2018 Offseason Questions: Who Are You Replacing Mike Tomlin With?

The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.

Question: In the exceptionally improbable event that the Steelers part with head coach Mike Tomlin, who would replace him?

While I’ve known for over a decade by now that there are plenty of Steelers fans who either hate Mike Tomlin or think he’s a bad coach, the past day has been pretty illuminating as to the extent that this feeling goes within the fan community.

Pro Football Talk reported yesterday that ‘sources’ believe a group of the ‘limited partner’ minority owners of the team intend to lobby primary owner and decision-maker Art Rooney II to considering parting ways with Tomlin after 11 seasons following a one-and-done playoff performance coming off a 13-3 regular season.

It’s easy to dump a coach or a player, but it’s quite another thing to actually replace that part, something that doesn’t get thought of nearly as much as the first part of the equation. And when you are talking about replacing a coach who has had a tremendous amount of success, the second part of the equation becomes much more important.

It’s one thing for the New York Giants, for example, to fire Ben McAdoo. McAdoo accomplished tremendously little during his time there both as head coach and frankly as offensive coordinator as well. There was no compelling reason to continue to carry him, so it made sense to fire him.

When you’re talking about firing Tomlin, you’re talking about finding somebody who is better, not just somebody who is different. Only the Steelers and New England Patriots have played in the Divisional Round in each of the past three seasons. Everybody aside from Tomlin and Bill Belichick have done worse. That would be a lot of firings.

So tell me, you who seek to find another man to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers. Who is your realistic choice as the next head coach for the team? Admittedly, it would be a highly attractive post that could potentially draw some surprising names. But let’s not drop a Bill Parcells out here. And they probably wouldn’t trade for a coach, either.

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