Bob Smizik sends a love letter to Mike Tomlin in today's column.
[I]Born to coach
He's Ben Howland, only more genuine; he's Jim Leyland, only smoother; he's Mike Tomlin, a man ...[/
Seven games into his head coaching career is much too early to declare Mike Tomlin a success. We won't know for years whether he was the right choice. But no one with any degree of smarts wonders why the Steelers hired him.
No one could possibly wonder how this then 34-year-old man, who had never played in the NFL and had been an assistant coach for only six seasons, walked into the room, wowed the Rooneys and won the job from Grimm. This guy could walk into the room and win the job from Lombardi or Noll
He's 5-2 on the field, 7-0 off of it. Most organizations measure the length of their coaching tenures in years. The Steelers do it in decades. That doesn't figure to change with Tomlin.
How much of the love is due to Smizik no longer suffering from battered sportswriter syndrome at the hands of Cowher at the Tuesday press conferences is hard to say.
I am glad it is going well, but Tomlin is 5-2 (I have no clue what Smizik means about being 7-0 off the field) with both losses certainly being due in part to poor coaching decisions. Lots of coaches (e.g. Ty Wilingham & Charlie Weis at Notre Dame, Jim Mora, Jr. in Atlanta) have started well and it has turned to ashes.
Maybe Smizik should at least hold off on these sorts of columns until next Valentine's Day after we see how the season turns out.