5 Steelers who went onto win a Super Bowl elsewhere
By Brendan Howe
Unlike all the others on this list, Mike Tomlin won his first Super Bowl prior to arriving at the confluence of the three rivers.
After assistant coaching stops such as Virginia Military Institute and Arkansas State, Tomlin was in his second year on Jon Gruden’s coaching team in Tampa Bay. It being his first professional coaching job, he worked on a defensive staff alongside eventual head coaches Rod Marinelli and Raheem Morris.
Tomlin was yet another cog in the Buccaneers’ memorably assertive defense. Working as the Swashbucklers’ defensive backs coach, he supervised a secondary that boasted future Hall of Famer John Lynch and All-Pro Ronde Barber.
The Bucs finished the regular season with a 12-4 mark, good enough to be their division’s champion and the second seed in the NFC playoffs. Indisputably, Tampa’s defense was the best in the NFL. It allowed only 2,490 yards and 10 scores through the air, both the least in the league. The unit’s 31 interceptions were almost double the next closest team’s.
In the postseason, the Pewter Pirates soundly dispatched both the San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles before meeting Oakland in Super Bowl XXXVII. Tomlin’s defensive backfield harassed Raider quarterback Rich Gannon, amassing a Super Bowl-record five interceptions, three being pick-sixes.
In 2006, Tomlin boarded ship with the Minnesota Vikings as the franchise’s defensive coordinator. He helped coach a top-ten unit, then interviewed for both Pittsburgh’s and Miami’s head coaching vacancies. Of course, he would carry his championship pedigree to the Steel City.