Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has his share of champions—and detractors. The former point to his career coaching record (133-74-1), the fact that he’s taken the Steelers to two Super Bowls (with one Super Bowl title), and that he hasn’t had a losing season in 13 years as head coach.
The latter insist that his teams have frequently underachieved in light of their talent level, that he has trouble with clock management, and that he should have more postseason wins, especially considering that surefire Hall of Famer Ben Roethlisberger has been the starting quarterback for all of his tenure.
Today it’s clear with whom Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio stands. Yesterday on PFT Live, Florio and broadcast partner Chris Simms teamed up to draft the ‘most disrespected figures’ in the NFL, and Florio selected Mike Tomlin No. 1.
Mike Tomlin the ‘Most Disrespected Figure’ in the NFL?
Florio prefaced his comments by relating his definition of being disrespected; that is, one who is constantly the subject of criticism that is unwarranted.
Florio said Tomlin is “one of the finest coaches in all of football, one of the better coaches in the history of football.”
He then added: “We talked about this recently, when guys leave the Steelers—guys who by all appearances hadn’t been a problem, they go somewhere else and they are a problem. Why didn’t we know about this?
“We didn’t know about it because Mike Tomlin is able to get his guys—whoever they are, whatever their issues, whatever their problems, whatever their personalities—he gets them all on the same page, he gets the most out of them, he makes chicken salad out of chicken you-know-what. Especially last year.
“If they made it to the playoffs last year he would have been the PFT Coach of the Year,” asserted Florio.
It’s true that the coaching job Tomlin did last year gives credence to the idea that he deserves more respect—that he shouldn’t be disrespected—and that he can succeed without Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback.
“I think if he had done what he’s done with any team other than the Steelers, where we’ve come to expect over the last 15 years that this is going to be a good team, we’d appreciate it more,” Florio added, before concluding:
“What makes it affirmative disrespect is that if you talk to anybody in Pittsburgh, if you talk to a Steelers fan, they lose two games in a row: ‘Fire Mike Tomlin.’ They fall out of the playoffs: ‘Fire Mike Tomlin.’ Just wait, just wait. If they ever fire Mike Tomlin, wait and see what he does somewhere else, and wait and see what his replacement does in Pittsburgh.”
As to that last point, I’m not sure Tomlin’s eventual replacement in Pittsburgh will do less, at least not with a general manager of the caliber of Kevin Colbert. But it’s probably a moot point, as Tomlin’s job seems secure for the forseeable future.
Other ‘Most Disrespected Figures’ in the NFL
In case you’re wondering, in addition to Tomlin there were five other players and coaches selected in the Florio-Simms draft, with Florio highlighting Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and New York Jets head coach Adam Gase. For his part, Simms chose Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott, Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen, and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy.
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