Brinson: This Is The Season That Gets Mike Tomlin On The Hot Seat

Tomlin may survive this season, but he might not survive 2020

The DA Show
September 23, 2019 - 12:51 pm

In their first full game without Ben Roethlisberger, the Pittsburgh Steelers forced five turnovers – five! – and lost. The Steelers fell to the Niners, 24-20, in Santa Clara on Sunday, falling to 0-3 on the season.

The Steelers are perhaps the most patient franchise in professional sports, but is Mike Tomlin on the hot seat?

“They have had three coaches since 1969. That’s insane,” senior NFL writer Will Brinson said on The DA Show. “It’s absolutely insane. I don’t think that they would fire him after this year – and maybe I’m wrong. Losing Big Ben for the season – when you lose a Hall of Fame quarterback and you lose a starting franchise quarterback, and you pride yourself on being patient and you believe Mike Tomlin is the guy and he’s won a Super Bowl for you and he’s never been under .500, you’re going to tend, I think, to talk yourself into being patient and to waiting for another year.”

While Tomlin may survive this season, however, he may not survive 2020.

“I think this is the season that gets Mike Tomlin on the hot seat heading into the next year,” Brinson said. “If they finish with a top-10 pick and they have to hand that draft pick over – the Minkah Fitzpatrick pick – to the Dolphins, that’s going to reflect poorly on them.”

Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Mason Rudolph was unimpressive Sunday. He finished 14-of-27 for 174 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

“Mason Rudolph didn’t look great in that game,” Brinson said. “He had two throws more than 20 yards down the field. They were both touchdowns, but one was on YAC from JuJu, and the other was (to) Diontae Johnson on busted coverage. So yeah, this is the season where, if this whole team looks sloppy and they’re getting beat up week to week – it’s going to be a situation where (Tomlin) is absolutely on the hot seat heading into next year. 

“With Big Ben coming back presumably, you take a holistic look at everything that’s going on with that organization heading into what could be the final window of a franchise quarterback’s career.”

The Steelers host the Bengals (0-3) on Monday Night Football on Sept. 30. Kickoff is at 8:15 p.m. ET.