The Pittsburgh Steelers narrowly made their way into the playoffs this past weekend in what is expected to be the last season that long time quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will be playing. It has been speculated that Roethlisberger would be retiring at the end of this season for quite some time now, and while Big Ben has not officially said he was leaving, he has dropped many hints that this would be it for him.
With that said, there have also been rumors circulating that Mike Tomlin who has been the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers since 2007 would be leaving the organization after the 2021 season. Tomlin has had an incredibly successful run with the franchise including two trips to the Super Bowl with one of those being victorious. Former Pittsburgh Steelers executive Doug Whaley had the following to say on Tomlin leaving the organization a couple of months ago.
“Six letters for Steelers fans to be very concerned about… LSU, USC. Think about that. Both institutions can out-pay the Rooneys. Their alumni base has enough money to give Mike Tomlin whatever he wants… Two, Mike Tomlin would be GM, president, CEO of that football program. Three, LSU (athletic director) Scott Woodward is known for going big game hunting. In LSU, you have such a fertile recruiting ground, you’re going to put a barricade, a fence around it…(Nick) Saban’s not going to be around forever. Now you can talk about dominating the SEC like Saban and you can put your name alongside those who have won a Super Bowl and a National Championship.” – Doug Whaley on Mike Tomlin
Now as we know, Tomlin did not entertain those jobs but it doesn’t mean he won’t be looking at other NFL head coaching jobs. Or, he could simply stay where he is at and finish out his career in Pittsburgh.
Former NFL quarterback Carson Palmer even weighed in on Tomlin leaving the Steelers and had the following to say about the coach and his quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger playing a part in that decision.
“I’ve been as involved as they’ll let me be… there’s a lot of front-runners right now. You’ve got a wild card like Mike Tomlin, if Mike Tomlin wants out…At the end of the day there’s not a ‘that’s the guy everybody’s pointing their fingers at’… It can lure an NFL guy that is tired of their current situation and worried about, is Ben Roethlisberger gone, is he done, who are we going to draft? Does Mike Tomlin have to start over with a first-round, young rookie quarterback?” – Carson Palmer on Mike Tomlin