The Pittsburgh Steelers have only had three head coaches since 1969. It is one of the most impressive feats for any professional sports organization. Aside from current leader, Mike Tomlin, Hall of Famers Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher are the only two to run the ship in the last 53 years. Each coach has at least one championship ring and the franchise is consistently recognized as one of the NFL’s most respected and decorated. Many believe Tomlin will be married to Pittsburgh until he retires, but a tweet from reporter, Aditi Kinkhabwala suggested that he almost stepped away from his position a few years ago.
On Wednesday morning, NFL reporter, Josina Anderson put it out there that any one of the three longest tenured coaches in the league have rumors swirling around them that one, or multiple of them could think to resign at year’s end. Along with Tomlin, New England Patriots‘ head coach, Bill Belichick and division foe, John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens are the other two causing people to talk. Belichick would certainly be the most likely due to his age and current transitional period within New England’s organization.
He was very very close to moving to TV a few years ago. Close enough to have talks w/ networks. That was a few years ago.
He’s not going now.
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) November 16, 2022
Andrew Fillipponi, of 93.7 The Fan, is absolutely right. It would be wild as he stated in his response to Anderson. Tomlin’s current contract expires at the end of the 2024 season so one would expect him to at least ride that out, but nothing is certain. The more surprising comment, however, is Kinkhabwala’s. She claims that the Super Bowl-winning coach contemplated leaving his profession to jump into another one.
Tomlin is 157-91-2 since he joined the organization back in 2007. He holds an 8-9 playoff record and has taken the team to two Super Bowls, one of them leading to a ring during the 2008 season. His predecessor in Cowher has been with CBS and comfortably talks about and watches football stress free each week. Maybe it is possible that he tossed around the idea as his children began to grow older and he was missing key moments in their lives.
One can only speculate what year this allegedly was and if it has any weight to it. A year ago, there were rumors flying around about Tomlin potentially leaving his position in Pittsburgh to coach as the University of Southern California after a head coaching position was open. When asked in a press conference, he adamantly and stoically shut down that idea and left the room very aggravated.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin swiftly rejects any speculation he’d be a candidate for the USC job. “Never say next, but never.” pic.twitter.com/EiP1spB4jc
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 26, 2021
It will be interesting to see if anyone has the courage to ask about Kinkhabwala’s tweet at his weekly press conference next week, but we can expect a stern “no” as an answer. Even if it was a possibility not too long ago, the tweet from the reporter also suggests that he’s not going anywhere now. It does create a bit of intrigue on his future after his contract is up. He’s still relatively young compared to some of the older coaches in the league, but there are consistently murmurs of even someone like Sean McVay retiring and he is only 36 years old.
Speculation can swirl and people can have their opinions on the topic, but Kinkhabwala spent several years very close to the Steelers and the inner workings of the organization. It’s hard to believe she would throw that out there if she didn’t have a source or legitimate intel that would corroborate her information.
Do you believe that Tomlin was close to walking away and landing a TV gig a couple years back? Let us know in the comments below!