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Mike Tomlin Reacts to His New Contract Extension

Mike Tomlin shrugged off the milestone of his new contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers, instead focusing on the future rather than the past.

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Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin at the team's mandatory minicamp, June 11, 2024 - Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has a newly minted three-year extension, which will keep him with the team through the 2027 season. However, that never meant much for Tomlin himself. Last year, when asked about it, he shrugged it off. Asked about the extension on Tuesday, Tomlin seemed happier not to answer questions about it than anything else, but more than that, he does not want to look in the rearview at his resume, either.

“To be quite honest with you it just means that I don’t have to field questions about it. I’ve seen more days than I am going to see on this job, man. I’m focused on 2024 and have been and that’s my mindset,” Tomlin said. “…I don’t focus on what’s in my rearview. If there’s a secret, the secret is that I’m focused on the challenges and tasks at hand and not my resume. I could care less about my resume.”

Take it from Mike Tomlin, but he feels like he has grown and changed significantly over the last few years. More than starting in 2007 with the team, Tomlin expects the growth out of himself each year that he would out of a player or coach heading into their second season. That’s the type of performance that Tomlin hopes to put out each season as head coach.

Pittsburgh Steelers Mike Tomlin

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin at the team’s OTAs, June 4, 2024 – Ed Thompson / Steelers Now

“I’ve gotten better with experience. It’s not always reflected in the outcome of games, but that can be said about a lot of components of what it is that we do. You better get better with experience. I expect these guys to get better with experience. I expect our second-year players to take a significant step, for example. And so, I’m leaning in on guys like Joey Porter, Jr, and [Keeanu] Benton and others and so it’s the same in coaching. I’m excited about Aaron Curry in his second year within the program. I’ve been in this program a lot of years, so it better be reflected in the quality of my work,” Tomlin said.

Players were elated to see Tomlin sign the extension to remain with the team. Pat Freiermuth was among those in that camp. Freiermuth says that Tomlin is the best coach he has ever played for and that his staying around will only benefit the team.

“I’m very happy for him. He’s the best coach I’ve ever played for. I think a lot of guys in the locker room would say the same thing,” Freiermuth said.

Russell Wilson was not far off in his praise for Tomlin, stating that he is a future Hall of Fame coach.

“He’s one of the greatest motivators I’ve ever been around. I think his ability to communicate, his ability to inspire individuals every day. … I think that’s why he’s a Hall of Fame coach,” Wilson said.

Now, Tomlin will look to turn around the ship and deliver the franchise’s first playoff win since 2016. That continues to hang over his and the organization’s heads, and team president Art Rooney II stated that there was an urgency to win a playoff game in 2024.

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