Pittsburgh Steelers midseason awards: Which players stood out?
Coach of the Year: Mike Tomlin
I have gone back and forth with this award, and this was the hardest one for me to give out. Defensive coordinator, Keith Butler, has been fantastic this year. After his defense struggled in the first two games of the season, Butler’s squad has since been on fire – surrendering just 18.0 points per game over the last six games.
However, even with the strides that Keith Butler’s unit has made on the defensive side of the ball, Mike Tomlin has been perhaps more impressive.
I’m sure we were all frustrated with Tomlin to start the season, as Pittsburgh was humiliated by the New England Patriots in Week 1. After losing three straight games, Tomlin’s team has rallied back to win 4 of his last 5 contests.
What’s most impressive is that the 13-year head coach did this without Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown this season. While the offense has had its share of troubles, Tomlin was a big part of the move that brought Minkah Fitzpatrick to Pittsburgh.
Steelers fans tend to come down hard on Mike Tomlin when things aren’t going our way. But with all of the adversity he has faced this season, Coach Tomlin deserves a ton of credit for keeping his team competitive.
There are a few other players who could have been in contention for one of these awards, but these are the players who are most deserving to have their names recognized through the first eight weeks of the season. Let’s hope they continue this upward trend as we advance into the second half of the year.