CBS Sports HQ is continuing on with their offseason rankings on Monday and they have received quite the response on Twitter from what I have seen the last week. On Monday, CBS Sports NFL writer Sean Wagner-McGough released his top 10 list of NFL head coaches for the 2020 season and it includes Mike Tomlin of the Pittsburgh Steelers ranked seventh overall.
Top 10 coaches in the NFL
(According to @seanjwagner)
1. Bill Belichick
2. Andy Reid
3. John Harbaugh
4. Sean Payton
5. Kyle Shanahan
6. Sean McVay
7. Mike Tomlin
8. Pete Carroll
9. Doug Pederson
10. Mike Zimmer pic.twitter.com/JVVuns5Oj8
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) June 29, 2020
Not surprisingly, New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick is tops on Wagner-McGough’s list and probably thanks to recency bias, Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is ranked second.
In third place is Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh. That’s the same Harbaugh many thought should have been fired by the Ravens after missing the playoffs three consecutive seasons from 2015-2017 and compiling a 22-26 record for those three seasons. While Harbaugh’s Ravens did make the playoffs last season, they were bounced in the Divisional Round as the No. 1 AFC seed by the Tennessee Titans.
Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints), Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers) and Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams) are ranked 4th, 5th and 6th, respectively, by Wagner-McGough. Tomlin is ranked seventh and followed by Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks), Doug Pederson (Philadelphia Eagles), and Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings), respectively.
Is Tomlin fairly ranked at seventh overall? The fact that he was able to guide the 2019 Steelers to an 8-8 record without having quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for most of the season is evidence enough that he belongs no lower than seventh on any head coach ranking, in my opinion. Somewhere between fifth and seventh is probably Tomlin’s rightful sweet spot in the NFL head coach rankings. Tomlin has yet to have a losing season since becoming the team’s head coach in 2007. He is the third longest tenured head coach in the NFL behind only Belichick and Payton.
Its obvious as to why Reid and Shanahan are ranked higher than Tomlin on Wagner-McGough’s latest offering. Payton being ranked ahead of both is also not very surprising. I’m not convinced yet, however, that McVay, who’s 9-7 Rams failed to make the playoffs last season, has done enough yet to deserve to be ranked ahead of Tomlin.
Obviously, a deep run in 2020 by the Steelers could result in Tomlin securing a top-five spot in most everyone’s head coach rankings a year from now. Another Super Bowl championship in 2020 for the Steelers could result in Tomlin being ranked second overall behind Belichick. If, however, the Steelers fail to even make the playoffs yet again in 2020, Tomlin might not only slip out of the top 10 rankings for 2021, he might be pink slipped out of Pittsburgh as well.
Where does Tomlin belong on this 2020 list? It’s your turn to chime in.