Steelers’ Mike Tomlin: Catch the Ball or Be Replaced

Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is sick of what he’s seeing. Or what he’s not seeing: the ability to catch the ball on a consistent basis.

The Steelers have dropped a league-high 31 passes, per ESPN Stats & Info. That’s 10 more than any other team. They dropped seven in Monday’s loss to Washington. That’s how 11-0 becomes 11-1 and people start to doubt you, which is where the Steelers are today. And Tomlin has seen enough.

“They can catch the ball, or they can get replaced by those that will catch it,” Tomlin said. “It’s just as simple as that. Like I’ve often said, I expect guys to make routine plays routinely. When there’s a pattern of that not happening, then we have to look at who we throw the ball to.”

Wide receiver Dionte Johnson leads the team with nine drops. He may get another chance on Sunday vs. the Buffalo Bills. But based on what Tomlin had to say, Johnson may be on the bench.

The Steelers have had a softer schedule for most of the season, but it’s about to get a lot tougher. Three of their final four games are against potential playoff opponents — the Bills, Indianapolis Colts and rival Cleveland Browns. The Steelers are in danger of ending up like last year’s Baltimore Ravens, who followed a great regular season with disappointment when it meant the most.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side,


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