Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was one of the coaches thought to be on the hot-seat heading into the 2019 season. The Steelers missed the playoffs in disappointing fashion and were subsequently forced to trade away their star wide receiver because he was unhappy. This all came on the heels of Le'Veon Bell’s decision to sit out; while that was more of an issue with the front office than Tomlin himself, it still wasn’t a great look for how he handled his locker room.
All those hot-seat rumors can be put to rest. The Steelers and Tomlin agreed to a one-year extension on Thursday, and his contract will now run through 2021.
Firing Tomlin isn’t completely out of the question if the Steelers are inexplicably bad next season, but it’s hard to see that happening while they still have Ben Roethlisberger under center. Tomlin should be safe for at least a year, and has earned that buffer with years of quality coaching.
Still, it’s a pivotal year for the franchise. Tomlin must prove he can maintain a healthy locker room culture and keep his team competitive despite losing two of his best players over the offseason. A contract extension is good for Tomlin’s state of mind, but it isn’t exactly a guarantee yet. There’s a lot riding on this season, for Tomlin and the Steelers as a whole.