The outlandish, but never-ending debate on whether Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin is the right man for the job continues well into 2022. Despite over two decades of coaching experience, not ever having a losing season as a head coach, seven AFC North titles, nine playoff appearances, and two trips to the Super Bowl (XLIII and XLV), Steeler Nation still seems divided on Tomlin.
Perhaps the fanbase has grown restless. I won’t pretend that the Steel City wasn’t spoiled in the 1970’s with four Super Bowls, and that there’s a certain “standard” and prestige this franchise holds itself to. Let’s face it. Despite Tomlin’s accolades, Pittsburgh hasn’t won a playoff game in five years.
But with that said, let’s look at some more facts.
Currently, Tomlin ranks 18th all-time in most wins as an NFL head coach with 154. There’s been a total of 511 head coaches since 1920 per Pro Football Reference. 18th on that list is pretty amazing if you ask me. Tomlin also ranks 20th all-time in win percentage in that same group (.643), and only two active head coaches have a higher win percentage than that (Bill Belichick – .670, Sean McVay – .679). Going back to the win totals, only two active head coaches have more wins than Tomlin (Andy Reid – 233, Bill Belichick – 290).
So my question to the Tomlin doubters, if not Tomlin, who would yinz rather have coaching the Steelers?
Names like Sean Payton, Pete Carroll, Mike McCarthy, even John Harbaugh all don’t compare to Tomlin statistically.
Steelers are lucky to have Mike Tomlin
I’m beginning to feel like Pittsburgh is taking Tomlin for granted. We’ve heard time and time again of even the players speaking so highly of Tomlin, including recently re-signed cornerback, Ahkello Witherspoon. So at this point, could it be possible that Tomlin is viewed better outside of Pittsburgh than he is within the city and fanbase?
Monday, NBC Sports‘ Peter King joined 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh and talked about how the Steelers will continue to stay competitive, not despite Tomlin, but because of him.
The excellent @peter_king on @937thefan on Mike Tomlin: "Mike Tomlin is viewed better outside Pittsburgh than inside…An NFL GM told me this is a year Mike Tomlin is going to be exceedingly valuable. They'll be competitive this year because of Mike Tomlin."
Do you agree?
— Andrew Fillipponi (@ThePoniExpress) May 23, 2022
“Mike Tomlin is viewed better outside Pittsburgh than inside,” King said on the radio show. “An NFL GM told me this is a year Mike Tomlin is going to be exceedingly valuable. They’ll be competitive this year because of Mike Tomlin.”
In a year where Tomlin will no longer have his future Hall of Fame quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, Tomlin will truly be tested with an unreliable free agent acquisition in Mitch Trubisky, and a rookie first round selection in Kenny Pickett. Let’s not act like we haven’t seen Tomlin in a similar situation before, however. In 2019, when Roethlisberger went down with a season-ending elbow injury, Tomlin took a Mason Rudolph/Devlin “Duck” Hodges led team to an 8-8 season, and almost slipped into the playoffs. This 2022 squad should be much, much better now, and the sky is the limit.
There’s always room for improvement with any coach, but the fact remains that Tomlin has kept the Pittsburgh Steelers competitive every year in his tenure. We’re lucky to have a coach, as well as a man like Tomlin in Pittsburgh, and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Seems like everybody else outside of the Steel City sees that. Just look at teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars and Detroit Lions for example who have a combined win total of 167 wins over the last 15 years. I’m sure they would love a guy like Tomlin. Why doesn’t Pittsburgh?
More from King here as it becomes available.
Would do yinz think? Are we taking Tomlin for granted? Or is it time for a coaching change in Pittsburgh? Click to comment below!