The Washington Redskins fired head coach Jay Gruden on Monday and not long after doing so there were a few reports linking Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin as a potential replacement. On Tuesday, Tomlin held his weekly press conference and during it he was asked if he was surprised to hear his name being linked as a possible candidate to become the Redskins next head coach.
“I’m not worried about that, to be quite honest with you,” Tomlin said. “You’re the first person to mention it to me in a public setting.”
Tomlin was then intermediately asked what his reaction to that question be in a private setting.
“About the same I’m giving you,” Tomlin said. “Guys, I’m the head coach of a 1-4 football team that’s going on the road to play a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback with my third quarterback. You think I’m worried about anything this week other than that?”
I guess one could take Tomlin’s response as him completely dismissing the reports. However, he probably could have done a better job of doing so.
Tomlin agreed to a one-year contract extension with the Steelers this past offseason and that means now signed through the 2021 season. Steelers team president Art Rooney II has since said that Tomlin’s new contract also has a one-year option year in it.
“These things, it’s a two-way street”, Rooney said. “Every year’s a little different. We actually did a one-year extension plus a one-year option. I think it sets us up well for the future.”
In short, Tomlin would need to be traded or fired to become a head coach of another team. The Steelers have never fired a head coach in the modern era and with Tomlin never having had a losing season since being hired in 2007, it’s hard to imagine he would be given his walking papers should the team fail to make the playoffs a second consecutive season and especially with starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger being lost for the year early on.
Until Tomlin comes right out and denies the latest speculation/reports, expect talk about him potentially becoming the Redskins next head coach as soon as 2020 to continue.