There’s not much negative one can say about the legacy of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mike Tomlin with the franchise, and going into Week 18 he has the opportunity to extend his NFL record of going 15 consecutive years without a losing season from the start of his head coaching career.
Also, with this opportunity for Tomlin, his Steelers stand a real chance at making the playoffs.
What makes this historical run for Tomlin even better? The fact that after the first half of Pittsburgh’s season they found themselves with a pitiful record of 2-6 and were on the path to a nice shiny top 10 draft pick. But Tomlin had other plans, and like he has done many times in the past, he’s lifted this Steelers team from midseason disappointments to playoff contenders.
Will Pittsburgh Steelers Make The NFL Playoffs?
Since being 2-6, the Steelers have gone 6-2 and are now 8-8 with a chance to capture another winning season and clinch the 7th seed wild card spot with a win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Next Week Mike Tomlin will either have his first losing season or pull off his GREATEST REGULAR SEASON COACHING JOB of his career with the @steelers 2-6 to 8-8 with all the challenges this year has already been IMPRESSIVE.
— Robert Griffin III (@RGIII) January 2, 2023
This comes on the heels of their win over the Lamar Jackson-less divisional rival Baltimore Ravens. While that win by Pittsburgh could’ve gone either way with it coming down to the last minute, it was another signature win that captures Tomlin’s full coaching prowess.
There has to be a conversation about Tomlin not only as the greatest black coach of all time but as one of the best developmental coaches as well. He and his coaching staff not only know how to pick studs out of the draft, but they can clearly develop them into pro-bowl-caliber talents as well.
Rookie Kenny Pickett, whom the Steelers drafted 20th overall, threw the game-winning touchdown pass to beat the Ravens on Sunday.
Many people criticized Tomlin for bringing the rookie quarterback along slowly by choosing to start the season with veteran Mitch Trubisky at the helm. Sixteen games later, Tomlin seems to have handled the rookie correctly, as he’s shown improvement each week and endured some rough moments.
Tomlin had nothing but high praise for his younger QB after the team’s most recent win.
“Can’t say enough about our young QB,” Tomlin told reporters after the Sunday night game in Baltimore. “He smiles in the face of it. He’s always ready to be that guy in the moments that we need him to be that guy. And it’s just good to see the young guy.”
Is Kenny Pickett Another Draft Gem For Steelers?
While Pickett hasn’t had the ideal start to his career with six touchdowns to nine interceptions, he’s slowly finding his footing in this Pittsburgh offense and proving he can become their signal caller long-term.
Besides Pickett, Tomlin and the Steelers have a history of drafting studs every year and developing them into great talents. The history of their wide receivers is a great example of this. Players such as Antonio Brown, Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Chase Claypool — and their newest stud at the wideout position — George Pickens, are all great examples of how Steel City knows how to draft and develop their legendary lineage of receivers.
This is an ode to Tomlin’s coaching, the team culture he repeatedly references and doesn’t waver from and how he puts every man in a position to be most successful.
Coach Tomlin, again, is always in contention for the playoffs regardless of who’s on his roster. This means a lot when looking at his career in a nutshell.
Is Mike Tomlin Best NFL Head Coach?
Three years ago, TSL had Tomlin ranked as the second greatest Black head coach of all time behind legendary Tony Dungy. But if Tomlin secures another winning season, we might have to reopen the discussion and elevate Money Mike to the top of the list. His consistency is unprecedented.
He’s 16th all-time in coaching wins, per Pro Football Reference, and is one of only six active coaches to have 100+ wins in their career.
You couldn’t ask for a better example of Black excellence in a leadership role in football.