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View Full Version : Steelers coach Mike Tomlin deserves to be on a higher pay tier.


mesaSteeler
06-19-2012, 08:34 AM
Priority for Steelers should be to extend Tomlin's contract
June 19, 2012 12:08 am
Bob Donaldson/Post-Gazette

There has been much angst about Mike Wallace's future with the Steelers. Will he sign his one-year tender for $2,742,000 and report to training camp next month? Will he hold out and continue to try to negotiate a long-term contract? Will he be a disgruntled, disruptive player all season if he ends up having to sign the tender?

All are fair questions.

The angst is legitimate, although the belief here is that Wallace will report to Latrobe on time. He has no other option. He also will have a great season, either because of his peace of mind with a new multi-year contract or because he is smart enough to realize he has to have a great season to get the big money next year as an unrestricted free agent.

But Wallace isn't the most significant man the Steelers need to re-sign this summer.

That would be coach Mike Tomlin.

Keeping Tomlin for the long haul is much more important to the team's future.

According to Steelers.com, Tomlin is signed through this season with a club option for 2013. Traditionally, this is the time when the team does a new deal with the coach. It seems likely there will be an announcement -- quietly, of course, with no fanfare -- of an extension for Tomlin before camp. But if it doesn't happen before the start of the season in September, it will be reason for great concern. Bill Cowher led the Steelers to a win in Super Bowl XL after the 2005 season but didn't get an extension that offseason when he had two years left on his contract. After coaching the team in '06, he was gone.

What a shame it would be if Tomlin left.

The Steelers and Tomlin belong together. The Rooneys love continuity with their coach. That's why they stuck with Cowher for 15 seasons and Chuck Noll for 23 seasons, even through hard times. Tomlin has done a fabulous job for the franchise in his first five seasons, leading the team to two Super Bowls, including a win in Super Bowl XLIII. Yes, the Steelers were Tebowed by the Denver Broncos as heavy favorites in the first round of the playoffs last season, but that sort of thing happens to the best of teams and coaches occasionally. Tomlin still deserves an extension with a big pay raise, based on his body of work. But it's a two-way street. Tomlin has to realize he's working for the best, most stable, most understanding owners in sports. He should want to do a new deal and stay here for a long time. Here's hoping that's exactly what happens.

There's just one thing that could end this happy marriage ...

No, not Todd Haley.

The way the Steelers handled their change of offensive coordinators this offseason was filled with intrigue. Bruce Arians was forced out by president Art Rooney II against Tomlin's wishes. Tomlin said it was his decision to hire Haley for the job. There's no reason not to believe him. By all accounts, Haley has worked hard to earn the trust of Tomlin, the other coaches and the players. Everyone seems excited about the new offense's potential. Even Ben Roethlisberger has gone days without complaining about its complexities.

Tomlin couldn't have liked the way Rooney stepped in to ditch Arians, but you know what they say about the boss. He's the boss for a reason. You have to live with that fact, no matter how much you might hate it at times. Certainly, in this case, it's not a reason for Tomlin to give up what many consider to be the best coaching job in sports.

Now money?

That might be a different story.

The top NFL coaches are making a fortune these days. New England's Bill Belichick heads the list at $7.5 million per season, according to the May issue of Forbes Magazine. That's as it should be. Belichick has led the Patriots to wins in three Super Bowls and losses in two others.

The New York Giants' Tom Coughlin approached Belichick money when he signed a new three-year contract earlier this month. That, too, is deserved. The Giants won Super Bowl XLVI in February, their second championship under Coughlin.

Tomlin, who is making $5.75 million a year, according to Forbes Magazine, deserves to be on the next tier of coaches. Mike Shanahan of the Washington Redskins, Jeff Fisher of the St. Louis Rams and Pete Carroll of the Seattle Seahawks each make $7 million per year, the magazine reported. Shouldn't Tomlin be allowed in that very exclusive neighborhood? He's that good at what he does.

It will be interesting to see if the Rooneys pay that much for a coach. It's believed they didn't meet Cowher's price after that 2005 Super Bowl season, even though his exit was said to be for family reasons. He still might be coaching here if the team had stepped up to pay him.

As for Tomlin?

Letting him get away simply can't be an option.
Ron Cook: rcook@post-gazette.com. Ron Cook can be heard on the "Vinnie and Cook" show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on 93.7 The Fan.
First Published June 19, 2012 12:00 am

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/ron-cook/priority-for-steelers-should-be-to-extend-tomlins-contract-640956/#ixzz1yF3vFx4i

hwalker84
06-19-2012, 09:21 AM
The Steelers will pay him. Tomlin will be our coach for years to come.

madtowndrunkard
06-19-2012, 10:41 AM
Every coach listed there has a LONG career proving they can coach. All of them have shown the ability to win no matter what the personnel is. All of them have shown the ability to rebuild a team.

Not everything is black and white....or even black and gold


So far Tomlin has shown he can take a SB caliber team and produce an amazing amount of inconsistency. From winning a SB to losing the friggen Broncos in last years wildcard game....and even missing the playoffs once. Lets also not forget Tomlin's coaching staff... a staff that was built by the Steelers FO and Bill Cowher. This team was not built by Tomlin. He didn't build the personnel, he didn't install an offense or defense. He is seen as a manager of a top notch organization built to win a SB. The only way I see Tomlin winning any respect as an elite coach is he will have to win after Dick Lebeau leaves and maybe even Ben's departure. If he can rebuild this team and win a SB then he will get the respect Cowher got and even those other coaches mentioned in this article. Tomlin is not considered the leader of this organization or even the team by many people. It's strange but understandable given the situation.

2007 - didn't win a single playoff game

2008 - won the SB by beating the Cardinals

2009 - missed the playoffs

2010 - made it to the SB and lost to the packers

2011 - did not win a single playoff game


If this was the record of a coach who took over a bad team...he'd be looked at as a hero and probably would be one of the highest paid coaches in the game. Instead this makes Tomlin a good coach because he did what many expected from this team...some may have expected more? I personally do think you have to look at each season on it's own merits. I think Tomlin was exceptionally bad at times and exceptionally good at times. Last year IMO was one of the biggest failures by a steeler team in a long time. But beating the Cards in 2008 was great.... losing to the packers in 2010 was heart breaking but given the injuries I think we actually did a good job and that might be Tomlin's best job as a coach.

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-19-2012, 10:50 AM
Ron Cook writing an article that is purely speculative and likely to raise the ire of Steelers fans so they buy some papers?? Shocking.

This guy should get a blog.

ricardisimo
06-19-2012, 06:06 PM
I thought Tomlin already signed a new contract earlier this year. Did I imagine that? Man, I've got to stop sniffing glue. :dizzy:

As far as Tomlin's inconsistency, I don't know what to tell you. He wins football games and makes memorable seasons for us fans. Everything else - like appearing in two Super Bowls - is gravy. If you're not having fun watching his team, you should pick another team, because he ain't going anywhere for a while.

And yeah, Ron Cook is worthless.

Hawaii 5-0
06-19-2012, 06:17 PM
I thought Tomlin already signed a new contract earlier this year. Did I imagine that? Man, I've got to stop sniffing glue. :dizzy:



http://images.cheezburger.com/completestore/2010/4/16/129159146086577935.jpg

steelerchad
06-19-2012, 06:24 PM
Every coach listed there has a LONG career proving they can coach. All of them have shown the ability to win no matter what the personnel is. All of them have shown the ability to rebuild a team.

Not everything is black and white....or even black and gold


So far Tomlin has shown he can take a SB caliber team and produce an amazing amount of inconsistency. From winning a SB to losing the friggen Broncos in last years wildcard game....and even missing the playoffs once. Lets also not forget Tomlin's coaching staff... a staff that was built by the Steelers FO and Bill Cowher. This team was not built by Tomlin. He didn't build the personnel, he didn't install an offense or defense. He is seen as a manager of a top notch organization built to win a SB. The only way I see Tomlin winning any respect as an elite coach is he will have to win after Dick Lebeau leaves and maybe even Ben's departure. If he can rebuild this team and win a SB then he will get the respect Cowher got and even those other coaches mentioned in this article. Tomlin is not considered the leader of this organization or even the team by many people. It's strange but understandable given the situation.

2007 - didn't win a single playoff game

2008 - won the SB by beating the Cardinals

2009 - missed the playoffs

2010 - made it to the SB and lost to the packers

2011 - did not win a single playoff game


If this was the record of a coach who took over a bad team...he'd be looked at as a hero and probably would be one of the highest paid coaches in the game. Instead this makes Tomlin a good coach because he did what many expected from this team...some may have expected more? I personally do think you have to look at each season on it's own merits. I think Tomlin was exceptionally bad at times and exceptionally good at times. Last year IMO was one of the biggest failures by a steeler team in a long time. But beating the Cards in 2008 was great.... losing to the packers in 2010 was heart breaking but given the injuries I think we actually did a good job and that might be Tomlin's best job as a coach.


I think you're being a little tough on the guy. Few have managed a first 5 seasons as good as Tomlin's.
1 SB win
2 AFC titles
4 playoff seasons
0 losing or .500 seasons.

He also took over a team that was 8-8 in Cowher's last year.
As far as having a coach that has to prove himself once Lebeau or Ben leaves, I don't know.

So Tomlin's got Ben who's been a top 4-7 QB for most of his career. Show me a coach who's won more that doesn't have a really good QB. You could argue, Tomlin's doing better than 2 of the highest paid coaches on the list.
Belichick has Brady and Shanahan hasn't won squat since Elway and I don't think most would put Ben ahead of either of those QB's.

If Belichick is so great why did he get bounced as a heavy favorite at home 2 years in a row in the playoffs. Because in the NFL it happens. It's one game. And in the playoffs it's probably against a pretty good team.

I don't put the Broncos on Tomlin. You could argue that was more Lebeau's fault than Tomlin's. If your all world D coordinator wants to pressure a young QB into mistakes and he beats you, whose fault is that? I blame that loss more on mounting injuries anyway.

The guy is 55-25 in the regular season and 5-3 in the playoffs. That winning % rank with the greatest of all time. I don't see how he doesn't deserve to be paid equal to the likes of Jeff Fisher, Pete Carroll, or Shanahan. Hopefully he sees the value in staying with an organization that won't fire him the first time he goes 6-10 and hopefully the Steelers see that he is a pretty good fit for them and that the coaching consistency factor has worked pretty well over the last 40 years. Get a deal done around $6-7M and everybody should be happy.

Hawaii 5-0
06-19-2012, 06:46 PM
Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin All But Assured of Extension

by Neal Coolong on Jun 19, 2012


Post Gazette columnist Ron Cook gives us a bit of Chicken Little in his recent piece regarding Steelers coach Mike Tomlin's contract situation.

Per Steelers.com, Tomlin is signed through this season with a club option for 2013.

Loosely translated, the "club option" means the team can remove Tomlin after this season if they choose. Cook's point is mostly to point out what a shame it would be if the Steelers let Tomlin go.

It's also exactly why the San Diego Padres have a better chance of winning next year's Stanley Cup than Tomlin moving on next season.

Cook points out it's likely Tomlin will get an extension around training camp, likely without his own personal announcement via Twitter or Facebook or whatever relevant social media outlet he enjoys (if any). The correlation between Tomlin and former Steelers coach Bill Cowher will probably never fully go away, and the fact Cowher entered the 2006 season without having signed an extension is worthy of mention here. However, since 2007, only two other coaches have won two conference championship games - Giants coach Tom Coughlin and Patriots coach Bill Belichick.

Coughlin received an extension earlier this month, and Belichick's last extension was done in 2007, keeping him in place through 2013.

Tomlin's last extension came in 2010, a two year extension of his previous deal, and since teams rarely have coaches work into the final year of their contract, expect an extension in the near future. With Coughlin's deal reportedly worth somewhere in the ballpark of $20 million over three seasons, Tomlin's deal should be around that mark.

Tomlin replaced Cowher in 2007 after serving as the defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings in 2006. He's 31-17 in the regular season and 6-3 in the playoffs. That mark includes 2-0 in the AFC Championship and 1-1 in the Super Bowl.

This season is looked upon as "Tomlin's" team in many ways. The nucleus of players who were drafted and arrived in Pittsburgh via free agency under Cowher are mostly gone now, and his first few noted drafted players - LBs Lawrence Timmons and LaMarr Woodley, DE Ziggy Hood and C Maurkice Pouncey are looked upon as savvy veterans now.

Tomlin shed the trend of Steelers teams dipping off the season after reaching the Super Bowl with a 12-4 mark last year, but a first-round playoff loss at Denver left many dissatisfied with the year as a whole. This year's team appears just as strong as any have been in Tomlin's regime, and looks on the brink of contention in the AFC.

http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com/2012/6/19/3096481/pittsburgh-steelers-coach-mike-tomlin-salary-contract-extension

teegre
06-19-2012, 07:58 PM
I think Tonlin is a great coach. GREAT.

He was one drive away from winning two SuperBowls in his first four years. He has been to the play-offs four out of five seasons. And, he has yet to have an 8-8 season (let alone a losing season).

Some will say that he is merely winning with "Cowher's players." Eh...there is a tad of truth to that, although just having the players doesn't immediately translate into winning a championship. One still has to COACH those players (which he did/does). And, Cowher inherited Rod Woodson, Greg Lloyd, Dermontti Dawson... Also, since Cowher has left, aside from the 2008 draft, Tomlin has had four really good drafts. Lastly, Cowher never won until he had BR (do that argument is null). Simply, I see Tomlin just as (if not better) than Cowher.

I see Tomlin not necessarily "underpaid" ( as this article is insinuating), but the time for a raise is here...and a raise he'll get ($6.5-$6.8 million).

Hawaii 5-0
06-19-2012, 08:29 PM
I think Tonlin is a great coach. GREAT.

Some will say that he is merely winning with "Cowher's players."


yeah, well Bill Cowher only won one Super Bowl in 15 seasons with his players so I would say Tomlin is already ahead of the curve.

teegre
06-19-2012, 08:33 PM
yeah, well Bill Cowher only won one Super Bowl in 15 seasons with his players so I would say Tomlin is already ahead of the curve.

That is an OUTSTANDING point. May I borrow that?...(in all seriousness, I am going to use that.)

TheVet
06-19-2012, 11:45 PM
Tomlin inherited SB material: a solid team AND Ben. I think the jury is out. For me, it's important to know whether he recognized the Arians problem, or whether he didn't, and tried to defend that problem. Without knowing that, I honestly can't form an opinion.

Apologies to those of you who love Arians, who hate differing opinions on internet forums, and who like to attack people.

Steelersfan87
06-19-2012, 11:58 PM
I think the coaches he hires are a better indication of his abilities as a coach. Noll and Cowher had some bad offensive coordinator if I'm not mistaken.

ricardisimo
06-20-2012, 05:15 AM
You judge coaches on whether they win games or not. You look at what Harbaugh did in one year with basically the exact same team that sucked donkey dicks in San Fran the season before he arrived, and you can appreciate what a coach does, with or without "his own guys".

Beyond that, you can look at other stuff, like time-of-possession and penalties, which are clearly his domain, not one of his assistants. Tomlin's pretty damned good in most regards, maybe not so much in the challenge flag department, but I'm not sure.

I'm not real fond of Tomlin's penchant for walking away from promises, especially ones he makes in public, like "unleashing hell" or more to the point, promising "big changes" one week, only to waive a back-up special teamer, or something similarly meaningless. Otherwise I think he's been fantastic. He's fun to watch, a real cool operator with a knack for winning.

steelax04
06-20-2012, 08:49 AM
... with a knack for winning.

Ah, but you forgot the "with Cowher's players" caveat... :chuckle:

If Cowher's players were so great and have carried Tomlin this far, how did they lay that stinker of a season on Cowher's way out? Hopefully this season will have enough players that aren't Cowher's to send that stupid "fact" out the window.

teegre
06-20-2012, 09:29 AM
Tomlin inherited SB material: a solid team AND Ben. I think the jury is out. For me, it's important to know whether he recognized the Arians problem, or whether he didn't, and tried to defend that problem. Without knowing that, I honestly can't form an opinion.

Apologies to those of you who love Arians, who hate differing opinions on internet forums, and who like to attack people.

Cowher inherited a pretty darn good set of players, as well (Woodson, Lake, Lloyd, Dawson...).

I agree that he took too long to fire Arians...BUT, might he not have been trying to keep his franchise QB happy? And, while he kept Arians, he also hired Kugler & Lake (who I think are phenomenal).

Uh...NO ONE (aside from BR) loved Arians.

Lastly, the obligatory "You suck" (jk).

El-Gonzo Jackson
06-20-2012, 10:59 AM
I think the coaches he hires are a better indication of his abilities as a coach. Noll and Cowher had some bad offensive coordinator if I'm not mistaken.

Yeah, but I also think that Tomlin was hampered by his youth. Most guys will hire coaches they have worked with and like. Tomlin probably didnt have as large of a pool of guys to hire from that he knew and liked to work with.

Arians was a holdover from Cowher's staff and the logical guy to move up from WR coach when Whiz left. Zeirline worked with Arians in Cleveland, so it was logical to get the OC an O line coach he wants to work with.

While I liked the energy that Ligashesky brought to the special teams, he didnt come from a good track record at St. Louis and he could not adapt to the rule change of the 2 man wedge on kick returns I think.

Cowher had some good O coordinators in his 15 years. Whiz, Mularkey, Gailey.....the whole Ray Sherman situation is what ruined that perception, IMO.

OX1947
06-20-2012, 11:46 AM
You judge coaches on whether they win games or not. You look at what Harbaugh did in one year with basically the exact same team that sucked donkey dicks in San Fran the season before he arrived, and you can appreciate what a coach does, with or without "his own guys".

Beyond that, you can look at other stuff, like time-of-possession and penalties, which are clearly his domain, not one of his assistants. Tomlin's pretty damned good in most regards, maybe not so much in the challenge flag department, but I'm not sure.

I'm not real fond of Tomlin's penchant for walking away from promises, especially ones he makes in public, like "unleashing hell" or more to the point, promising "big changes" one week, only to waive a back-up special teamer, or something similarly meaningless. Otherwise I think he's been fantastic. He's fun to watch, a real cool operator with a knack for winning.

ahahhahahah, donkey dicks...

TheVet
06-20-2012, 01:36 PM
Both Cowher and Tomlin inherited teams with good players on a down year, and both reinvigorated their teams. I think Tomlin received a better overall package, especially with a franchise QB. But a lot of things can go wrong, and both of these guy did the job.

As for "nobody except BR loving Arians," he clearly had some supporters within the organization, because he got quite a few second chances. Maybe Tomlin was one of the supporters. It's kind of like the inexplicable love affair that Cowher had with Kordell. At some point, you need to accept the writing on the wall.

Steelersfan87
06-20-2012, 04:17 PM
I agree that Tomlin had some growing pains as a young coach. I wrote about his early coaching staff and their interrelations and how he's made amends and evolved with his more recent signings, and how he made sure that his new coaches had some new pieces to work with. He's got a pretty good track record with that so far; let's hope that continues with Haley. But I expect that it will, even if there might be some rough patches.