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Thread: Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

  1. #1
    Legend hawaiiansteel's Avatar
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    Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

    Christopher Gaze, BleacherReport.com, Time To Extend Mike Tomlin?


    If you remember the days of Bill Cowher, then you remember that Cowher often received a contract extension every time there was two years on his contract. That seems to be the Steelers’ front office policy. Now Head Coach Mike Tomlin is in that same situation but no word yet on what the Steelers plan on doing.

    With news that the Arizona Cardinals signed Ken Whisenhunt to a four-year contract extension, the question in Pittsburgh is whether or not the Steelers will approach head coach Mike Tomlin with a contract extension this offseason.

    Like Whisenhunt, Tomlin has coached his team to two division championships in three years and to a Super Bowl appearance, where Tomlin’s Steelers got the best of Whisenhunt’s Cardinals. Unlike Whisenhunt, Tomlin is without contract extension. Tomlin officially has two years left on his first contract, which pays him $2.5 million. Traditionally, this is the point of the contract where the Steelers have extended their head coach. They signed Bill Cowher to three-year contract extension after the 2000-01 season following a three year absence from the playoffs.

    After winning a Super Bowl in his second season, Tomlin seemed to be a lock for an extension after this season, but now that is not so certain. Tomlin took over an 8-8 Steelers team that underachieved following a victory in Super Bowl 40 and led them to an AFC North title. However, Tomlin did have a healthy Ben Roethlisberger , something the 2006 Steelers did not have. While the division title looks good on paper, the Steelers may have underachieved. Pittsburgh lost four of their final five games, including a home Wild Card playoff loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

    The Steelers bounced back the following season, finishing 12-4 while playing one of the toughest schedules in the NFL . The defense also had one of the more dominating regular season performances in recent memory. Pittsburgh proceeded to win their three playoff games and their sixth Super Bowl Championship. In the process, Tomlin became the NFL’s youngest head coach to ever win a Super Bowl. With an easy schedule, Pittsburgh looked to be a good bet to make another deep run in the playoffs. Early in the season, Pittsburgh played like a favorite. The Steelers got off to a 6-2 start heading into a big division matchup at Heinz Field against the Cincinnati Bengals . The Steelers did not score a touchdown, and the Bengals gained enough momentum to win the division. Pittsburgh went on a downward spiral, losing five in a row and became one of the biggest underachievers of the 2009 season.

    To Tomlin’s credit, the Steelers did win three in a row to bring their record to 9-7. The lowlight of the season came during their five game losing streak. Pittsburgh lost to three of the worst teams in the NFL. First there was the overtime loss to the Kansas City Chiefs , a game in which Roethlisberger suffered a concussion, forcing him to sit out the following week against the rival Baltimore Ravens . Following the Ravens loss, Mike Tomlin attempted to set a tone for a December.

    “We will not go gently. We will unleash hell here in December because we have to. We won’t go in a shell. We’re gonna go in attack mode attack mode because that’s what’s required.” The Steelers did “unleash hell,” but not to their opponents. Instead, it was to their fans and themselves. Pittsburgh lost the following two games, first at home against Bruce Gradkowski’s Oakland Raiders . Gradkowski threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns, including the game winner with nine seconds left. The following week, the Steelers lost at the Cleveland Browns . Not only did the Steelers lose, but they did not score a touchdown against one of the worst defense in the NFL. The loss had a particularly extra sting amongst Steelers fans, as Tomlin had talked about making lineup changes during the week. “Moving forward this week and beyond, we can't continue to do what we've been doing and assume that that pattern of behavior is going to change and those outcomes are going to change. So we're analyzing all aspects of what we're doing here, specifically this week, and are going to be aggressive in terms of looking at potential changes in not only what we do schematically, but who we have do it in all three phases.” The focus of the changes were to be at defensive back, specifically giving rookies Joe Burnett or Keenan Lewis a chance to play ahead of William Gay or Ike Taylor. "I think that's appropriate that we look at giving guys some opportunities to see if they can play. What that means or to what extent that means changes will be made I think is a little premature, but I acknowledge that that's taken place…At this time I think appropriate action is looking at doing some things differently and potentially with different combinations of people." No major changes were made.

    This is not the first time that Tomlin did not follow through. Going back to when he was hired, Tomlin believed in the physical brand of football. “I think football is a tough-man's game, it's an attrition game…You win by stopping the run and being able to run the ball effectively—and doing the things winners do—being a detailed-oriented football team, playing with great passion and executing.” Pittsburgh has clearly become a passing team during Tomlin’s tenure. You cannot blame Tomlin for moving in this direction. He does have one of the best quarterbacks in the league who can make plays. The problem is that the Steelers lack the ability to run. This contributes to failures in the redzone and an empty backfield on 3rd-and-1.

    Facing his first adversity, Tomlin had an opportunity to make a fundamental change on offense, a change that Art Rooney II believes in. “We have to get back to being able to run the football when we need to run the football, and being able to run more consistently than we have in the past season.” Offensive line coach Larry Zeirlein was fired, but not offensive coordinator Bruce Arians. Arians is a firm believer in throwing the ball. While his offense put up the statistics this season, it was not effective at getting into the endzone or at running the ball. This was a questionable decision by Tomlin.

    There have also been many in game decisions that have left viewers puzzled. In his first season, Tomlin called for two two-point conversions in the Wild Card game against the Jaguars. The following season, Tomlin started a primetime game against the Washington Redskins with an onside kick, which the Redskins recovered. This isn’t the only bewildering onside kick. Against the Green Bay Packers this past season, Tomlin called for an onside kick while leading, citing the defense’s inability to stop the Packers offense. While no coach is perfect, and some make questionable decisions, Tomlin has repeated some of the same errors throughout the course of the game, whether it is play calling or challenging a play, and makes some interesting decisions regarding his coaching staff. With that said, Tomlin has coached the Steelers to two division titles and an overall regular season record of 31-17. He also has that one victory in the season’s biggest game over the newly extended Whisenhunt. That alone should be enough for a contract extension this offseason. However, with an extension, the pressure will be that much greater to return the Steelers to the playoffs.

  2. #2
    Hall of Famer Djfan's Avatar
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    Re: Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

    This is the Steelers. He will get the extension.

    Too early for me to say if I want him back or not. I really liked him the first two years, but last year I am not sure if I saw a lack of leadership or not. If not a leader, then good-bye.

    I like the guy and hope he works out as a great leader in the Black and Gold for years, but that's my gut speaking.
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    Re: Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

    Nothing but a pot stirring article, trying to insert others team's issues & mindset onto Steeler owners. This is the Steelers, where we've only 3 Head Coaches since 1969, where we prize continuity & consistency, where we have a long-term plan for success - this is not the Raiders or the Redskins, the results speak for themselves. This is the perfect time to extend Tomlin as he can be had a relatively low cost, especially considering he's coming off a non-playoff season.
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    Re: Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

    Yes.

    /end thread

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    Hall of Famer SteelCrazy's Avatar
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    Re: Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

    Lobbying to keep Bruce may end up choking him out.......

    I want him to stay, but hope he has been learning from his mistakes made on and off the field.

  6. #6
    Backup Chucktownsteeler's Avatar
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    Re: Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

    I am not so sure he deserves an extension yet.

    Let him coach another year and see how he rebounds from last season'e debacle.

    I, also, have questions on his leadership skills and football "knowledge" (i.e. strategery).

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    Re: Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

    I can't believe it's even being discussed as something that isn't guaranteed. He already won a Super Bowl and at the end of the season we were still fighting for a playoff spot. You can't possibly put that string of losses on Tomlin's shoulders alone even though he's already shouldering the blame. He's going to get extended because that's the "Steeler way" AND because he deserves to be extended. Pittsburgh prides itself on standing behind it's coaches. I have zero interest in becoming the next Washington Redskins or Cleveland Browns.

    Tomlin will get extended. No question. The article is stupid and nothing more than a pot stirring session because numb nuts had nothing else to write about.

  8. #8
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    Re: Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

    Quote Originally Posted by SteelCrazy
    Lobbying to keep Bruce may end up choking him out.......

    I want him to stay, but hope he has been learning from his mistakes made on and off the field.
    Yeah....

    "Unleashing Hell" will cost him but umm...

    Yeah...

  9. #9
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    Re: Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

    Not to sound like somebody's eighth grade teacher or whatever, but when I get the feeling that a writer is only using paragraph breaks to indicate when he has stopped typing long enough to take a breath, the words 'mypopic rant' come to mind. And then I stop reading.

    That said: Yes Tomlin should be extended as long as he isn't looking for megabucks. I would do something like extend him three years and see where it goes. There is some top talent on this team but it also has some open-questions (just like any team). Cowher had some up and down years but on the whole was a good coach. This season was definitely a disappointment but still 9-7 is not bad.
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  10. #10
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    Re: Should Tomlin receive a contract extension this off-season?

    Yes, without question. He makes the playoffs the first year, wins the SB his second year, and has the team in playoff contention in week 17 his 3rd year.


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