While doing some grocery shopping late last night I noticed someone with a Pittsburgh Steelers hat on, this is highly unusual considering the fact that we both were in a grocery store in Somersworth, New Hampshire, which is deep in the heart of New England. For me, it’s an instinctive reaction to shout “Go Steelers” whenever I see a fellow Steelers’ Nation fan this far in enemy territory.
The fan immediately shouted back, “you know it!” I followed it up with, “beat the Pats” and when I got to an isle over he shouted just as enthusiastically, “fire Mike Tomlin!” Many fans have mentioned Mike McCarthy, the former Green Bay Packers coach, as being a possible replacement for Tomlin, but throughout the ups and downs of the Pittsburgh Steeler’s organization, as it relates to on-field performance, there has always been a chorus of fans calling for Mike Tomlin’s firing, despite that fact that he’s one of the most successful coaches in the league.
We all know the Steeler organization has a long history of cultivating their coaches over a longer period than other franchises. Over the years, Steeler fans have seen a great linebacker in Ryan Shazier leave the roster due to a terrible injury, a great running back in Le’Veon Bell off the roster due to compensation issues, his replacement James Conner out with injuries and more importantly they’ve witnessed this organization conform to rule manipulation that has shifted the hierarchy of power from teams with great defenses like the Steelers to teams with spread offenses and athletically challenged quarterbacks with quick releases like the great ping-pong players.
Mike Tomlin has admirably navigated the Steelers during the most turbulent times and for this, he’s consistently met with calls for his firing after every loss. While writers and sports analysts are questioning Tomlin’s elite performance with a fine tooth comb, former players question his approach to coaching and fans question his ability with the harshest and cruel language I’d have to give him credit for continuing to lead active NFL coaches in performance.
It’s not a matter of whether the Steelers should keep Mike Tomlin, as far as I’m concerned it’s a matter of is the organization, is this town worthy of this great coach. He can certainly receive a more lucrative deal elsewhere and receive recognition for his enormous contributions to boot.