93.7 the Fan

Dunlap: Why The Rush With Tomlin?

May 08, 2019 - 2:30 pm

Related: Bouchette: Tomlin Likely To Get Contract Extension

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Let’s get this out of the way right now: I’m a Big Mike Tomlin fan. 

Yep. I won’t hide it at all. Big, big Coach T fan. 

I like what he’s done with the franchise and I think the whole “he needs to have more control” narrative is incredibly overblown. In short, if he ran a tighter ship, I don’t necessarily think that would equate to more wins. 

It actually might equate to fewer, to be honest. 

And I think --- as with any NFL fanbase --- there is a large contingent of people who complain for the sake of complaining. It feels like the smallest Tomlin error or gripe is built up, explodes in Vesuvius form and is made out by some to be something that the Steelers will never be able to overcome. 

But I get it --- that’s what fans do. That’s what fans that really care do. 

All that said, I will acknowledge something very real, pressing and timely: There should be absolutely no rush to give Mike Tomlin a new contract or contract extension right now. 

I heard veteran Steelers writer Ed Bouchette on 93.7 The Fan the other day talking about how he’s now of the idea Tomlin’s extension will come sooner rather than later --- that he and the team will hammer something out before the beginning of the 2019 season. 

To that I ask, “Why the rush?”

Why is there this apparent urgency to come to some sort of agreement? 

You see, Tomlin has a current contract that runs through the end of the 2020 season, essentially under agreement to coach this coming season and the next one. 

With the Steelers missing the playoffs last season and being embarrassingly bounced out of the 2017 postseason by the Jacksonville Jaguars, I’m failing to understand why it wouldn’t be prudent to have Tomlin sing for his supper a little bit right now. 

This is an important time for the Steelers and Tomlin and sometimes the best decision is, well, no decision at all. 

The Steelers, to me at least, are stuck in a dangerous “that’s the way we’ve always done it” rut wherein their common business practice would be to re-up a coach with two seasons remaining on his contract. 

It’s one thing to adhere to tradition --- it’s quite another to become antiquated.

It is yet still another thing to be inflexible depending on variables. I’m here to tell you the Steelers’ policy (or at least history) is both antiquated and they are acting as if they cannot act in another way. In addition, these variables are different as the Steelers have been unsuccessful in the playoffs as of late --- which is very uncharacteristic.

The solution here is simple: Do nothing. 
It is perfectly OK for Mike Tomlin to experience a bit of an uncomfortable time as it could even serve to thrust him to do a better job. 

That’s exactly why I propose the Steelers sit on their hands and have Tomlin coach this coming season with two years remaining on his contract, see how he does and then go from there. 

What’s he going to do? Quit? Retire? Tank?

And if he does, the Steelers aren’t Avella or Mapletown High School --- I’m sure they will have no problem finding a very, very, very qualified football coach to lead their organization. After all, again, they are the Pittsburgh Steelers. The crest itself will draw the best coaching candidates football has to offer. 

But Tomlin wouldn’t quit if he weren’t offered an extension or new contract --- he might not be happy; but he wouldn’t quit. That’s why I say you send him into the 2019 season under his current contract. 

In a crazy way, it might serve to motivate him to do a better job.  ​

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