PITTSBURGH, PA — The Pittsburgh Steelers don’t know the future of their head coaching position? Only if Mike Tomlin decides he’s calling it quits.
The head coach’s future has been brought to the center of attention as he enters the 2023 season. He last signed a contract extension in the spring of 2021, that will expire in 2024. Pittsburgh waited until the final year of Tomlin’s prior deal before extending him last time, but this time around, it could come “early.”
During an appearance on 93.7 The Fan, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Ray Fittipaldo speculated that a Tomlin deal could get done this summer – and that he’s very confident it will get done overall.
“This is the way that it usually happens. There are different timeframes when it has happened in the past. …There is everything to suggest that Art Rooney is happy with Mike Tomlin, that he likes the direction of this young team. I would imagine it happens at some point before the start of the season,” Fittipaldo said. “Am I 100 percent certain it’s going to happen? No, but I think all signs do point to that happening again this year.”
This comes after team President Art Rooney II was noncommittal about the move earlier in the offseason.
“I don’t like to speculate on our coach’s contract,” Rooney said. “So, we will see.”
Now, quotations are over the word “easy” for a reason. Typically, the Steelers extend their head coaches with two years left on their current deal. For Tomlin, that’s this offseason. And with a new quarterback entering his second year as a starter and 16 consecutive winning seasons, there is no question whether or not this gets done.
The Steelers are going to extend Mike Tomlin.
If the team was cautious about Matt Canada and kept Mitch Trubisky around to assure Pickett had the smoothest transition possible into year two, they aren’t going to throw it all away in year three with a new head coach.
On the other side of the argument, you have the playoff drought. Pittsburgh hasn’t won a playoff game since 2017, and with each passing year, the disappointment rises that the Steelers aren’t making noise in the postseason.
But here’s the thing. Tomlin has never had a bad thing said about him that stuck. Players walk into Pittsburgh and immediately talk about the impact he makes on them. He’s the reason many come to the Steelers in the first place.
Rooney knows that. General manager Omar Khan knows that. And those within the locker room know that.
Does he need to start winning in the playoffs again? Yes. Does it make anything but complete sense to extend him and keep a 51-year-old, likely future Hall of Famer, as your head coach? No.
The Steelers are going to extend Mike Tomlin – and probably soon.