Mike Tomlin's big flaw exposed as ideal Steelers OC candidate goes to market too late

The only thing Mike Tomlin loves more than total control is going 9-8 annually leading Pittsburgh.

Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers
Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Mike Tomlin loves him some control, and that is why he hired Arthur Smith to be his new offensive coordinator. I mean, Tomlin gave Yinzers everywhere more than their healthy helping of some Matt Canada nonsense for years. It was the food you had at home you never wanted to eat. While the former Atlanta Falcons head coach is a decent hire, perhaps the better fit just went to market...

With another former Falcons head coach in Dan Quinn taking over the Washington Commanders, the expectation is that the former Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator will want to overhaul the coaching staff. This is one of the things Quinn does best. The man cost my city a Super Bowl parade, but I will give him that. He knows how to assemble a good staff. Just look at his former Atlanta guys...

Sadly, I don't think he can retain Eric Bieniemy as his offensive coordinator. This has nothing to do with the job Bieniemy did in a difficult situation last year, but that Quinn cannot screw up his offensive coordinator hire. Washington has the No. 2 overall pick, and the Commanders are getting themselves a rookie quarterback. Bieniemy will resurface somewhere, but it won't be with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Had Tomlin just waited like one or two more days, Bieniemy could have been a fairly interesting fit.

Mike Tomlin hitching his wagon to Arthur Smith cost him Eric Bieniemy

Look. Bieniemy is not a cure to what ails your offense or your NFL franchise. He is a good to great offensive coach, but he is not going to be a head coach in this league because he is supposedly a terrible interview. If he ever gets to lead his own team in the NFL, then I'll be damned. I used to go to bat for the guy, but I wasn't doing that for the third or fourth offseason in a row. I am so done with this.

However, I trust Bieniemy to do a better job of developing a quarterback than I do Smith. Sam Howell was not a world beater in Washington, but he got better playing in Bieniemy's system as a first year starter. I applaud Bieniemy betting on himself by leaving Kansas City and getting out from Andy Reid's giant shadow for his best shot at calling plays. I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't rip Matt Nagy for returning.

Overall, Tomlin is bringing in a game he can control and one who doesn't pose him any threat. Smith did do some things well during his three-year run in charge of the Falcons, but he just needs to get back to his bread and butter of calling plays, rather than be the face of an NFL franchise. I think if Bieniemy came in and did well with Kenny Pickett, that would take some of the shine off of Tomlin.

Ultimately, I am warming up to the Smith hiring more and more in Pittsburgh. He was a terrific hire at the time three years ago when Atlanta got him out of Nashville. The Tennessee Titans regressed massively offensively without him, enough to the point where Mike Vrabel is now out of a job. Smith will cover up some of Tomlin's messes, but he could also be an easy scapegoat for Tomlin's failure.

Once you get past the fact that this hire was all about perceived control, we can do something with it.

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