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The Pittsburgh Steelers Have Made A Decision On A Legendary Coach

This one isn't sitting well with a particular corner of Steelers fans. On Monday, the Steelers decided to give Head Coach Mike Tomlin a three-year contract extension, keeping him under contract until at least 2027. 

But why does everybody hate Tomlin? I could give you one reason, but we won't get into that mess here. He's been the Steelers head coach for 17 seasons now. Sure, the playoffs haven't gone Pittsburgh's way recently, but things could be much worse. Steelers fans don't know how good they have it. 

All of the armchair general managers will tell you how Tomlin sucks, but why has every player that has ever played for him had nothing but good things to say about the experience? Kenny Pickett might disagree, but who cares? 

Steelers Picked A Good One

When the Steelers hired Tomlin in January 2007, he was a relatively unknown commodity. From 1995 to 2000, he bounced around at various college jobs before coming to the NFL to be a defensive backs coach for the Buccaneers and one season as the Minnesota Vikings' defensive coordinator. It was a head-scratcher to some then, but it's been a pretty good 17 years. 

At the time of his hiring, Tomlin was only the tenth African-American head coach in NFL history and the first in Steelers history. He now has the most wins among African-American head coaches in NFL history. He's the 16th head coach in Steelers history, but he pulled his chair up to the adult table with Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher when he brought a Lombardi Trophy back to the city of Pittsburgh. 

Tomlin's first season in Pittsburgh saw the Steelers have the number one defense in the NFL and capture the AFC North, leading the Steelers to a 10-6 record. He's gone on to hit double-digit wins ten times and counting. Pittsburgh has won the AFC North seven times since Tomlin's hiring and has finished in second place five times. 

When Tomlin led the Steelers to his first and only Super Bowl, he was only 36 years old, the youngest coach ever to win a championship. The guy he surpassed? His old boss, Jon Gruden, won the Super Bowl at 39 with the Buccaneers, a team Tomlin was the defensive backs coach for. Since then, Sean McVay has become the youngest head coach to hoist the trophy, beating Tomlin by 303 days when his Rams won Super Bowl LVI. 

Cool Throne

Mike Tomlin is yet to be on the hot seat in Pittsburgh. Fans have started to get restless, though, especially with all the Steelers' failures in the playoffs as of late. A string of unfortunate games that all seem to have started with that Steelers vs. Jaguars game way back when: the Cleveland one, both Kansas City losses, and even the loss to Buffalo last season. 

Is there a reason for concern? Sure. Fans always want their teams to win. But take a second to consider those games. In the 2018 loss to Jacksonville, the Jaguars dinked and dunked a Ryan Shazier-less Steelers team all day. The two Chiefs games? It's Mahomes, man. The Buffalo one was bad but expected, and the loss to the Browns in the COVID season was pretty terrible. 

The truth is, the standard is higher in Pittsburgh. The city prides itself almost entirely on the Steelers. So they'll let you hear about it when things aren't going well. The fans want success, and they haven't seen much of it in the past ten years.  

Tomlin holds the record for most winning seasons to start a coaching career, clinching his 17th winning season last year. That's a pretty wild statistic, considering the Steelers' roster for the past few seasons. At the end of the day, though, regular season wins are not the goal. The standard in Pittsburgh means rings. Everybody wants the Steelers to return to the big game, and nobody wants that more than Mike Tomlin himself. 

Read More NFL News From Stadium Rant Here: NFL News


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