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Thread: Now that Cowher’s in, what of Tomlin?

  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Championship games is the only stat that jumps out in Cowhers favor. Everything else is almost dead even when you factor in 2 less years.
    Tomlin’s coming back so what can you do?

  2. #12
    Hall of Famer

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    Tomlin will only pad his record. He’s not going anywhere. When he does make the HOF I think it will be pretty awesome the Steelers will have only had 3 coaches in like 70 years and all 3 are in the hall.

  3. #13

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  4. #14
    Pro Bowler

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    Glad for Cowher. Didn't expect it but good for him. Guy gave it all he had. He did a lot without a top qb until 7 came along. MT like mentioned already , that book is still being written and I would say he likely gets in as well but we'll see.

  5. #15

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    Why Bill Cowher calls this Mike Tomlin’s best coaching job for the Steelers

    KEVIN GORMAN | Thursday, January 16, 2020

    As Bill Cowher reminisced about winning Super Bowl XL, he recalled how he was corrected after calling his Pittsburgh Steelers underdogs before playing the Seattle Seahawks.

    “Someone said, ‘I think you guys are favored,’ ” Cowher said of the four-point odds. “I said, ‘Nope, we’re underdogs. I’m not going to let the facts stand in the way of this narrative.’ ”

    Now that Cowher has been chosen for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the Centennial Slate, he doesn’t want this narrative to stand in the way of the facts: Mike Tomlin won a Super Bowl only because of Cowher’s players.

    That’s a slight Tomlin has endured since winning Super Bowl XLIII in his second season after succeeding Cowher, one that Tomlin’s detractors are quick to point out when comparing the Steelers coaches. I asked Cowher if he took such talk as a compliment or viewed it as an insult to Tomlin.

    “You know what? I don’t take it as anything,” Cowher said. “People are going to compare everything you do. Listen, I’m going to get critics who are going to tell me I shouldn’t be in the Hall of Fame. It just goes with the profession. It really does. People are going to say whatever they want to say to validate however they feel. And it’s OK. I get it. Your resume says what it is. That speaks for itself. You don’t have to do that. …

    “I’m not offended by it. I don’t think Mike should be offended by it. I don’t feel any better about anything. I was there for 15 years. I’m proud of what we were able to do, and I’m excited for Mike and the championship he’s got.”

    That Tomlin’s resume is comparable to Cowher’s has created a new narrative: If Cowher is a Hall of Famer, then Tomlin someday should receive a gold jacket and have a bust in Canton, too.

    In 15 seasons, Cowher was 149-90-1 (.623 winning percentage) in the regular season, winning eight division titles and reaching six AFC championship games and two Super Bowls, winning one and losing one. He had a 12-9 postseason record, with four wins on the way to Super Bowl XL in his penultimate season.

    In 13 seasons, Tomlin is 133-74-1 (.642) in the regular season, winning six division titles and reaching three AFC championship games and two Super Bowls, winning one and losing one. He has an 8-7 postseason record — the same number of playoff wins Cowher had in his first 13 seasons.

    If Tomlin goes 8-8 each of the next two seasons, their regular-season records would be identical. Then again, Tomlin might not survive a third consecutive season of not making the playoffs the way Cowher did two decades ago.

    The faith late chairman Dan Rooney showed after the Steelers went 7-9 in 1998, 6-10 in ’99 and missed the playoffs with a 9-7 record in 2000 has not been forgotten by Cowher.

    The Steelers recovered from an 0-3 start, went on a five-game winning streak after a change in starting quarterbacks (from Kent Graham to Kordell Stewart) and endured three consecutive losses before winning four of their last five.

    Sound familiar? The Steelers started 0-3 this season, went on a four-game winning streak after a change in starting quarterbacks (juggling Mason Rudolph and Devlin Hodges). Difference is, they followed a three-game win streak by losing their final three. The test Tomlin faced resonated with Cowher.

    “I made the statement that this might be one of his best coaching years, yet he didn’t make the playoffs,” Cowher said. “I think 2000 for me was that same kind of year. We didn’t make the playoffs coming off of two losing seasons. That was a huge, huge year. The Rooneys had just committed themselves. They said, ‘We’re sticking with you.’

    “To turn that thing around … I thought it was actually, truthfully, one of my best coaching jobs. I know it didn’t result in a playoff win, let alone the playoffs. When I talk about Mike, I think about, what was my moment? That was it for me. … If you asked the best coaching job I ever did, I’d say it was 2000.”

    Which brings us to another narrative: Where Tomlin has had the benefit of coaching a franchise quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger, Cowher never did until Big Ben arrived near the end of his tenure. Cowher reached the AFC championship game with three different quarterbacks, twice each with Neil O’Donnell, Stewart and Roethlisberger.

    Cowher had no shortage of talent, with Hall of Famers in running back Jerome Bettis and center Dermontti Dawson and Hall finalists in right guard Alan Faneca and strong safety Troy Polamalu. Nevertheless, he noted a team’s strengths get it into the playoffs, and its weaknesses get it eliminated.

    And for all its talent, especially on defense, the Steelers’ weaknesses were glaring. That became obvious after Roethlisberger’s season-ending elbow surgery forced Tomlin to try to win without his most important player.

    “Mike’s a very good football coach. This is one of his better jobs. He’ll never admit that, but I think it is,” Cowher said. “He’s won a championship. He’s had tremendous success there on a regular basis. His record speaks for itself.

    “What you saw this year was him being able to take a team and be resourceful enough to change the identity from offense to defense and find a way each week to do just enough to win. To take that team, with all the injuries that they had, to be in the fight until Week 17, speaks volumes about him as a coach. Those guys believed in him. Those guys would go through a brick wall for him. That’s what you ask for when you have a head coach: Do players believe in him? Is he a leader of men? I don’t think there’s any question that Mike Tomlin is a leader of men.”

    It takes one to know one, and Tomlin doesn’t need a narrative to give credence to his credentials. His resume speaks for itself, but it doesn’t hurt to have a Hall of Famer speak up for him.


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