Is Mike Tomlin an Elite Coach?

After a tough ending to the 2017 campaign a fair amount of Steelers fans and some within ownership started to question whether Mike Tomlin was the right man for the job. For the last few years I have also begun to feel as though Tomlin is a good coach but not one of the elite.

Under Tomlin the Steelers have won a single SuperBowl which Santonio Holmes won with his incredible catch in the corner of the end zone. Due to that championship win, many people in my opinion have an inflated opinion of Tomlin. I’m not saying he is Ben McAdoo, but he is for sure no Bill Belichick.

In the 2008 Superbowl win Tomlin employed a team made up with a large number of stars from the Bill Cowher era 2005 Championship team. This team included players such as Troy Polamalu, Ike Taylor, Ryan Clark, Casey Hampton, Brett Keisel, James Farrior, and Hines Ward along with many others. As these elite championship caliber players started to move on we started to see a gradual drop off which Tomiln has struggled to replace. (i.e. 5-6 playoff record since then)

Since the Superbowl loss to the Packers we have seen a pair of 8-8 finishes and some heartbreaking playoff losses we did not expect much like this past year against Jacksonville. Tomlin coached teams have at times shown a massive lack of disclpine on the field such as drawing very unnecessary penalties in key situations.

Off the field issues under Tomlin could be made into a chapter book which could follow a very lengthy line up of chapters:

1. Mike Tomlin trips player
2. Bell and Blount arresseted
3. Martavis suspended
4. Big Ben complains about Todd Haley
5. Bell suspended again
6. Bryant can’t stay off the weed again
7. Big Ben complains about Todd Haley (part 2)
8. Antonio Brown goes live in the locker room
9. Ben says hes thinking about retirement
10. Bell skips training camp
11. Ben calls out coaches (Parts 1,2,3,4,5…)
12. Martavis throws a fit about JuJu on Instagram
13. Bell (again) publicly discusses his desire to make a fortune
14. Ben decides retirement is overrated and says he wants to play 3-5 years
15. Ben calls out management of draft …

I dont know about all of you but to me that is way too much drama for a football team to deal with and still win a Superbowl. These constant distractions reflect directly onto Tomlin. These are situations where he needs to step in and tell his players to stay clear of discussing sensitive issues with the media. Players need to have some fear of their coach but Tomlin instills the feeling of friendship which could be causing more harm than good. Its no wonder players love to play for Tomlin he allows them to do whatever they want and be as public as they want without any repercussions. While its great to have players love their coach, sometimes you need to be less of a friend and more of a coach.

Tomlin has also struggled to draft elite players on the defensive side of the ball. Most of the players selected have shown to be average to below average outside of Tuitt, Watt, Heyward and Shazier. The disastrous Jarvis Jones and Senquez Golson picks headline Tomlin’s draft struggles on defense. Sean Davis, Bud Dupree and Artie Burns have shown to be good but not up to par with where they were selected. This year we could see yet another subpar pick on defense as many scouts feel Terrell Edmunds was more of a mid round pick, not a first.

The true colors of Tomlin will be shown once Big Ben retires when he will no longer be able to ride Ben’s excellence. Until then the jury is still out.

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