Is Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin On the Hot Seat?
by Brendan Driscoll
After two straight 8-8 seasons the Steelers are on the verge of making a type of history you’d rather not be remembered for. The Steelers haven’t had three consecutive non-winning seasons since 1969-71, Chuck Noll’s first three years as coach. If the team can’t produce a winning season in 2014 the questions about Mike Tomlin‘s job security are sure to arise. The last time the Steelers missed the playoffs three consecutive years was under Bill Cowher between 1998-2000. 14 years ago I’m sure the media and fans began to call of Cowher’s head but the Steelers never made the move to replace Cowher and guess what happened. They went 13-3 the next year and played in the AFC Championship. If Tomlin fails to reach the playoffs this year, will people begin to beg for the Rooney’s to make a move? Seven years into his head coaching career, Tomlin has the exact same record Cowher had after his first seven seasons, 71-41. Cowher however only missed the playoffs one time in his first seven seasons, compared to Tomlin who has missed the playoffs three times. The 42-year-old Tomlin is still one of the youngest coaches in the NFL and according to some of his quotes in a tribune article he has no plans to leave the Steel City or a timetable of when he wants to stop coaching.
Personally, I don’t think there is any way Tomlin gets fired after the upcoming season unless they go 1-15. The Steelers don’t fire coaches. We all know since 1969 they have only had three guys be the head coach. Noll and Cowher were great coaches but it seems like Tomlin’s reputation is still on the line despite being a Super Bowl winning coach. You could argue that the team he took to the title in 2008 was still Bill Cowher’s team but the facts are that Tomlin got the job done against Arizona Cardinals. He also got back to the Super Bowl in 2010, matching Cowher’s total number of Super Bowl appearances. Sure missing the playoffs the past two year has stunk but all the blame should not be put on the head coach. You could point to a number of things that went wrong to produce a 16-16 record.
The Steelers have never been a public opinion run team. The front office has never been reactionary when it comes the media hounding them for action. The Rooney’s most likely believe in Mike Tomlin and have never even brought up the possibility of firing him. If the Rooney’s think Tomlin is the right guy for the job, who am I to argue otherwise?