Steelers Extend Mike Tomlin Despite Some Recent Struggles

The Pittsburgh Steelers made news today, signing Mike Tomlin to a one-year contract extension that ties the head coach to the franchise through 2021.

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Tomlin has compiled a .654 winning percentage during his 12 years in Pittsburgh, highlighted by the Steelers’ Super Bowl championship in 2008. However, despite winning double-digit games and making the playoffs in four of the last five years, things haven’t exactly been trending well for Tomlin lately.


The Steelers are just 3-6 since winning the AFC in 2010 and it’s not like they’ve run into the Patriots every year. After falling to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV, the Steelers lost to the Tim Tebow-led Broncos in 2012 and have also lost playoff games to Joe Flacco, a 39-year-old Peyton Manning, and Blake Bortles.

Perhaps even more uninspiring is the group of quarterbacks Tomlin has managed to defeat in the postseason. Only Matt MooreAJ McCarron, and Alex Smith have fallen to the Steelers in the postseason since that Super Bowl run in 2010.

Despite being a defensive-minded coach, Tomlin has struggled to contain opposing offenses in recent years. In Week 13 of last year, the Steelers defense struggled to hold on to a 23-7 halftime lead over the Los Angeles Chargers, allowing Keenan Allen to catch 14 passes for 148 yards against a linebacker in coverage. The ensuing 33-30 loss was key in the Steelers missing the playoffs by one game for the first time since 2013.

Perhaps most shocking has been Tomlin’s inability to handle his players in recent years. Despite having the reputation of a “players’ coach,” he has struggled to contain the personalities in the Steelers’ locker room, allowing Le’Veon Bell to sit out all of 2018 before leaving for the New York Jets in free agency. Meanwhile, Antonio Brown sat out Week 17 last season before requesting a trade and being shipped to the Oakland Raiders in the offseason.

The Steelers’ front office has done a great job of collecting talent during Tomlin’s tenure. In addition to having a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback, Tomlin has coached 22 different Pro Bowlers. Tomlin’s tenure has been filled with a lot of success, but it’s time to start wondering whether this deep into his career his flaws will start to overshadow everything else he brings to the table as a head coach in Pittsburgh.