Should Steelers Mike Tomlin be canned with losing season?

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has been one of the better coaches in the NFL throughout his career, but would a losing season kick him out the door?

The very thought of Mike Tomlin being cut off from the Pittsburgh Steelers organization is hard to imagine for most fans, as he has been a staple part of the franchise for well over 10 years, and made his head coaching impact early with a pair of Super Bowl appearances (the first of which he won).

Times have changed since those glory days, however, as the Steelers haven’t even managed to compete for an AFC title since they won it just before Super Bowl XLV (an accomplishment that is well on its way to turning 11 years old).

Looking at Pittsburgh’s current state under Tomlin, fans see just one AFC title game appearance in the last decade (that their guys got crushed in), along with struggling to make the playoffs at all on multiple occasions since then.

Tomlin’s job security has been questioned greatly by pundits over the course of these woes, yet he has never seemed to officially be sitting in a hot seat of any kind. One reason for this could be his reputation for refusing to lose.

Despite a plethora of disappointing moments under his care, the Steelers have never suffered a losing season in Tomlin’s tenure. The last time Pittsburgh ever saw a record under .500 was during the 2003-04 season, as they finished 6-10.

Tomlin typically gets a good deal of kudos for this statistic, and he should. However, that was also the Steelers last season without legendary quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the roster, so Tomlin can’t exactly take all the credit.

Unfortunately, such an impressive streak of formidability will likely be coming to an end this season. The Steelers currently sit with an unpleasant record of 6-6-1, meaning that they will have to win at least half of their remaining four games to keep the lack of losing consistent.

Of Pittsburgh’s upcoming opponents (Tennessee, Kansas City, Cleveland, Baltimore), all but one have already garnered eight wins or more on the year. The only exception are the Browns, and even they have seven.

The chances of the Steelers winning two or more of these feel lackluster to say the least, especially with the Chiefs and Ravens both being road games. And it just so happens that the odds of losing are this high at the end of Roethlisberger’s career in Pittsburgh? That’s hardly a coincidence.

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Mike Tomlin is a player’s coach, a likable character that athletes want to play for. However, combining an elongating run of irrelevance with a dying statistic that your QB was mostly responsible for makes a rather potent poison. At this rate, cutting Tomlin loose wouldn’t hurt the Steelers much more than they already have been.