The Pittsburgh Steelers just added a couple of starting tackles from Maryland in 2019, those being Derwin Gray in the seventh round and Damian Prince as a college free agent. Those two leaving—as seniors—won’t do Mike Tomlin’s son any favors, however. Dino Tomlin committed to Maryland last year as a wide receiver.
Aside from the two rookies, starting free safety Sean Davis, of course, is another alumnus from the school, but it was more so a family history that helped sell Maryland to the Tomlins and Dino, who was a three-star recruit.
Being a coach’s son must surely be an interesting experience. There are the negatives—he said he got all the heat from his classmates when the Steelers lost the Super Bowl at the end of the 2010 season—but then again, he also gets to work with people like Eli Rogers.
He told Lila Bromberg of the Testudo Times that he was able to get the opportunity to get some work in with Rogers, the fifth-year wide receiver, before shipping off to Maryland, who had some advice for him concerning both his technique and his perspective.
“In high school you can get away with having your arms loose, but in college the DB can read that and know when you’re about to make a break”, the young Tomlin told Bromberg. “That’s what I’ve been trying to work on recently, just trying to keep my arms tighter so I don’t give as much away in my routes”.
Dino also recalled another moment in which he was on the field with the Steelers, playing quarterback in a drill during the 2017 training camp. T.J. Watt was coming over him rather animatedly, and he got started. He was later reprimanded for moving around in the drill too much.
One of the biggest perks of being a coach’s son, if your intention is to pursue a career in football, is that you get access to a professional facility. Bromberg writes that he spent “every night” training at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, and got the opportunity to work on running routes with the team as well.
Mike Tomlin was 35 in his first season with the Steelers in 2007. Dino was probably in preschool at the time or thereabout. Theoretically, he should graduate in 2022 and be eligible for the 2023 NFL Draft. Tomlin, who has two years left on his current contract, may soon get an extension. He would be 51 for the 2023 season. Just imagine if his son ended up playing for him.
I’m pretty sure it doesn’t happen very often that a coach gets to coach his son at the NFL level, even for an offseason. Last year, New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers got to coach his son, Kacy Rodgers II. Tom Coughlin with the New York Giants did coach his son in law, Chris Snee.
To top it all off, Dino’s offensive coordinator is going to be former wide receivers coach Scottie Montgomery, who was one of Tomlin’s first staff hires in 2007. Montgomery watched Dino grow up, and they stayed in contact even after the former left the Steelers to return to the college ranks from whence he came.