WEDNESDAY’S DAILY FIVE
1. Mike Tomlin on the hot seat? This week Mike Florio of Profootballtalk mentioned Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin being among the NFL coaches who could be on the hot seat this off-season. The reality of the situation is that Tomlin is in no danger of losing his job. Even if the Steelers were to implode in the final two games, Tomlin’s seat still won’t be getting warm. One theory on why we’re seeing this speculation surface? It’s well known that the Rooney’s pushed Todd Haley on Tomlin and I hear there is a very, very small group of national writers who feel that the Rooney’s brought Todd Haley on board with intention of him possibly becoming head coach in the next couple years. That talk is ridiculous but it’s out there.
2. With the Steelers fighting for their playoff lives, give Ben Roethlisberger credit for putting his comments about the play calling in Sunday’s loss under the rug for now by apologizing to the coaching staff. While the comments might have been a bit overblown, everyone knows Roethlisberger is not a huge fan in the direction of the offense under Haley but Ben knows the team doesn’t need the distraction and he did the right thing in apologizing.
3. I’d say the majority of media members didn’t enjoy dealing with Santonio Holmes during his tenure as a Steeler due to his arrogance and many feel the same way about Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall is not a bad guy by any means but it’s become such of an annoyance of how he thinks of himself as being more intellectual and different than any other football player when he’s really not. When Mendenhall speaks with the media he tries to come off like he’s some kind of philosopher and he’s so much smarter than anyone else. As for Mendenhall’s ability on the field, I still feel he gives Steelers their best option in the backfield and Mike Tomlin is hurting the team by not giving him another shot. In 2008, Tomlin let Santonio Holmes come right back into the lineup after getting busted for marijuana in his SUV near the Hill District. Holmes went on to be Super Bowl MVP.
4. Interesting comments from former Steelers great running back Jerome Bettis about Bruce Arians today when Bettis appeared on a Cincinnati radio show today. “I think it was a mistake, but it was a long time coming,” Bettis said. “When your star QB and offensive coordinator were really close and ownership felt that Ben wasn’t getting enough discipline. It wasn’t a one-year thing. Since Ben wasn’t getting the discipline, they also felt that Arians was giving in to what Ben wanted to do as opposed to the philosophy of the Steelers, which has always been running the football first. When he Arians got away from running the football it created a problem in the mindset of the offense and became public enemy number one. I think the Steelers needed to see what kind of team did they have? Not a team that can run the ball 40 times and win. Now with Todd Haley, they don’t have the personnel to do that and they’re not winning”
5. The NHL and NHLPA have not held formal negotiations since December 6 and when pressed today HNIC Radio about whether there will be a season (“Yes” or “No” Question), Daly answered with a clear “yes”. It sparked a response from Don Fehr later today who said “that’s good news, I’m glad to hear that. I certainly hope he’s right.” Everyone hopes Daly is right and while I still believe a last minute deal will happen, the only answer Daly could have given was a “yes” or the media would have been all over him.