Mike Tomlin is in the most challenging position he's ever found himself in during his 15-year head coaching career. Tomlin is responsible for 14 consecutive seasons without a losing record and coached the Pittsburgh Steelers to a Super Bowl win in the 2008-09 season.
Despite his successes, some fans have lost faith in Tomlin for how the Steelers have played this year. The Steelers will likely start a rebuild without Ben Roethlisberger after this season.
But make no mistake, Mike Tomlin is the right man to lead the Steelers going forward into their new era.
Mike Tomlin is the right choice to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers rebuild
Mike Tomlin has dealt with controversy before. When Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell divided the locker room and the Steelers fanbase, Tomlin tried his best to manage their personalities.
He receives flak from Steelers fans for letting their egos get out of check. But any other coach in Tomlin's shoes may not have faired any better.
Tomlin is beloved by his players, sometimes to a fault. Critics call him "too nice" at times.
But we've seen Tomlin flip the switch and turn into the hyper-competitor that earned him the job in the first place.
Although the Steelers have been a massive disappointment this year, firing Tomlin doesn't solve anything. Finding a good head coach is a tough job in the NFL, and teams are quicker than ever to fire a coach after one or two bad seasons.
Does this excuse the 6-6-1 record the Steelers have? No, but the roster is talent-poor, which falls on the general manager.
Kevin Colbert has been one of the best general managers in the NFL for two decades. This season, the lack of personnel just happened to be the culmination of injuries and untimely depatures.
Stephon Tuitt hasn't played a game for them this season. With the loss of Bud Dupree and Javon Hargrave in the offseason, Tuitt's absence has been massive.
Devin Bush was projected to break out this season and has been abysmal.
After losing two of their top three cornerbacks from 2020, the Steelers hardly did anything about it. Losing David Decastro to a surprise retirement only further depleted an offensive line that lost Maurkice Pouncey to retirement.
Roethlisberger has done his best, but his age has caught up to him. With all of these factors working against the Steelers, there's no head coach in the NFL that could do better than Tomlin is.
There's a reason the Steelers have only had three head coaches since 1969. They are as loyal an ownership as there is in the league because they know how important continuity is.
The Steelers will be entering unfamiliar territory, searching for their first quarterback since 2004.
Searching for a quarterback and rebuilding the defense, which is expected to lose (at least) Joe Haden, should be the Steelers' priority this offseason. Firing Mike Tomlin only results in a loss for the locker room that will upset the veterans and leave the young players without a known, reputable leader.