This past week, ESPN’s AFC North reporters compiled an All-Decade Team for the division, and Pittsburgh Steelers’ players took up approximately half of the slots on the roster. Moreover, Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin received ‘honorable mention’ as AFC North ‘Coach of the Decade,’ with John Harbaugh earning that distinction, as Harbaugh is “the only coach in the AFC North to win a Super Bowl during the 2010s [and] the only coach in this division to earn a No. 1 seed during that span.”
AFC North All-Decade Offense
For openers, the Pittsburgh Steelers took up six of the eleven spots on offense, headlined by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and wide receiver Antonio Brown, with Brown also named the team’s PR/KR, as well as Pittsburgh Steelers’ Player of the Decade.
Also selected for the offense were: running back Le’Veon Bell, tight end Heath Miller, guard David DeCastro and center Maurkice Pouncey, the latter of whom recently bristled about being described as the quintessentially average NFL center, hence his inclusion on Pro Football Focus’ All-Average Team.
The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals placed two players each on the offense, with the Browns bringing up the proverbial rear, now-retired left tackle Joe Thomas being the lone representative from Cleveland.
AFC North All-Decade Defense
On the other side of the ball, the Steelers have five players on the AFC North All-Decade Team, though two of those individuals have also played for other teams in the division, namely outside linebacker James Harrison—who played for the Bengals, albeit briefly—and cornerback Joe Haden, who came to Pittsburgh after the Browns released him in the summer of 2017.
The other three included Steelers are defensive end Cameron Heyward—recently named one of the 50 best players in the NFL entering 2020—inside linebacker Lawrence Timmons, and safety Troy Polamalu, the latter scheduled to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this year, earning the honor in his first year of eligibility.
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As for head coach Mike Tomlin, ESPN reminds us that Tomlin has never had a losing season in 13 years coaching the Steelers, and he has compiled a record of 102-57-1 during the past decade. But Tomlin gets dinged for a lack of postseason success, especially in recent years, as the Steelers haven’t won a playoff game since 2016.
On the other hand, he does get credit for turning in “admirable coaching jobs even in subpar seasons—at least by Steelers standards—steering the team through the drama of 2018 and playing without Roethlisberger for most of 2019.”
Finally, in other news, the aforementioned Antonio Brown is hoping to sign with a new NFL team for 2020. After pleading no contest in a Florida case back on June 12, his attorney said that Brown is looking forward to resuming his NFL career. In recent months, Brown has been connected to a variety of potential suitors, including the Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks.