Mike Tomlin exemplified the essence of accountability as a head coach.

Vince Carbonneau
November 25, 2023  (2:58 PM)

Tuesdays in NFL circles can often be sluggish, but Mike Tomlin and the Pittsburgh Steelers ensured that this one would not be as they announced the departure of their former offensive coordinator, Matt Canada. I touched upon this topic from the perspective of a frustrated Bears fan dealing with his own team's offensive coordinator, while Patrick provided a more national-level analysis.

However, my focus soon shifted back to Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin's remarks following the announcement. I urge you to listen to his words:
"I'm excited about Eddie Faulkner coordinating our efforts, organizing staff responsibilities and meetings, creating gameplans, leading our unit as a collective, and reviewing our tape in preparation for our upcoming opponents – things that the coordinator does. He has full authority in that regard and my full support.
"From a play-caller perspective, the bulk of that responsibility will fall to Mike Sullivan. He's done it in two different locations, and he brings tangible experience that I'm sure will be helpful. But also, and perhaps more importantly, he works closely with Kenny (Pickett), seeking fluidity and cohesion in that area."
I couldn't help but marvel at how clear, concise, and thorough a head coach could be with their words. Mike Tomlin provided a detailed breakdown of the responsibilities for his coaching staff as they entered the most crucial part of the season. Meanwhile, it seems like getting a straightforward answer out of Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus is an almost impossible task.
Mike Tomlin sets an example of how it's done. One frustrating aspect of the 2023 Chicago Bears has been Head Coach Matt Eberflus' reluctance to take accountability when the opportunity arises. Instead, Eberflus has often shifted blame onto his players. While it's true that players share some responsibility for the team's shortcomings this season, many quality coaches willingly accept blame, if only to relieve some pressure from their players. This week was no exception for Eberflus.
During Monday's press conference, Eberflus missed an opportunity to take accountability or reflect on how he might approach things differently in the future. Instead, he shared a story about a past decision that worked out well. When questioned about why star defensive end Montez Sweat was absent for three of the 11 plays in the Lions' game-winning drive, Eberflus gave this response:
"We want him out there more. But those guys are rotating," Eberflus stated, via ESPN's Courtney Cronin. "Travis (Smith) rotates them in and out. Usually, they're on the field for five to seven plays during a two-minute drive like that."
While it's true that Defensive Line Coach Travis Smith manages player rotations, as the head coach, Eberflus should have the authority to override playing time decisions. He also should have been aware of which players might have snap count limitations and ensured they were available for critical moments. It's truly frustrating to see some of the Bears' top players not on the field due to rotation decisions, especially from a head coach who, as a former linebackers coach and defensive coordinator, once aspired to be a CEO-style head coach.
On the flip side, we have Mike Tomlin, who articulates clearly why the team is parting ways with its offensive coordinator and lays out his expectations for his coaching staff moving forward. Back in 2020, I remember reading about Tomlin's "the standard is the standard" slogan on ESPN, and I didn't fully grasp it then. But now, I certainly do.
Mike Tomlin exemplified the essence of accountability as a head coach.

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