New England Patriots: 5 keys to beating the Pittsburgh Steelers
3. Bill Belichick can run circles around Mike Tomlin when it comes to time management and situational football – so he should.
Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw has had some harsh words for current coach Mike Tomlin over the last few years. Bradshaw made headlines when he decried Tomlin as “a great cheerleader guy” in 2016, and he’s sticking to his guns in 2018.
"“I’m sorry, but he’s not my kind of coach,” Bradshaw told Pittsburgh’s 97.3 The Fan. “I’ve said it before. I’ll say it again.”"
Bradshaw has earned the right to air his opinion. When you lead your team to four Super Bowl titles in six years, you can say pretty much anything you want about that team for the rest of your life.
That said, Tomlin’s track record speaks for itself. He’s 131-72-1 across all regular season and playoff games for the Steelers, and has led the team to two Super Bowl appearances and one championship. His players love him, most fans love him, and it’s hard to argue there’s another coach out there who could do a better job.
Unless, of course, that coach is Bill Belichick. Already widely considered among the best of all-time, if not THE best, Belichick could retire tomorrow with no regrets, knowing his legacy is forever cemented and assured.
Thankfully for Pats fans, he’s never expressed any kind of timeline for his eventual retirement. While rumors swirled earlier this year about a rift between Belichick, Brady, and owner Robert Kraft, most of that noise has since quieted now that New England is back to its winning ways and looks poised for another run at a championship.
In New England’s epic victory over Kansas City earlier this season, we saw the value of a head coach who knows how to work the clock to his advantage. Chiefs play-caller Andy Reid is infamous for his poor time management skills, and while his team’s loss doesn’t fall squarely on his shoulders, that game epitomized the importance of possessing the ball last in a shootout.
The Patriots-Steelers game on Sunday has all the makings of another classic AFC shootout, with two electric offenses going up against a pair of struggling defenses. Belichick needs to play mind games with Tomlin and exercise his superiority when it comes to situational football, in-game adjustments, and proper clock management.