HomeFootball DirtLegendary coach deserving praise amid uncertain future

Legendary coach deserving praise amid uncertain future

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Mike Tomlin is still in the prime of his coaching career. Even though he has been coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers for close to two decades, Tomlin is only 51 years old due to starting in his 30s. This means he could potentially continue coaching the Steelers for another 17 seasons before retiring as a legend with a bronze bust in Canton, Ohio. He is an untouchable figure, the kind of legendary coach that most NFL franchises can only dream of having on their sidelines.

However, after the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 31-17 Wild Card defeat at the hands of the Buffalo Bills, Tomlin’s coaching future seems uncertain. It may be entirely up to him.

We knew Tomlin would consider his NFL future when the Steelers’ season ended. Despite his relatively young age as a head coach, we acknowledged the personal sacrifices he has made for the organization, his assistant coaches, and his players year after year. While nothing is certain, the possibility of Tomlin stepping down for a season or longer and the Steelers beginning the process of finding a replacement seems more realistic than ever.

This is mainly because Tomlin has nothing left to prove. His ability to guide the Steelers to the playoffs with subpar quarterback play has become his greatest accomplishment. There are no more mountains for this legendary coach to climb. He has demonstrated his coaching mastery by leading the Steelers to postseason berths with unconventional tactics. It’s no wonder why young tackle Broderick Jones holds his head coach in such high regard.

Given the current landscape of the AFC with numerous elite quarterbacks, Tomlin may also be considering the bigger picture. Without significant changes, the Steelers may not be able to compete for a championship anytime soon. They have a definitive ceiling, and Tomlin may not want to commit to another year of leading an underperforming team.

If this is the end of Tomlin’s coaching career in Pittsburgh, he should be celebrated in Western Pennsylvania. His coaching record, which includes numerous playoff berths, division titles, AFC championships, and a Super Bowl win, is extraordinary. If this is indeed the end for Tomlin, he has earned the right to retire on his own terms, with his legacy intact.

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