Mike Tomlin Came ‘Very Very Close’ to Leaving Steelers: NFL Reporter

Mike Tomlin

Getty Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

Many Pittsburgh Steelers fans have been vocal about wanting head coach Mike Tomlin ousted. The lack of playoff appearances and decisions he’s made — or hasn’t made in the case of offensive coordinator Matt Canada — have been his undoing.

Those fans’ wish nearly came true a few years ago, according to one NFL reporter.

It all started with a November 15 tweet by CBS Sports’ NFL insider Josina Anderson: “This Jan. will be interesting in the NFL coaching carousel cycle. There’s talk behind-the-scenes as to whether any one of 3 of the NFL’s longest tenured head coaches will step down after this season or next as these lists get compiled in preparation for vacancies. We’ll see.”

It sounds like pure speculation, but it certainly got the people talking about whether Mike Tomlin, one of the longest-tenured head coaches, could be the one to step down.

That’s when 93.7 The Fan’s Andrew Fillipponi — Pittsburgh’s king of posting tweets desperate for reaction — posed the question:

NFL on CBS’ Aditi Kinkhabwala chimed in with a statement that appeared to be more than speculation: Tomlin nearly left the Steelers for a television gig.

“He was very very close to moving to TV a few years ago,” Kinkhabwala tweeted. “Close enough to have talks w/ networks. That was a few years ago. He’s not going now.”

Tomlin would’ve followed (again) in the footsteps of previous Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, as well as a number of coaches-turned-analysts like Sean Payton, Jason Garrett and Tony Dungy.

If Tomlin were to leave the Pittsburgh Steelers on his own accord, he missed the most obvious exit window with the retirement of his franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. And it’s evident president Art Rooney II will never fire Tomlin.

Now, with Kenny Pickett, a quarterback he pined over and ultimately hand-picked, in the mix, Tomlin’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

Mike Tomlin Has Never Had a Losing Season

Pittsburgh Steelers fans are growing tired of the “Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season” rhetoric as to why he’s deserving of keeping the head coach title.

The 2022 season is the fourth real threat in five years to that honor. Pittsburgh had that flukey 2020 run but finished 9-6, 8-8 and 9-7 otherwise since 2018.

The third-longest tenured head coach has won at least eight games in his 15 seasons, compiling an impressive 154-85-2 record.

But his playoff record tells a different story.

The Steelers have lost all seven playoff appearances since their Super Bowl 45 loss to the Green Bay Packers. The only season Tomlin’s team lasted more than one playoff game was in 2016.


Should Tomlin finish with his first losing record (and the Steelers’ first in 16 seasons), the argument from Mike Tomlin supporters will be the transition from Ben Roethlisberger to Kenny Pickett. And they wouldn’t be wrong. There are a lot of changes going on with Pittsburgh, and it’s still searching for its identity, especially on offense.