Benching starters makes no sense

The PG was on top of things as usual and reported yesterday that Mike Tomlin will be benching some starters for this Thursday’s game against Cleveland. Here’s the scoop:

“It’s going to be Joe Burnett,” Tomlin said. “Keenan Lewis is going to get an opportunity to play. We want to see both of those guys. They’re young guys; they’ve been working. We want to see both of those guys play.”

He indicated that veteran starting cornerback Ike Taylor might be affected in a shake-up.

I know these are desperate times, but I really don’t understand the point. Does anybody really think two untested corners like Lewis and Burnett give the Steelers a better chance to win then Gay and Taylor?

I’m not saying Gay and Taylor played well at all last week. They were both dreadful. But guys like Burnett and Ryan Mundy were also getting burned on the winning drive last week.

Tomlin obviously needs to do something, but this move is him basically waving the white flag. In the long-term, it makes sense to get some of these young defensive backs some reps, but not in another “must-win” game.  Maybe he wants to get them some experience for next season and hopes Burnett can supplant Gay as a starter. That might be the best move at this point. Who knows.

But, assuming Gay is out after sustaining a concussion, I’d still feel a lot more comfortable with Ike Taylor matching up with Braylon Edwards Mohamed Massaquoi than Burnett or Lewis.


Also, at what point do the Steelers just end Troy Polamalu’s season? With chances of the playoffs now at 12.9%, why would they risk yet another injury to the all-world safety?

It’s pretty clear at this point that 2009 just isn’t going to be the Steelers year and before too long the focus will be on 2010. A healthy Polamalu will be the number one factor heading into next season.

Just throwing that out there.