The fine folks over at The Score gave their best shot at ranking all 32 head coaches in the NFL. And Mike Tomlin probably came in a little lower than what Steelers’ fans would like to hear. They ranked him as the league’s 7th best head coach. Blurbing the pick, they wrote:
“A shaky 2018 campaign put Tomlin under a microscope, but he rebounded last season by nearly making the playoffs while flipping between a pair of XFL-caliber quarterbacks. Questions arose about his leadership when the Pittsburgh Steelers came unglued two years ago. However, those concerns were put to rest in 2019 when the locker room stepped up following the departures of multiple star players. Tomlin still owns the distinction of being the youngest head coach ever to win a Super Bowl.”
That’s a brief but accurate enough description of his recent coaching career. Certainly the Steelers have disappointed by missing the playoffs in consecutive years but 2019 posed challenges most teams would’ve folded under. Pittsburgh remained competitive and even playoff bound for a decent chunk of the season.
Until Tomlin returns to the playoffs, keeping him out of the top five is understandable, if not entirely fair.
Ranked ahead of him were the usual suspects – Belichick, Reid, Payton, Pederson, Harbaugh, and Shanahan. Fans could make the case for putting Tomlin ahead of Pederson but anyone else on that list is stretching it. Maybe Harbaugh, though there’s an anti-Ravens sentiment at play.
Rounding out the bottom of the list include the Jets’ Adam Gase, Giants’ newcomer Joe Judge, and the Lions’ Matt Patricia. Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor is ranked 29th with Kevin Stefanski, fresh hire by the Browns, one spot ahead at 28th.
If you’re upset over Tomlin being ranked too low, take comfort in the same website ranking Kevin Colbert as the league’s 4th best general manager. Next on their list is coordinators and I imagine Randy Fichtner/Keith Butler won’t fare nearly as well.