With Added Experience, Mike Tomlin Believes He’s ‘Smarter Because Of The Scars’ Of Past Experiences And Failures

Fifteen years is a long time in any profession with the same organization or company. A lot of growth can occur individually through success and failures.

Entering Year 16 as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Mike Tomlin believes those experiences have helped shape him into the coach that he is today: one of the more respected leaders in the NFL, even if the team success hasn’t quite been there on a grand scale the last decade or so.

Appearing on the Rich Eisen Show Wednesday afternoon, Tomlin discussed just what has changed for him the most of the 15 years in charge of the black and gold, stating that he believes he’s a smarter head football coach than he was all those years ago taking over for Hall of Famer Bill Cowher, adding that the scars of the failures have helped shape him and mold him overall.

“You know, I’m smarter, but smarter because of scars,” Tomlin said to Eisen when asked what’s made him a different coach over the years, according to audio via “You grow and oftentimes growth is usually associated with failure. And so, I’ve experienced a lot over the last 15 years and hopefully I’m better for it. And hopefully I can apply those lessons learned to the crop that I’m working with this year. I know that that’s always the goal.

“I better be continually getting better in the same ways that we challenge our players to do similar things.”

Spoken in true Tomlin form.

Yes, the failures have been there, hardening him into the head coach that he is today. But where would he be without those failures to help him learn and grow on the job that he stepped into at just 35 years old. Sure, those failures have been frustrating as many will lament the fact that the Steelers came up short far too often with a Hall of Fame quarterback for 15 seasons under Tomlin, and that’s certainly fair.

He also hasn’t seemingly learned from his failures with challenges and clock management, but he’s definitely learned how to handle a number of players and keep them all working towards one goal, which is winning football games at an impressive clip. He’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but he’s definitely smarter and more experienced after years and years of learning on the fly.

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