Steelers Mike Tomlin ranks near the top of current NFL head coaches

Steelers, Mike Tomlin
Steelers, Mike Tomlin / Justin K. Aller/GettyImages

Pittsburgh Steelers fans sometimes have a love-hate relationship with head coach Mike Tomlin. It's certainly impressive that this team hasn't had a losing season since he came on as head coach back in 2007. At the same time, playoff success has been non-existent over the past five years, and fans are getting impatient.

Still, when it comes to NFL head coaches, you could do far worse. Ross Tucker would agree. Recently, Tucker wrote an article for The 33rd Team ranking all 32 NFL head coaches. He had Tomlin third on his list. Here's what he had to say about the Steelers head coach:

""Pittsburgh Steelers fans want more recent postseason success but 16 seasons without a losing record is crazy impressive, especially when you consider the manner in which they’ve done it the last few years.""

Ross Tucker, via The 33rd Team

In addition to this statement, Tucker lists Tomlin's outstanding 163-93-2 record as head coach of the Steelers over his 16-year career. These numbers are hard to argue against.

The only two names ahead of Tomlin in these NFL head coach rankings were Chiefs HC Andy Reid (No. 1) and Patriots HC Bill Belichick (No. 2). Narrowly behind Tomlin were Sean Payton, Nick Sirianni, and Kyle Shanahan. Tucker put new and unproven coaches Shane Steichen of the Colts, DeMeco Ryans of the Texans, and Jonathan Gannon of the Cardinals as the bottom three names on his list.

Is this ranking fair for Steelers HC Mike Tomlin?

You could ask these questions to one hundred different fans and get one hundred different responses. Generally speaking, I think Mike Tomlin should be ranked high -- considering all of his accolades. He's one of the best in the business at routinely making sure his team is at least competitive year after year. However, I would have him a bit lower on my list.

Sean Payton hasn't coached a snap with the Broncos yet, but he was phenomenal during his long tenure with the New Orleans Saints. I won't slot him ahead of Tomlin, but there are a few other head coaches that I will.

I have always been a huge fan of Kyle Shanahan. This guy not only understands that building a football team starts in the trenches, but his quarterback offense is brilliant and allows for massive plays after the catch. Shanahan has a comparable good win-loss ratio as Tomlin at 98-52 with the 49ers, but his team has come extremely close to a Super Bowl in recent years.

Additionally, it's really hard to argue with the sample that we've seen from Nick Sirianni so far. His tenure with the Eagles has been phenomenal in his first two seasons and nearly resulted in a Super Bowl win. Sirianni has nowhere near the longevity of Tomlin, but he's been an outstanding coach in Philly and is building a powerhouse football program.

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While fans would rank Tomlin all over the map, I would probably have him 5th in my current NFL head coach rankings -- which isn't far off from Tucker's assessment. There is a cluster of quality coaches who could push Tomlin for positioning over the next few years, but his ability to keep the Pittsburgh Steelers competitive year after year makes it hard to argue that he should be a whole lot lower on the list.