In the NFL, as well as most other sports, having a strong coach is key to moving forward and winning. The Pittsburgh Steelers have head coach Mike Tomlin, a man who can live with or without praise. However, it is about time some people get off the fence and give the man the credit he deserves. Let’s look at the reasons why Mike Tomlin is one of the NFL’s best.
Third in a Rare Line
Unlike a lot of football teams, the Steelers have only had three coaches in decades of play following a winning formula of choosing the right man for the job and keeping faith in him. Of course, not every year is going to produce a SuperBowl. However, when you have a coach that can consistently have winning seasons and make the playoffs, you stay with him.
Many fans were nervous after having two great coaches Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher. Would this new guy come to town be able to fit into a tightknit group? Was he going to try to reinvent the wheel? The answer, of course, was, he absolutely was what the Steelers are made of, and instead of reinventing the wheel. He took what was right and kept it right and made it stronger.
Learning from Mistakes
Sure, Mike Tomlin is far from perfect, he has gotten angry when he shouldn’t. He had rough patches to get over. We all remember the foot on the field incident against the Baltimore Ravens. Of which the Steelers rightly lost that game, and he admitted the error. Over the past few years, he has taken what he has learned. Combined it with his maturity in his position as head coach and led by example.
The latest case in point being the aftermath of the fight during the first encounter between the Cleveland Browns and the Steelers this year. After all, it was said and done. It was all everyone in the media. It was talking about for days. However, in the post-game interview, when reporters asked him about the incident, he staunchly refused to talk about it. Even when prodded multiple times, he said straight out.
He had plenty of thoughts on the incident, but he wasn’t going to discuss them. He was making sure that he did nothing to elevate the problem. While on the other side of the coin, Browns head coach not only talked about it multiple times. He also went out with his family wearing a t-shirt that said, ‘Pittsburgh started it.’ Clearly referring to the fight on the field. Instead of Mike Tomlin keeping it going in the press. He made sure his team was focused and ready, and the Steelers may not have started it, but they certainly finished it with another win on the field.
No Matter What Keep Going Forward
Let’s keep in mind what Mike Tomlin and the Steelers have overcome so far this season. Two of their biggest stars had breakdowns and left the team. They lost their general of a quarterback in the second game of the season. They lost their wide receiver coach who died suddenly. There have been multiple minor injuries keeping key players out for at least a game or two. They are using a fourth-string QB.
Yet through all of this, somehow, through 13 weeks, the Steelers are 7-5 and have a chance at the playoffs. This doesn’t and would not happen without a man who can walk onto the practice field or the locker room and get these talented veterans and young players on the same page.
Do they play perfectly? Of course not, but the major difference of the Steelers and their coaching is. When they do make mistakes, they are excellent at not only correcting them and moving on but being able to do it during the game. They made a mistake. Not letting themselves dwell on it and therefore lose an entire game because of one or two bad plays.
Long story short, no matter what you feel about the Steelers organization. When it comes to their head coaches, they are smart, and they stick with what works. While naysayers will complain as soon as they lose even one game and start calling for Tomlin to be let go. The smart fans and the Steelers organization understand. Hold the reins and keep spurring ahead.
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