By Justin McGonigle
On Sunday in Baltimore, Mike Tomlin, will have a chance to pass hall of famer Tony Dungy for the most wins in NFL history by an African American head coach.
It only seems right that Tomlin would have a chance at such a monumental moment against such a worthy opponent on a day that matched up two teams with a combined record of 11-1.
Tomlin, 48, joined the NFL ranks in 2001 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when Dungy hired him away from the college ranks. Dungy and Tomlin only spent one season together because Dungy was fired following that season, and John Gruden was traded to Tampa.
Dungy of course headed to Indianapolis where he eventually won a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning.
Dungy told Dale Lolly of DKPittsburghSportsthis week that he wanted to bring Tomlin with him to Indianapolis, but the Bucs blocked him from doing so.
“I wanted to make him my defensive coordinator and they said no,” Dungy said with a laugh. “I said, ‘Look, just give me one coach. I’ll take the youngest guy.’ They recognized that he was a good, young coach as well. They said no.
Tomlin eventually left Tampa Bay, after coaching the defensive backs for Gruden and collecting a Super Bowl ring in 2002. Tomlin was hired away to be the defensive coordinator in Minnesota before the Steelers came calling in 2007.