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Lately, a lot of ridiculous hate has circulated for long-time Steelers’ head coach, Mike Tomlin.
Many, particularly misguided Steelers fans, are suggesting that it’s time for the Steelers to part ways with only the third head coach in its history. Some are even saying that the team should trade him for draft compensation.
This dissent is absolutely ridiculous.
For critics to think that the team, which is in a state of transition for the first time in sixteen years, would suddenly find a more talented and qualified coach who could instantly transform the team into a Super Bowl contender is utter science fiction.
In an era where “certain types” of coaches are more desirable than others, Mike Tomlin remains the epitome of consistency and success.
His coaching performance in 2019 should have convinced his detractors of his greatness. Despite suffering numerous injuries to key offensive players, the Steelers still finished 8-8. That year marked the first time in Tomlin’s career that the team had been outscored in a season (289-303).
And when he guided an overachieving Steelers team to 12-4 and an AFC North title in 2020, some still refused to call him elite.
Tomlin is overlooked far too often in favor of other veteran coaches like Andy Reid, Pete Carroll and Sean Payton.
Over 24 years, Andy Reid has amassed a record of 246-138-1. That consists of 14 years with the Eagles (130-93-1) and 10 with the Chiefs (116-45). During that time, he’s had Donovan McNabb, Alex Smith and Patrick Mahomes under center. Reid also has three Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl victory.
Pete Carroll has an overall record of 160-112-1 in his 17 years as a head coach. That includes one season with the Jets (6-10), three with New England (27-21) and thirteen with Seattle (127-8-1). Carroll, with future Hall of Fame QB in Russell Wilson, made two Super Bowls with Seattle, winning one. He would have two Lombardi Trophies if not for the worst call in professional sports history.
Sean Payton led the Saints to a 152-89 record during his 15-year tenure with the team. During that time, Drew Brees was his quarterback and they won New Orleans’ lone Super Bowl title in 2009.
In his sixteen seasons with Pittsburgh, Mike Tomlin is 163-92-2. He’s led the Steelers to two Super Bowls appearances, and one Super Bowl victory. In the first fifteen years of his tenure, Tomlin had Ben Roethlisberger under center.
Taking Bill Belichick out of the equation, these four men are the elite coaches in the league.
They all have winning records, a Super Bowl victory and Hall of Fame-worthy quarterbacks.
So why is Tomlin consistently regarded behind his fellow coaches despite having similar qualifications and proven records of success?
Is it because he inherited a talented team and future Hall of Fame QB from his predecessor?
Is it because he hasn’t won multiple Super Bowls?
Or is it because he’s Black?
All three have degrees of merit. But they still don’t, and should not, detract from Tomlin’s greatness, especially as his resume includes one item that no other coach in NFL history has.
He has never had a losing season.
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