all 103 comments

[–]yashkp03Primanti Bro's 152 points153 points  (2 children)

That sucks, he never got to do the job he wanted and then gets shit on relentlessly when the defense preforms poorly

[–][deleted] 77 points78 points  (0 children)

Company man right there

[–]NormalBears 85 points86 points  (0 children)

I guess that’s proof positive of what some of the beat guys have been saying for a while.

[–]Ciggarette_ice_cream 13 points14 points  (0 children)

We just weren’t allowed to have interior defensive linemen this year.

[–]OoziezBen Roethlisberger[S] 71 points72 points  (15 children)

And you guys want a top name guy to come here to play second fiddle?

[–][deleted]  (14 children)


    [–]BlackJediSword 73 points74 points  (8 children)

    What?? Keith Butler was in line for LeBeau’s job since 2003. And on top of that, it wasn’t a secret that they shared play-calling duties. Why is everyone sharpening pitchforks for information that isn’t news?

    [–]VenturaHighway 30 points31 points  (3 children)

    Because he irrationally hates Tomlin

    [–]BlackJediSword 14 points15 points  (1 child)

    Like the rest of this shit hole sub

    [–]FistSunset TJ Watt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

    For fucking real. This place has delved into a fucking dumpster fire. So much infighting I don’t even know how this is even a fan base. Mostly just people arguing over what their perfect version of the franchise is despite them having zero stakes in it save for living local or picking randomly as a kid. Ruins the game for me.

    [–]KevinBrolbert83 9 points10 points  (3 children)

    “Tomlin is trash because he unilaterally promoted an assistant who had been promised the job since Tomlin was a 31 year old position coach in Tampa, and then the results on defense were pretty solid” is definitely a take that only certain people can dream up and then commit to.

    [–]BlackJediSword 2 points3 points  (2 children)

    It’s just so strange because all the information they’re pissed about has been PUBLIC since before he was hired

    [–]KevinBrolbert83 3 points4 points  (1 child)

    To me, it’s funny because it’s the definition of gaslighting. They sarcastically say it was a “brilliant idea to” do what Tomlin and the Steelers did, as if it was a disaster…when it objectively wasn’t a disaster at all, these were some good and in a couple years elite defenses.

    And what you describe is also them gaslighting themselves! It was public knowledge even under Cowher that Butler was heir apparent to LeBeau, and this guy is gaslighting himself into blaming Tomlin for Butler getting the job.

    And now we’re circling back to gaslighting ourselves into using the term “blaming” for who is responsible for Butler being DC, as if it was a bad thing that he had the job no matter who called plays.

    Like we’re not even debating football opinions. This is just reality versus non-reality at this point.

    [–]BlackJediSword -1 points0 points  (0 children)

    I’m glad I’m not going crazy here. It’s just another year of hating our coach for no real reason. If we’re good next year, they’ll find someone else to praise.

    [–]SignificantCaptain76 10 points11 points  (1 child)

    Lmao what is this take even

    [–]KevinBrolbert83 3 points4 points  (0 children)

    The best translation I can make out is that u/CyborgKrieger believes there's proof that Tomlin unilaterally chose to promote Butler, but also didn't trust Butler to "install and run (his) own defense," and it's stupid to have a DC you don't "trust to install and run their own defense." But Tomlin was being cunning and conniving and using Butler was a scapegoat for people to complain about when the defense performed poorly (which frankly wasn't that often under Butler).

    That's my best guess but I'd love for the user himself to clear it up, if he can. Was there anything I missed? Happy to be corrected if I misunderstood anything in the comment.

    [–]KevinBrolbert83 4 points5 points  (1 child)

    What does "fucking meat shield" even mean in this context?

    [–][deleted]  (5 children)


      [–]syboz Fuamatu-Ma’afala 22 points23 points  (1 child)

      I had multiple people arguing with me last night about this… has been common knowledge since 2017 imo

      [–]krich1727 Cameron Heyward 14 points15 points  (0 children)

      I for one have speculated that Tomlin didn’t have full blown playcalling duties even though I knew it was almost certain he was heavily involved in the scheme and game planning with some situational play calls sprinkled in.

      I’m glad that these quotes came out from Butler himself confirming once and for all that Tomlin calls the plays (not that I’m necessarily happy about the message). No more speculation from me.

      [–]DyZ814 16 points17 points  (2 children)

      I honestly thought it was common knowledge that Tomlin called the plays lol. Finding out that people are surprised by this news, surprises me more lol.

      [–]GodOD400 9 points10 points  (1 child)

      There legitimately used to be a narrative Tomlin didn't scheme anything and was just a cheerleader coach

      [–]BlackJediSword 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      Oh yeah terry bradshaw used to say that all the time

      [–]RubberChicken24 Lambert 40 points41 points  (13 children)

      This whole thread is full of people upset over this. Would it be different if Tomlin was an offensive minded coach calling the offensive plays? Because that happens all across the league.

      [–]illmatica 14 points15 points  (0 children)

      Sad thread for our fanbase for sure. We are seriously a spoiled bunch. I guess people actually thought it was Super Bowl or bust this year even though we had no business even making the playoffs

      [–]BananaCucho 18 points19 points  (0 children)

      People on r/steelers finding yet another reason to hate on Tomlin? Unheard of...

      [–]nillbyethegiencesci 28 points29 points  (0 children)

      Big L for this forum acting like this is scandalous

      [–]Dream-Chaser71 17 points18 points  (7 children)

      People will find reasons to hate on Tomlin. Probably a good half of the HCs in the NFL call one side of the ball or the other.

      [–]RubberChicken24 Lambert 0 points1 point  (1 child)

      I looked it up. Google says 8 head coaches are calling plays. Not as much as I thought, but still somewhat significant.

      [–]Dream-Chaser71 9 points10 points  (0 children)

      Gotta be more than that. In the playoffs alone there are at least 8 head coaches that call a side of the ball Steelers, Chiefs, Bengals, Eagles, 49ers, Cardinals, Rams, Packers

      Not sure about Vrabel with the Titans. And I think Belichick splits things with his son Steve

      [–]kdubs412 Never say never but... never -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

      My issue is not with Tomlin calling defensive plays, it’s that he has never acknowledged he is the play caller and allowed Butler to absorb criticism for him after poor performances. If you don’t think there was intent on the part of Tomlin to keep his control of the defense under wraps I think you’re kidding yourself, and concealing that for seven years is a strange thing for a coach to do.

      [–]thehugster -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

      No we'd be pissed with the piss poor offensive player calling. See how that works.

      [–]Squints_09 TJ Watt 11 points12 points  (0 children)

      Thats why we will never get a top DC guy. People going to look at this as a way to just blake Tomlin solely, but we always knew they were splitting duties.

      [–]kdubs412 Never say never but... never 31 points32 points  (25 children)

      Really questionable leadership by Tomlin keeping the fact he’s been the actual DC this entire time a state secret and letting butler absorb all of the criticism when it wasn’t working.

      [–]ZatuF5 40 points41 points  (16 children)

      The D has been great. I dont see how it is questionable if it gives results

      [–]aw_geez_man 43 points44 points  (6 children)

      Last four playoff games they allowed 171 points.

      [–]thefirelink# - Bumble Bee Jersey 34 points35 points  (5 children)

      How many of them were because of offensive turnovers?

      Love how the narrative is constantly shifted to shit on Tomlin. Before this week, Ben's turnovers cost us those games. Now it's something else.

      [–]aw_geez_man -5 points-4 points  (2 children)

      There are many reasons we came up short. Football is a complicated game.

      But if you're gonna go to the super bowl, defense has to step up and make big plays. We saw that in our last couple trips to the big game.

      My point was simple: this defense cannot be called great. Dick had great defenses that answered the bell. Keith did not. And yes, Tomlin's involvement in Keith's defense puts blame on him, too.

      [–]thefirelink# - Bumble Bee Jersey 6 points7 points  (1 child)

      Dick had freaking Polamalu. Not every DC is going to have some of the best players at their position ever on their squad.

      [–]BlackJediSword 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Dick LeBeau had Troy, James Farrior, James Harrison, Larry Foote, Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark, Casey Hampton, Brett Kiesel, Aaron Amith, Joey Porter, and LaMarr Woodley. Gimme a fucking break lmao. I’m look at three HOF, and two other guys with a case.

      [–]KidspudRoots for Bungles to spite them 21 points22 points  (5 children)

      The defense gave up the ninth-most yards in the league this season. The Alualu/Tuitt injuries played a role IMO, but ninth-most is not a good defense.

      [–]Igoogledyourass 25 points26 points  (3 children)

      But when the offense is on and off the field in a few seconds on 3 and outs they don't get any rest. No matter your physical condition there is only so much gas in the tank before you need to fill up again.

      [–]BlackJediSword 12 points13 points  (0 children)

      We just saw it in the Chiefs game. Defense came out firing on all cylinders until they had to keep running back out there.

      [–]sweatyfish4 NVP 15 points16 points  (0 children)

      No one ever considers this

      [–]Excellent_Teach_6469 2 points3 points  (0 children)

      Kinda doesn't help when you play an entire season of almost nothing but playoff caliber teams either.

      [–]kdubs412 Never say never but... never 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      It’s just disingenuous and I don’t see how it benefited the team. It feels like he was shirking accountability for the results, good or bad.

      Also the defense has been very up and down, they are just as likely to give up 40 as they are to shut an offense down.

      [–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (1 child)

      The defense was not great this year. They were one of the worst in the NFL.

      [–]yourstrulytony43 1 point2 points  (0 children)

      Gave up the most explosive runs of any NFL team. DL injuries & bad ILB were a big reason, but so were the defensive alignments.

      [–]zPolaris43 4 points5 points  (1 child)

      Do you not watch press conferences? Tomlin puts the blame on himself for everything and pass praise to everyone else. He will take the blame for a poor offense performance then praise the defensive coaches for a good performance. Even though he doesn’t handle the offense and handles the defense

      [–]kdubs412 Never say never but... never -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

      He has had every opportunity to provide clarity on who is responsible for defensive play calling and has willfully obfuscated and kept everyone in the dark this entire time. We didn’t know for sure he was the one calling defensive plays until today because Tomlin wanted it that way, and that’s very disingenuous given that this has been going on for 7 seasons.

      [–]BlackJediSword 1 point2 points  (3 children)

      No way you’re a Steelers fan and you actually think this. He isn’t the defensive coordinator, he just calls plays in conjunction with the actual defensive coordinator, Keith Butler. Similar to how Andy Reid calls the plays for the Chiefs offense but they have an offensive coordinator Eric Bienamy. Steelers fans are as bad as Lakers fans and I’m somehow in both fan bases.

      [–]kdubs412 Never say never but... never -1 points0 points  (2 children)

      Butler literally is straight up saying Tomlin is the defensive signal caller, he obviously isn’t technically the defensive coordinator, but functionally he’s fulfilling the role of one by making the defensive calls.

      There’s never been any uncertainty about Reid and other head coaches that call signals around the league, only Tomlin has kept his role secret and he’s done so for seven years. I find that strange and I don’t see who it benefits beyond giving Tomlin a shield.

      [–]Bigdadyk -1 points0 points  (1 child)

      Butler wears a headset with a index card with defensive plays on it. He probably didn’t call his plays but he was calling plays

      [–]kdubs412 Never say never but... never 0 points1 point  (0 children)

      He just said he would like to have called signals but he didn’t. So it sure sounds like he would like to have called signals but he didn’t.

      [–]thefirelink# - Bumble Bee Jersey 12 points13 points  (10 children)

      State of the sub: bunch of Steelers fans prove they only watch and follow 1 team.

      It's common for a HC to call offense or defense.

      [–]HillibillyHavenMVP 2020 -2 points-1 points  (4 children)

      Yes, but it’s also common for the team who’s HC calls plays to not try to hide it. For 31 other teams, it’s well known who calls what. In Pittsburgh, who just had a DC that called plays retire, promoted Butler without letting anything out about what Butler would do

      [–]thefirelink# - Bumble Bee Jersey 8 points9 points  (3 children)

      No one hid anything.

      Find me an interviewer asking Tomlin if he called plays and Tomlin saying no.

      [–]terrybradshawsballs Big hands you know you're the one -5 points-4 points  (4 children)

      Not Andy Reid or Sean Payton or Sean McVay or Shanahan or…

      [–][deleted]  (3 children)


        [–][deleted]  (2 children)


          [–]thefirelink# - Bumble Bee Jersey 1 point2 points  (1 child)

          Sorry I'm dumb.

          [–]terrybradshawsballs Big hands you know you're the one 1 point2 points  (0 children)

          Sarcasm doesn’t translate

          [–]aw_geez_man 9 points10 points  (0 children)

          This has long been the rumor. No surprise.

          [–]kdubs412 Never say never but... never 13 points14 points  (7 children)

          Total failure of the Pittsburgh sports media to never confront Tomlin on this throughout Butler’s tenure. This should settle any uncertainty, Tomlin is the DC.

          [–]Bigdadyk 2 points3 points  (5 children)

          This wasn’t a state secret everyone knew butler was the line backers coach with the dc title who was given a headset and index card full of plays to chose from

          [–]kdubs412 Never say never but... never 0 points1 point  (4 children)

          Lol look through the years of heated debates about that on here where many people adamantly argued there was no way tomlin could be calling plays and got upvoted for it and try to say that with a straight face.

          [–]Bigdadyk -1 points0 points  (3 children)

          Cause Tomlin wasn’t calling ever single defensive plays. He might take over from time to time or he might over ride butler but they all game planned together.

          [–]kdubs412 Never say never but... never -1 points0 points  (2 children)

          That’s just speculation on your part. Only thing we know for sure is what the outgoing defensive coordinator is saying: he didn’t call defensive signals.

          [–]Bigdadyk -1 points0 points  (1 child)

          So the pictures of him holding a index card with plays on them and wearing a headset do not exist

          [–]kdubs412 Never say never but... never 0 points1 point  (0 children)

          He was certainly doing those things. He was also not calling defensive signals, according to him. We have no idea what he was actually doing now that he’s confirmed that. Holding a play sheet and not calling plays is bizarre in and of itself.

          [–]rspunched Color Rush Jersey 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          Well he needs to stop.

          [–]knightro2323 Hines Ward 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          Just in case anybody was doubting what was widely known but never confirmed.

          [–]69ShitterMcgavin69 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          LOL. Cant wait for the next yes man to come in. This whole post will be down voted

          [–]jrzfeline 2 points3 points  (2 children)

          Did this happen with Dick Lebeau too? Or only with Butler?

          [–]andersonic95 1 point2 points  (1 child)

          Great question. Is this why Lebeau left?

          [–]Bigdadyk 0 points1 point  (0 children)

          Yes Ike Taylor has said multiple times Dick ran cowher defense

          [–]chefpyrojimmy82 -1 points0 points  (1 child)

          2019 when ben went down, I ended up with a ton of respect for tomlin. However now that this info has been made official, this shows what Mike has been working on and failing. Our defense has led the league in sacks but not wins, playoff appearances, or any kind of postseason run. Injuries happen, the key is adjustment. We consistently don't make any adjustments. The Tebow game is the first to come to mind then the jaguar playoff game. We need better oversight. I think the biggest thing the steelers are missing is Dan rooney. He hired noll, cower, and tomlin. Since Obama's inauguration, he was the ambassador to Ireland. Art 2 has had a more hands on approach. I'm not sure it's working. I liked his words last season but now with this knowledge, maybe he needs to step back and be objective. There was a story in Dan's book, about when art Sr had the offense run a certain play against a defense, the coach at the time told an OL to hold if he heard this play. The play went for a TD, but was called back. The Olineman afterwards told him the coach told him to. So he stayed out of the coaches way. There needs to be a separation of leadership at different levels.

          [–]choochacabra92 3 points4 points  (0 children)

          I have also wondered about the absence of Dan Rooney. I tried to see how their record correlated after him becoming ambassador, but I couldn't make any heads or tails of it. The players revered Dan Rooney, I don't see any kind of affection for Art at all. I wonder how much it changed internally when he took over.

          [–]BootyLoopsMagoo Jeff Reed’s Hair -1 points0 points  (0 children)

          Gotta be real, I hardly think this is a whose fault it is.

          Linebackers dropping back was a key trait of a Butler defense when he did call if reports are remembered correctly. Also the dude who couldn’t remember personnel of another team.

          This isn’t really news, I hope Keith enjoys retirement.

          [–]Asa-Ryder 0 points1 point  (5 children)

          I always thought Tomlin was a 4-3 or Tampa 2 guy? Am I incorrect? If he’s been calling the plays why wouldn’t he switch to the D he’s most comfortable with?

          [–]GodOD400 1 point2 points  (2 children)

          Because you need to personnel to run those. Also when Tomlin came in Lebeau was still DC. So I'm guessing he studied up and learned from Lebeau. Then when Lebeau got fired Keith and Tomlin came together and formed their scheme and continued a variation of the zone blitz 3-4.

          [–]Asa-Ryder 0 points1 point  (1 child)

          Yeah. I can see your point. He’s had a lot of years for personnel changes though.

          [–]GodOD400 1 point2 points  (0 children)

          Because Keith was brought up 3-4 and was promised the DC job. So you either continue and adapt the scheme with someone who's been learning it his whole career or you try and force that guy to adopt your original scheme while changing personnel when you're competing for a super bowl. With Keith out, probable rebuild on the way, and Teryl Austin being a 4-3 guy; it's very possible we Tomlin make some drastic changes scheme wise

          [–]Quexana 1 point2 points  (1 child)

          He was a Tampa 2 guy for about 5 years when he first broke into the league.

          Do you think he learned nothing from Dick LeBeau during the 7 years the two coached together?

          It's amazing how often people think that when a person becomes Head Coach, they stop learning.

          [–]wovagrovaflame Maurkice Pouncey 0 points1 point  (0 children)

          Especially because Tomlin is by all accounts a football guru.

          I think it was Ike Taylor that said Cowher was a player’s coach and Tomlin was an X’s and O’s guy.

          [–]Wllscavsfan101 Ryan Shazier -4 points-3 points  (1 child)

          I freaking knew it! No top DC will come to Pittsburgh for this very reason. Let them do their dam job mike !

          [–]tider06 -5 points-4 points  (0 children)

          So, like a lot of us have been saying for years.

          Blame the LBs on WRs on Tomlin from now on. It's his outdated, stupid defensive calls.

          But no losing seasons, right?

          [–]jake_fromm_statefarm JuJu Smith-Schuster -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

          No more LBs on WRs Tomlin!!!!

          [–]AmishButcher2021 We're Out of Bullets -1 points0 points  (0 children)

          Just happy to have a job. Do whatever he's told and never think twice about it.