One of the defining traits for the Pittsburgh Steelers at an organizational level is stability, in all the forms that takes. Starting from the family ownership and right on down the line, the Steelers as an organization have proven willing to be patient, allowing things to play themselves out, to resolve the bumpy patches in otherwise good relationships, knowing that a hasty response is usually not the answer.
As a result of that, they tend to have the most experience around, and that is certainly the case this year. Mike Tomlin is the longest-tenured head coach in the division, though not by much. Tomlin came in in 2007, while the Baltimore Ravens hired John Harbaugh a year later. But the quarterback position is a completely different story.
In Pittsburgh, you have Ben Roethlisberger, who has been in the league seemingly nearly as long as the Ravens’ 2019 starter has been alive. That would be Lamar Jackson, who in the 2018 season became the youngest quarterback in NFL history to start a playoff game.
The experience level of the Steelers is the main reason that Mike Tannenbaum cited in giving the team the edge in the race for the AFC North race this year, which many believe will be close between the two rivals and the Cleveland Browns.
“Not only do you have two great coaches in Baltimore and Pittsburgh, but Baker Mayfield’s a young player. Baker Mayfield’s going to continue to grow, ascend, and make mistakes, and Ben Roethlisberger’s played for a long time, so when you look at the quarterback position, you look at the head coach position, you look at the experience of those respective positions, between Pittsburgh, Baltimore, and Cleveland, that’s why I give the edge to, certainly, Pittsburgh, heading into this season”.
Of course, you’re not going to please everybody. There is a small but vocal subset of the fanbase who actually believes that Tomlin is the reason the team has not won a Super Bowl since 2008, and that if they would simply hire somebody else, the roster is talented enough (or at least had been) to handle itself and go all the way. There are even those who think Roethlisberger needs to call it a day.
“I know everyone is excited by the Cleveland Browns and all the moves that they’ve made, but I would pump the brakes a little bit on Cleveland overtaking in the AFC North”, Damien Woody also said. He, too, pointed out the experience of the head coaches in Pittsburgh and Baltimore in showing patience with the Browns hype. They have a first-year head coach this season in Freddie Kitchens, who has very limited experience as a coordinator.