Should Steelers fans take Mike Tomlin at his word about coaching college?
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin, put to bed rumors of him leaving the team to coach at the college level, but should fans believe him?
After short-lived rumors that Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was in the running for the USC coaching position, Tomlin addressed the media on Tuesday with an emphatic message to silence all noise. A visibly annoyed Tomlin expressed that he has “one of the best jobs in professional sports” and claims “it’s not a booster with a big enough blank check” to peak his interest in becoming a college coach. He made clear that today would be the last time he addresses the situation before storming away from the podium.
The passionate and straightforward response is very characteristic of the man who has been a coaching force during his 15 years in the league. That level of intensity and candidness is why Tomlin is so respected, and why he is a Super Bowl-winning coach with zero losing seasons in 15 years.
As authoritative, and comforting to Steelers’ fans, as the message was, there is still room to worry about Tomlin leaving Pittsburgh. With all due respect to Tomlin, football fans have heard coaches make these type of declarative statements, before later on reneging.
Tomlin could still leave Steelers, despite fiery statement
One of the most famous football coaches is Nick Saban, the head coach at the University of Alabama. Before running a dynasty in Tuscaloosa, Saban was head coach for the Miami Dolphins and rumors that he would return to the college level were running rampant. He eventually took the podium to vehemently deny that he would be the Alabama head coach, and, well, we all know how that ended.
Urban Meyer, one of the most famous coaches, earned his popularity in college, primarily during his tenures with the University of Florida and Ohio State. In 2018, as coach for Ohio State, Meyer retired from coaching, citing health reasons, and expressed that he was certain he would never coach again. Now in 2021, Meyer is in his first year with the Jacksonville Jaguars trying to coach the team back to prominence.
Mike Tomlin has always kept it real as coach for Steelers
These examples show that coaches are gifted speakers, but what they say at the moment may not always stand the test of time. Sometimes they have to make the statement that is best for their locker room, or they may just be speaking for what they feel is true at the time, but things change.
As far as Tomlin, he hasn’t personally given people reason to not take his words at face value, he’s always been a straight shooter. It is likely that his true intentions are to remain as the Steelers head coach, but the past actions of his fellow coaches lessen the impact of speeches like the one he delivered.