Do Steelers face a big rebuild?

Pittsburgh has talent, but the defense is old and Tomlin could be questioned

Updated: November 7, 2013, 12:40 PM ET
By Mike Sando and Matt Williamson | ESPN Insider

Ben Roethlisberger Kirby Lee/USA TODAY SportsBen Roethlisberger has had a rough season at QB for Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Steelers are 15-15 in their past 30 regular-season games, but there has been nothing average about their play in that span. They have followed an 11-4 run with a 4-11 record in their past 15 games dating to Week 11 of last season. Only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-13) and Jacksonville Jaguars (1-14) have been worse since then.

Key injuries help explain the current slide, but the Steelers' issues run deeper than that. ESPN.com's Matt Williamson, a native Pittsburgher, and Mike Sando discuss the steps needed for the Steelers to get back on track, beginning with whether Mike Tomlin needs to go.

Is there a case against Tomlin?

Sando: Tomlin has a 59-37 record in the regular season, giving the Steelers the NFL's sixth-highest winning percentage among all NFL teams during his tenure, which dates to 2007. The Steelers have the fourth-highest winning percentage in that span when we throw in postseason records. Are you sure you want to fire a young coach with those bottom-line credentials?

Williamson: Tomlin was the youngest head coach in the league when the Steelers hired him. He had never been a head coach at any level. He was energetic, young and the players' buddy. He came to a team loaded with great locker-room guys -- Jerome Bettis, Alan Faneca, Aaron Smith and others. My problem with Tomlin is, the first year or two, he was a terrible game-day coach. He wasted timeouts and messed up when to go for it on fourth down and when to try long field goals. That was accepted because he was new to the job, but he hasn't gotten any better. And the locker room has changed.


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