Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin receiving an extension that keeps him in Pittsburgh for the foreseeable future wasn’t surprising news on Monday. Nor was the reaction — both positively and negatively — to the news of the extension.

For some, it is a well-deserved extension for a coach who has continued to keep the Steelers competitive and winning games even while going through a transition at quarterback and having a below-average offense under Matt Canada.

For many others, it’s just a continuation of perceived mediocrity and the Steelers fearing any sort of change at the top of the coaching staff, especially for a team that has not won a playoff game since 2016.

Former NFL quarterback Brady Quinn finds himself on the fence just a bit regarding the Tomlin extension. Quinn praised Tomlin for the work he’s done throughout his career and keeping the Steelers competitive, but he also has concerns about the lack of playoff success in the last decade.

“I think the biggest concern for Pittsburgh fans is probably can [Tomlin] evolve from when he won his last Super Bowl to having this string of success?” Quinn said Tuesday on “Two Pros And A Cup Of Joe”, according to video via Fox Sports Radio on YouTube. “But is he gonna be able to have that string of success, ultimately pop to a Super Bowl? And I think it takes that evolution of him as a coach. And maybe we saw a little bit of that last year finally moving on from Matt Canada, something that…I don’t think Mike Tomlin’s made an in-season firing ever since he’s been [the] Pittsburgh Steelers’ head coach.”

Not only had Tomlin never fired a coach in-season, the Steelers had not fired a coach in-season since 1941 when Pittsburgh dismissed then-head coach Bert Bell after losing its first two games of the season. Tomlin did fire former special teams coordinator Al Everest in late August 2012, but that wasn’t in-season.

The move to fire Canada was long overdue. To that point in the season entering Week 12 the Steelers had been outgained in every game, struggled to score points and quarterback Kenny Pickett’s development was stagnant.

At the time, it was believed that the Steelers and Tomlin would just hold out and continue to push forward with Canada as the offensive coordinator. That all changed on November 21 when Tomlin made the move to fire Canada.

“I thought last year was an example of Mike Tomlin showing growth by moving on from Matt Canada,” Quinn said. “I mean, he’s not very responsive to outside pressures, the media, fans, what have you. Last year was an example though of him finally conceding the fact that this just isn’t working.

“It doesn’t matter how much you like the guy. If you think he’s a good guy, you love his family, it doesn’t matter.”

While Tomlin had a good relationship with Canada, it ultimately didn’t matter. He finally did what was necessary on the offensive side of the football and pulled the plug on the Canada experience.

That did show a sign of growth and the ability to adapt. Tomlin made a much-needed change, made an uncomfortable move that required offensive coaches like Eddie Faulkner and Mike Sullivan to take on larger, more demanding roles for the Steelers down the stretch.

In the end, Tomlin went outside the organization to bring in Arthur Smith as the new offensive coordinator and changed things up at quarterback with Russell Wilson and Justin Fields now in the fold.

Tomlin has had quite a bit of success in the past, but things got stagnant. Now he’s changing and adapting. We’ll see if he can evolve completely to get back to competing for Super Bowls now that he has another three-year contract extension.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here