We knew that even the best head coaches in the league wouldn't stick around forever. But when the end of a legendary era finally comes to a screeching halt, it always seems surreal. That's exactly what happened in the NFL within a 24-hour span. Suddenly, the Pittsburgh Steelers are left with the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL on his current team.
It was announced this week that the Seattle Seahawks were parting ways with Super Bowl-winning head coach, Pete Carroll. Less than 24 hours later, the New England Patriots made it official that Bill Belichick's tenure has ended as the team's head coach and general manager.
These were two of the most iconic coaches remaining in the NFL, and Belichick is widely considered the greatest coach in the history of the game thanks to his 6 Super Bowl rings and the dynasty he built in New England.
It's unclear whether or not Belichick or Carroll have any interest in coaching elsewhere, but the firings of these two legends show us one thing: why Mike Tomlin should not have immunity on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Steelers need to put Mike Tomlin in the hot seat
There's no question that Mike Tomlin has been one of the better coaches in the NFL throughout the course of his 17-year career as head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He kept his spotless streak alive this year as he still has never had a non-losing season.
But eventually, that stuff just doesn't matter. If the Steelers lose to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, this would mark the seventh straight year without so much as a single postseason win. Tomlin is the longest-active head coach in the NFL to still have his job on the same team despite going this long without a playoff victory.
At some point, plateauing as an above-average team doesn't cut it anymore. This is a multi-billion-dollar business, and the Steelers need to yield results when it matters most. Both Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick have won playoff games more recently than Mike Tomlin, and Belichick has the greatest resume ever assembled by an NFL coach.
The biggest difference between these three head coaches is the vast discrepancy when it comes to success in the NFL Playoffs. Here's a look at the postseason success of the Patriots, Seahawks, and Steelers over the past 12 years. As they say on Sesame Street, 'One of these things is not like the other.'
However, despite what Carroll and Belichick have done with their respective franchises, ownership recognized that things were getting stale and that it was time to move on. Will Art Rooney II do the same with Tomlin? Probably not.
You could do far worse when it comes to head coaches than Tomlin. But if they can't find a way to win in Buffalo this week, Coach 'T' will have earned just 3 playoff wins over the last 13 years. At what point do we say 'enough is enough'?
Pittsburgh Steelers fans are hungry for postseason success, but we haven't even had a taste of it in seven years. The fact that Pete Carroll and Bill Belichick are the latest of one-fourth of NFL head coaches to lose their jobs shows exactly why Mike Tomlin should not have immunity from being fired or traded by the Steelers.