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Insider Only Tomlin must fix dissension in the locker room

Steelers lack a team concept
There continues to be signs that there is a locker room divide among the Steelers veterans. It’s a problem for the Super Bowl champions that is not going away. According to former NFL executive Michael Lombardi, “Too many players have their own agendas and not enough of a team concept. There’s a problem among the players, and the Hines Ward/Ben Roethlisberger problem has not gone away despite the Ward apology. Expect changes.”
Hines Ward questioning the courage and toughness of Ben Roethlisberger has had a reeling effect on this team. As NBC analyst Rodney Harrison {former teammate of Brady’s} said two weeks ago, “If Tom Brady had a hangnail, never would any of the guys question Tom Brady.”
How to fix the dissension in the locker room falls on the shoulders of head coach Mike Tomlin. I’m a strong Mike Tomlin supporter but he did a poor job of handling the Ward/Roethlisberger problem.
This is Ben Roethlisberger’s team and it’s going to be for years to come. Roethlisberger’s not the most liked player in the locker room and he doesn’t have to be. However, the leadership on this team has to change moving forward.
Tomlin has made some mistakes this season like all coaches do, but he faces his biggest challenge in his young coaching career.
Holmes becoming a vocal leader?

–Count Santonio Holmes among a group of younger players that is starting to become more of a vocal leader in the locker room in recent weeks. Holmes has been speaking up of late which is a very good sign for the Steelers moving forward.–
Tomlin catering to veterans?
A knock on former head coach Bill Cowher in his final couple seasons is that he catered to veterans too often. Mike Tomlin was the total opposite in his first two years at the helm but that has changed this season after a Super Bowl win.
Tomlin is still an authoritative figure but he needs to get back to being the coach he was in 2007. A coach that wasn’t catering to veterans as Tomlin was all business and not all the players liked Tomlin in 2007, which was a good thing.
This situation the Steelers are in will make him a better coach in the long run.
Wild Card Race
5. Denver Broncos (8-5); Oakland, @ PHI, KC
6. Miami Dolphins (7-6); @ TEN, HOU, PIT
7. Jacksonville Jaguars (7-6); INDY, @NE, @ CLE
8. Baltimore Ravens (7-6); CHI, @ PIT, OAK
9. New York Jets (7-6); ATL, @ IND, CIN
10. Pittsburgh Steelers (6-7); GB, BAL, @ MIA
Analysis: The 9-4 Green Bay Packers come to town on Sunday in the midst of a five game winning streak while the Steelers are in the middle of a five game losing streak. However, It may be a blessing for the Steelers who have shown the ability to play to their competition this season.
Pittsburgh got some help today with Jacksonville, Denver losing but the Steelers lose just about every tiebreaker, even if they were to finish 9-7.
What we saw on Sunday was wildcard contenders putting inferior teams away early. An area the Steelers have not been able to succeed in this season.

About The Author

William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at wdepaoli@insidepittsburghsports.com

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