9-0 is something that even the great Chuck Noll was ever able to accomplish as he led what is arguably the greatest dynasty in the history of the NFL—or at least the greatest of the Super Bowl era—or, at least, the greatest of the Super Bowl era prior to free agency.
That’s not to take away from the greatest head coach in Pittsburgh Steelers history, and one of the great all-time coaches—after all, he did go 7-0 once, and was able to go 4-0 three times, something that Bill Cowher never did, and that head coach Mike Tomlin never did until 2020, a winning streak that he has now run up to a franchise-record nine games to start the season.
After getting a commanding win in a nationally-televised game, it seems as though there is increasing focus—finally—on the coaching job that Tomlin has been doing recently, at least from the outside. Those on the inside have always been aware of his importance in their success, including the truths they hold themselves to, such as the standard is the standard.
Cornerback Cameron Sutton talked about that phrase while speaking to reporters yesterday and how it is synonymous with Tomlin and with the organization. It might seem trite and cliché, but it’s an ethos for the locker room, and one that everybody buys into.
It’s a mentality. It’s an approach. It’s how we conduct business. Day in, day out, it’s preached in the organization through the guys. It’s a standard that we carry, an expectation that is behind the Steeler brand of football, and that shows out there each and every week. Guys are behind each other, playing for one another, playing with a lot of energy and passion, and it’s exciting to see everyone making plays, seeing guys flying around on both sides of the ball, and obviously on special teams as well. You can’t do anything but gravitate to that. It’s really appreciated from a man like that who has been doing it for so long and who has still so much love and is genuine to everyone he interacts with and comes upon. It’s greatly appreciated, and greatly loved.
The only thing we can say for sure about 2020 is that the Steelers are going to have a winning record, as they have already achieved that. Nothing else is granted as of yet, even a postseason berth, but based on their talent and performance and their upcoming schedule, it’s hard to imagine them doing any worse than 12-4, which from this vantage point would certainly qualify as a disappointing finish.
Tomlin’s .657 career winning percentage ranks 10th all-time among head coaches who have won at least 100 games, a list that includes the likes of John Madden, Tony Dungy, Bill Belichick, Don Shula, George Halas, and Paul Brown. That’s some standard to adhere to.