There were so many things that went wrong for the Pittsburgh Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 13. The 24-10 loss was one of the worst throughout the entire Mike Tomlin era and significantly damaged the team’s chances of challenging the Baltimore Ravens for the AFC North crown in 2023. There were countless mistakes throughout the game for the Steelers and a crucial one came towards the end of the first half. The Steelers went for it on a fourth and goal with a yard to go despite it being Mitch Trubisky’s first play from scrimmage in the game after Kenny Pickett suffered an ankle injury.
The game has been broken down by many analysts and fans, but fans throughout the Steel City always enjoy hearing what legendary quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger has to say about the current team following his retirement at the end of the 2021 season. He once again co-hosted his podcast, Footbahlin with Ben Roethlisberger, with Spencer Te’o following his former team’s horrible loss.
The two discussed the momentum-shifting decision in Sunday’s upsetting loss. The Steelers had the ball on the Cardinals’ one-yard line on fourth down after Pickett was injured. Tomlin decided to go for it in an attempt to score the game’s first touchdown. The play-call was one that fans have become accustomed to. Trubisky came in and lined up in the shotgun. Te’o expressed his displeasure.
“I don’t understand why when it’s fourth and one yard, why there is any reason in a shotgun?”
Roethlisberger had his own opinions about the plan. He wasn’t necessarily against a shotgun call if it were a true run-pass-option, but he didn’t put the blame on recently-named play-caller, Mike Sullivan. The future Hall of Fame signal-caller thinks that it was Tomlin’s decision to call what was believed to be the best running play in the playbook.
“I feel very strongly that Coach T was like… that was his decision. That wasn’t Sully’s. Not that Sully wouldn’t do it, but I’m sure it was like, ‘Listen, give me your best run, go and do this.'”
Tomlin, who is known as a defensive coach, has often been ridiculed for wanting too much power in all phases of the game. If he did have a say in the devastating failed fourth and goal, it would be right for Steelers fans to be enraged.
Roethlisberger analyzed the play briefly and decided to agree with his co-host. The fact that the offense lined up in the shotgun in that specific situation irked the 2004 first-round pick.
“My issue was you have a new quarterback coming in the game… You’re telling me his first snap of this game is fourth and one, and, ya know, you’re right [Spence], get under center and run your most basic run.”
Steelers fans have become tired of the Matt Canada offense. It wasn’t expected to change after his late-season firing in 2023, but the lack of play-calls under center are appearing to be critically damaging. The likelihood of it changing in 2023 is not probable, but Roethlisberger’s comments have to mean one thing, that Tomlin is pulling even more strings that anyone previously thought.
Steelers Need To Completely Reevaluate How Offenses Succeed In 2023
“Defense wins championships” is the common saying. That has proven to be incorrect in the modern day NFL. The Steelers leadership has to remove themselves from the stubborn nature that has gotten them just three playoff wins in 10 years. Whether the answer is a new head coach, offensive coaching staff, quarterback, or all of it together, there needs to be significant change if a Super Bowl is going to be in reach anytime soon.