Mike Tomlin may feel the pressure after back-to-back non-winning seasons, but he’s trying to push all those distractions aside as the team starts training camp.
Despite leading the Steelers to a 71-41 overall record and a Super Bowl title, Tomlin said he believes he is on the hot seat going into the 2014 season. Some NFL insiders agree, with one website listing him as having only the 22nd best job security.
Tomlin appears quite worried for his own future. When the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review asked what it’s like for Tomlin to have three ex-head coaches on staff, Tomlin implied that he could be joining the ranks of ex-coaches if he didn’t turn things around.
“Hopefully, I’m not one of them [when the season ends],” Tomlin said, adding that he does not assume that his job is ever safe.said
Despite the pressure, Mike Tomlin said he’s not doing anything differently as training camp begins this year.
“Not for me. We’re here to build our team for 2014,” he said. “What we’ve done in the past is in the past. To be quite honest with you, a lot of those guys who are going to be significant components of what we do this year were not a part of some of those teams you mentioned.
Not everyone believes that Tomlin is in trouble. The Steelers have a knack for standing by their head coaches — which is evident by the fact that they’ve only had three coaches since 1969.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer Ed Bouchette noted that the team has stuck by Bill Cowher through worse stretches:
Like Tomlin, after some early success, Cowher’s teams ran into trouble as they changed to a new era with new players. They missed the playoffs three consecutive years from 1998 through 2000 by going 7-9, 6-10 and 9-7. The Rooneys reacted to those seasons by signing Cowher to a contract extension before the 2001 season. Tomlin, who signed a three-year extension in 2012 that carries through the 2016 season, is due another extension next year.
Is there pressure to win? Absolutely — at all levels in all pro sports — but Tomlin said he feels no more this year than in any other season. In fact, he laughed at the question Friday before issuing a flat, “No.”
While Mike Tomlin may not be on the hot seat, his team is not without its distractions. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has two years left on his contract, a time when the Pittsburgh Steelers traditionally has offered extensions. But team owner Art Rooney II confirmed that the team is not negotiating with Roethlisberger, leaving his future with the team in question.