Bleacher Report Predicts Mike Tomlin To Win NFL’s Coach Of The Year Award In 2022

Mike Tomlin at camp

The ink is barely dry on stories across the country regarding the NFL’s 2021 Awards ceremony, yet Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox is already trying to predict the award winners for next season.

So much can happen in the next few weeks with free agency, cap casualties and — in a few months — the NFL Draft that it’s truly hard to try and predict NFL awards for the upcoming season. However, Knox had an interesting prediction that involved a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

No, it wasn’t TJ Watt winning back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year Awards either.

Instead, Knox predicted Mike Tomlin to win his first-ever Coach of the Year award one year after losing Hall of Fame quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to retirement.

“Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has never experienced a losing season at the helm, but he’s never been named NFL Coach of the Year either. Expect that to change next year—and not as some sort of lifetime achievement award,” Knox writes. “The Steelers don’t fold under Tomlin, and that’s not going to change in the post-Roethlisberger era. While Pittsburgh will have a new quarterback—be it Mason Rudolph, Dwayne Haskins, a free-agent acquisition or a rookie—and it will still find ways to win games in 2022.

“No one should be shocked if the Steelers are back in the playoffs next year, but the optics of doing it without Roethlisberger, longtime defensive coordinator Keith Butler and longtime general manager Kevin Colbert will be huge. Tomlin is an all-time great coach, and he’ll finally be named the best in the NFL next year.”

Well, wouldn’t that be something?

Considering Tomlin didn’t receive the Coach of the Year award in 2019 after losing Roethlisberger to a season-ending elbow injury midway through the Week 2 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks before then leading the Steelers to an 8-8 record and contention for the playoffs late into that season with the likes of Mason Rudolph and Duck Hodges, not to mention the work he did in 2021 leading the Steelers to a 9-7-1 record, I’m hard-pressed to believe he’ll ever get any Coach of the Year love.

However, if he were able to lead the Steelers to the playoffs in 2022 with Rudolph, Haskins, a rookie or a journeyman veteran at quarterback, especially one year after losing a Hall of Fame quarterback to retirement and seeing his long-time GM in Kevin Colbert ride off into retirement, he should be at the top of the list.

We’ve seen guys like Bill Belichick, Bruce Arians and Ron Rivera all receive the award multiple times, yet Tomlin has never received one. That doesn’t even begin to discuss the fact that guys like Cleveland’s Kevin Stefanski, Tennessee’s Mike Vrabel, former Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy and former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett winning the award in the past.

If Tomlin has the Steelers in playoff contention right away post-Roethlisberger, he should be the front-runner for the COTY award winner.

Hopefully Knox’s prediction comes true. Tomlin deserves it.

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