Embrace it.
     
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  4. GoalLine

    GoalLine

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    Basically, tell me you don't like Tomlin without saying that you don't like Tomlin.
     
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  5. Steelers4tim

    Steelers4tim Well-Known Member

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    Mar 27, 2022

    It's not about liking or disliking him, it's all about WINNING for the Steelers. Many of our younger fans are OK with Dumblin, bless their heart, but I am NOT. He's an average coach, and it's been proven...I really liked how Benz described the situation, too:

    "In the absence of the occasional playoff win, “non-losing-season” streaks are being offered up as collateral."

    That describes everything about this situation...and he's 100% accurate.
     
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. Rollers

    Rollers Well-Known Member

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    I don't like Tomlin. I haven't been very vocal about it but I think it's time to change the leadership.
     
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  7. james weyandt

    james weyandt Well-Known Member

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    The new standard does suck. Just giving Tomlin a non-losing season. Is that the standard now?Our standard should be winning, playing tough, running, sacking QB.Winning Superbowls .Not oh yeah we finished above 500 yippee yahoo :puking 5:
     
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  8. santeesteel

    santeesteel

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    This pretty well sums it up! The NFL has wanted parity for years and, it's almost here!
     
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  9. jrompola

    jrompola Well-Known Member

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    Have you enjoyed any season over the past 12 or so? I cant imagine despising the team this much. Granted I dont care if they move on from Tomlin and think new blood could shake things up, but they did bring me a bit of joy finishing 7-2 and going 9-8 in a rebuilding year when I figured last place and Tomlins 1st losing season. I 100% could see an andy reid philly scenario if we brought others in, but I also think andy reid is much better than tomlin and would have won in philly too. If Tomlin doesnt make any OC or DC changes this season I could see it being his last.
     
  10. jeh1856

    jeh1856

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    A cousin of DumbTim
     
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  11. RipTydz

    RipTydz Member

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    Considering we had 2 new QBs and a rookie QB at that for most of the year, a few new parts added to the Oline, and new D coordinator...I think the Steelers did pretty well turning it around from 2-6 and going 7-2 in the 2nd half of the season.

    It's not a playoff birth but it gives me hope for next year. The biggest thing is we saw the progression of Kenny Pickett and a lot of our young offensive weapons (Pickens and Harris considering he was injured at the beginning of the year). I believe next year is where they make huge strides and the playoffs. We need to add more defensive studs through FA and draft (DL, MLB, CB) and OL help.
     
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  12. mikeyg

    mikeyg Well-Known Member

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    LOL

    MAYBE....
     
  13. mikeyg

    mikeyg Well-Known Member

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    it is here......and the Steelers are the POSTER CHILD!!
     
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  14. santeesteel

    santeesteel

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    The Dolphins, Jax, Lions, Seahawks and Steelers all finished at 9-8. The Giants finished at 9-7-1 and 17 other teams finished worse than 9-8, including the NFC south champs. How does that make the Steelers poster children? Just your hatred?
     
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  15. DJ18Baller

    DJ18Baller Well-Known Member

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    Think about this in the last 12 NFL seasons the Steelers best run was

    Beating Matt Moore in the WC
    Beating Alex Smith in the Divisional albeit on the road and certainly our best win in 12 years
    Getting blown out by 30 to NE


    That was THE BEST run in 12 years!

    And yet we are the “idiots” overreacting and not being patient.

    Our best win in 12 years not 2 years not 5 years but 12 YEARS was beating Alex Fing Smith!!
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2023
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  16. santeesteel

    santeesteel

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    Your assertion was that, somehow, the Steelers are poster children for Parity in the NFL. Only 9 teams had a better record, 18 had worse records and 5 ended up at 9-8 including us. How does that make us poster children?
     
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  17. steelersrule6

    steelersrule6 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe if the franchise QB played better, the team would've had more success in the playoffs :shrug:.
     
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  18. 86WardsWay

    86WardsWay Well-Known Member

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    In what can be considered a rebuilding year Tomlin took a 2-6 team and just missed the playoffs with a 9-8 record. I'd call that pretty successful. The arrow is pointing up for this team. Too bad you'll spend all offseason being miserable along with thousands of other pessimistic fans. And to think we won't be drafting a top 3 sure winner in April has to be the cherry on top for your anger.
     
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  19. DJ18Baller

    DJ18Baller Well-Known Member

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    That wasn’t my assertion? I never said anything about parity.
     
  20. DJ18Baller

    DJ18Baller Well-Known Member

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    I mean that’s not 100% wrong I’ll give you that.
     
  21. DJ18Baller

    DJ18Baller Well-Known Member

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    What’s the excuse when they don’t win a playoff game next year?? Only Kps second season? Injuries? Conjure something up now you have been doing it 6 years straight….
     
  22. S.T.D

    S.T.D Well-Known Member

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    On top of that 3 teams with the same record...well one had a tie, but same amount of Wins are in the playoffs this year, and 1 with a worse record is in the playoffs.
     
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  23. S.T.D

    S.T.D Well-Known Member

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    So 1 question name Me five teams right now with a for sure better coach in Your mind.
     
  24. DJ18Baller

    DJ18Baller Well-Known Member

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    Bill Belichek
    Pitt Panthers
    Pittsburgh Maulers
    Pittsburgh Pipers
    Whoever coaches Pittsburgh Women’s Vollyball
     
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  25. S.T.D

    S.T.D Well-Known Member

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    Come on Man....seriously. We are just talking Here. I'm curious.
     

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