Mike Tomlin’s done nothing but win in his 15 seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In fact, he’s never had a losing season. For some reason it seems as if someone is always trying to usher the Super Bowl-winning head coach out of the door.
Few coaches in the history of the sport can match Tomlin’s leadership, consistency and success rate (154-87-1). He’s won more than 63 percent of his games for one of the flagship franchises in the NFL.
That’s what makes the rumor that Tomlin may be considering a college coaching job beyond laughable. It smells like an underhanded media plant by someone who doesn’t want to see Tomlin make it to his 16th NFL season.
If people had any funny ideas about Tomlin leaving the top of the mountain for a college rebuild job, the coach bluntly and emphatically put that rumor to bed on Tuesday and seemed very irritated that he had to actually address such noises in the middle of a 3-3 season, where he’s coaching his ass off trying to figure out how to make it work with a dinosaur at QB, injuries and a lack of overall talent.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin swiftly rejects any speculation he’d be a candidate for the USC job. “Never say next, but never.” pic.twitter.com/EiP1spB4jc
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) October 26, 2021
“Hey guys I don’t have time for that speculation,” Tomlin said at a press conference on Tuesday as the Steelers prepare for a critical game against AFC North-rival Cleveland Browns on Sunday. “That’s a joke to me. I have one of the best jobs in all of professional sports. Why would I have any interest in coaching college football? That’ll be the last time that I address it and not only today, but moving forward. Never say never, but never…okay? Anybody else has any questions about any college jobs, there’s not a booster with a big enough Blank check.”
Tomlin has been dealing with nonsense like this for years, despite the fact that he’s a great coach. He said a lot in that soundbite when he asked if the reporters ever bother Sean Payton or Andy Reid — elite white NFL coaches — with these kinds of questions.
“Thank You,” Tomlin concluded.”Anybody asking Sean Payton about that..anybody asking Andy Reid about stuff like that?”
Carson Palmer, a former USC Heisman quarterback, started the speculation on Dan Patrick’s radio show. Maybe that was Palmer’s way of trying to contribute to the coaching search that has not been kind to his former alma mater, a once proud football powerhouse that has lost much of its luster. As an indirect way to gauge Tomlin’s interest int he job.
As far as the media supporting such a tall tale, the underlying racism is sharp and it’s been obvious for a long time. It’s a prevailing feeling among Black sports fans that the only reason some folks have a problem with Tomlin being in a position of leadership this long is because of his color. He is an anomaly.
A Black coach who holds one of the coveted jobs in the league with a vice grip. It’s hard for someone to come up with a reason to fire you when you never produce losing seasons, but in Tomlin’s case the yearly cries for his dismissal are perplexing and uncomfortable.
Just Relax & Enjoy The Roses
Haters have attempted to harp on his recent run of unsuccessful playoff performances, but the football world knows that Tomlin has actually overachieved with the team he’s had the past few seasons. His once reliable quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is showing wear and tear and delivering underwhelming performances, especially for a guy who will be in the Hall of Fame one day.
Once you’ve coached the Pittsburgh Steelers and done it as well as anyone else could, taking a college job would be hustling backwards. Why would a coach as accomplished as Tomlin ever want to demote himself and step into the college ranks.
That’s usually what pro coaches do when they have bombed and want to rebuilt their reputations and coaching resumes for another shot at a pro job. Tomlin’s never even been a college coach. He came into the game coaching pro defenses and then became one fo the younegst head coaches in history, leading men to Super Bowls.
The rumor is offensive. Comical at best. Racially motivated at worst. We’ve been having these Tomlin debates every season.
"I think [Mike Tomlin] is underrated as a football coach. He's an elite football coach." — @RealSkipBayless
RT if you agree with Skip pic.twitter.com/REKRkfbgw6
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) January 18, 2017
Tomlin deserves way more respect from the media and everyone else. To ask that man about a college job in Week 7 of a 17-game NFL season is the height of disrespect and Tomlin gave the media more of an answer than it actually deserved in this instance.
Tomlin leaving Pittsburgh to coach a college program that hasn’t done a thing in over a decade? Yeah … OK