This is the type of season that can turn a coach’s hair gray within the span of just a few months. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin still has his original color, for the most part, but I’m sure it hasn’t been easy, especially when it has come to managing his wounded-bird offense.
Twice this season he has had different quarterbacks throw four interceptions in a game. I’m not sure how often it has ever happened that one team has had two different quarterbacks throw four interceptions in a game in the same season, but it can’t be all too common.
Devlin Hodges last week joined Mason Rudolph in that achievement, and he got halfway there yesterday before Tomlin pulled the plug on him. The second interception took the ball out of their hands in scoring position, looking for Jaylen Samuels in the end zone when they are in-range to at least attempt a field goal.
Rudolph was out there the next drive. It’s the second time this season he’s had to bench a quarterback because of performance, and this is a team who had Ben Roethlisberger under center to start the season. Not exactly what you were anticipating back in August.
“I don’t worry about frustration”, Tomlin told reporters following the loss yesterday when asked how frustrating it has been to go through these situations throughout the year. “I’m here to win. I’m paid to manage frustrations. I will. It’s frustrating when you don’t win. All the other minutiae is less relevant”.
Losing is what Tomlin is ultimately concerned about, less so the specifics of the loss. It doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you win, and continue to win. It does matter how you lose, so that you can fix it, but ultimately, mistakes are not excuses; you still have to overcome them and find ways to win.
The Steelers have come up short in that department in each of the past two weeks, this after having won seven out of eight games. They were one of the hottest teams in football just eight days ago heading into the game against the Buffalo Bills, but now they’re on the outside looking in when it comes to the postseason.
That’s frustrating. But again, it’s out of your control at this point. The only thing you can do is win your game. You can’t help influence the results of other games to play in your favor, so you just have to watch and let the chips fall where they may. No matter how frustrating.