To all Mike Tomlin haters: The Steelers chose the best option at Head Coach

Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers
Seattle Seahawks v Pittsburgh Steelers / Joe Sargent/GettyImages
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No riverboats ever came to the Steel City as the team watched him pass by

Another notable name in today's NFL that was in the thick of the search back in 2007 was Ron Rivera, otherwise known as "Riverboat Ron". There were some things that made a lot of sense with the connection between Pittsburgh's opening and Rivera in the fold. He was still about ten years older than Tomlin was at the time of the hire, but he would have leaned into that younger mold.

Being only 45 years old and being a head coach in the NFL is something that would have been uncommon at the time. Another thing that Rivera had going for him are some of the similarities that he had with Cowher's career trajectory. Rivera was a former linebacker in the NFL before becoming a defensive minded coach.

Rivera was the defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears that year and that was when they lost to the Indianapolis Colts in the Super Bowl. He was a great defensive wizard for that team, but that did put his potential hopes of getting employment with the Steelers in a bind. They would have to wait to interview Rivera, which was something the club did not feel keen on doing.

Instead of waiting, Tomlin was hired, and Rivera would eventually become a head coach four years later with the Carolina Panthers. Who knows what the Steelers would have turned out to be under Rivera, but it is an interesting alternative that could have worked out. Rivera and Cowher did share a lot of similarities with their career paths, but Tomlin was the best for the job.