Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was ranked as the next-to-worst in the NFL when it comes to in-game decision making for the 2021 season by Edj Sports.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur was named the top coach in the league, while now-fired New York Giants boss Joe Judge finished dead last.
The Edj Sports coach of the year rankings are determined by a combination of the company’s proprietary decision-making metrics, based on the Game Winning Chance of each fourth-down decision, and the overall success of each team’s offensive and defensive units.
According to their press release, Edj Sports “Analyzes every coaching decision during the course of a season. The EdjFootball model enables an in-depth examination of all critical calls (4th downs, PATs and kickoffs), in terms of the amount of GWC at stake. The coach’s play-calling choices (run, pass, field goal, punt) are assessed at the point of decision (pre-snap) and rated with respect to their impact on winning the game. As a result of this process, all play calling decisions can be objectively classified as either optimal decisions (correct calls) or suboptimal decisions (errors).”
Indianapolis’ Frank Reich, the Chargers’ Brandon Staley, Chiefs coach Andy Reid and Bills boss Sean McDermott rounded out the top five. The Steelers’ AFC North brethren were all in the middle of the pack, with Baltimore’s John Harbaugh 18th, Cincinnati’s Zac Taylor 19th and Cleveland’s Kevin Stefanski 21st.
Tomlin was the only coach at the bottom of the rankings to be retained as Jon Gruden and Rich Basaccia (27th), Sean Payton (28th), Mike Zimmer (29th), David Culley (30th) and Judge will all not return as head coaches for 2022.
Tomlin’s fourth-down decision-making and strategic use of timeouts have frequently been criticized over his tenure as the Steelers’ head coach, including several times this season, most notably when kicker Chris Boswell was concussed attempting a fake field goal at Cleveland.