Pittsburgh Steelers: Is Mike Tomlin coaching for his job in 2013?

The Pittsburgh Steelers are an organization who isn’t accustomed to missing the playoffs on a regular basis. With that being said, they certainly aren’t used to missing the postseason on consecutive years, as that hasn’t happened since the 1998-2000 seasons.

After a disappointing 8-8 finish in 2012, you would have to think that if something similar occurs in 2013 that heads are going to have to roll.

May 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin (right) oversees organized team activities at the UPMC Sports Complex. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

If that’s the case, could Mike Tomlin be at the top of the chopping block?

On the chance that the Steelers sit this postseason out, there will be a lot of finger pointing and call for changes going on. As any head coach is in professional sports, Tomlin will be the first one to blame for the Steelers failures, whether it is deservingly so or not.

That’s part of the territory for a coach like Tomlin, but it also could mean that 2013 is a must win season for him.

It won’t be easy though.

Tomlin and the Steelers will be challenged to prove that their 8-8 campaign of a season ago was a fluke.

If the Steelers are to turn things around, they will have to do so with a mix of aging stars and an infusion of young blood. Things will look great if the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu and others stay healthy for an entire 16-game season. Things will also look very bright if the selections of Jarvis Jones, Le’Veon Bell and Markus Wheaton pay off quickly.

But what if they don’t?

You have to think that an 8-8 or worse season won’t be acceptable for Tomlin and his staff.

That alone begs the question of if that does happen, should Tomlin’s job be on the line?

Personally I don’t think so just yet.

The 2013 season could be a strange one for the Steelers. Not only do they have unproven talent having to play a lot of positions, but they once again don’t have the greatest depth. There’s not much the coach can do about that. The bottom line is that talent wins games, and at least on paper the Steelers don’t have the greatest talent in the world.

That has led to them playing a role reversal of sorts.

The Steelers — one of the league’s most consistent winners for a decade — are not only chasing the champion Baltimore Ravens but also an emerging Cincinnati Bengals team coming off back-to-back playoff seasons. In addition, many experts are picking the Cleveland Browns to finish ahead of the Steelers, which on paper has them looking like the worst team in the division.

Sure there will be some pressure on Tomlin, but I don’t think his job is on the line just yet.

However, the pressure to produce a contender has turned up a notch after the first non-winning season since Bill Cowher’s last season in 2006 (8-8).

If that happens again, at the very minimum Tomlin’s seat will be very warm, although it likely won’t cost him his job, although many out there may hope it would.

For Tomlin’s sake as well as his job security, there’s only one way to prevent all of that from happening.

To steal a line from the late Al Davis- “Just Win Baby.”

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Topics: Bill Cowher, Mike Tomlin, Pittsburgh Steelers

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  • Adam Banig

    Nope, The steelers organization doesn’t make quick coaching changes.

    If that was the case, Cowher would have been fired in the late 90s

  • Dom DiTolla

    I’ve never been Tomlin’s biggest supporter, but I certainly hope he is not coaching for his job this fall. I think the Rooney’s understand that this is a rebuilding phase, and I believe that they will allot Tomlin another two-three year window to get things in order like they did for Cowher back in the late 90’s.

    If Tomlin cannot get the Steelers back to playing winning football by the end of 2014 or 2015 though, his job should be in jeopardy.

  • skyfire322

    Is 8-8 a “bad record” for the Steelers? Yeah, and it does kinda suck that we missed the playoffs this past year…. However, Tomlin has only missed the playoffs two times in six years…. I HIGHLY doubt that his job is on the line.

    • jayman419

      Yeah. We’re pretty spoiled as a fanbase. Between Cowher and Tomlin the Steelers have been to the playoffs like 15 times in 20 years or something like that.

  • Ronk25

    I sincerely hope so. But, if I were him, I wouldn;t be hangin my hat on that offensive coordinator (Haley). No way!

  • ecummins82

    This article is ABSURD! Tomlin has only missed the playoffs TWICE as Head Coach for the past 7 years and has YET to have his FIRST losing regular season! Cowher had MANY seasons where the record was below .500 and he wasn’t fired, so Tomlin won’t be any different!

  • jayman419

    Whoever wrote this has absolutely no clue how the Steelers operate as an organization.

    “if the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu and others stay healthy” … The owners and the front office have never held injuries against the coach.

    “[if draft picks] pay off quickly” … Again, clueless much? If anything, the front office prefers it when rookies sit for a year or two and soak in the spirit of the organization.

    Let’s look back at the long, long list of coaches the Steelers have had over the last forty-four years. Cowher missed the playoffs in 1998, 1999, and 2000. He went 6-10 the year before Big Ben joined the team. Chuck Noll didn’t finish better than 9-7 for his last 8 *consecutive* years. (And he only hit that mark in 3 of those seasons.)

    That’s it. Those two dudes and Tomlin. 33 playoff wins between them. (And 6 Super Bowl wins.)

    Oakland has had 14 head coaches in that time. And 16 playoff wins between them. Maybe Al Davis isn’t the best person to look towards for advice on running a successful franchise…

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