Steelers president Art Rooney II expects Mike Tomlin to continue to be the team’s head coach for the foreseeable future, Rooney announced on Thursday when speaking with the Pittsburgh media in an end-of-season briefing.
Tomlin signed a two-year extension in 2019 that covers the 2021 season with a mutual option for the 2022 season. Rooney said the topic of an additional extension, now approaching two years removed from the last one, will be on the table this offseason, but expects Tomlin to remain in Pittsburgh.
“We’ll address Mike’s contract with him as time goes on this offseason,” Rooney said. “I’ll just say that I feel comfortable in saying he’ll be our coach into the future.”
When asked to evaluate Tomlin’s performance in 2020, Rooney seemed pleased with the overall product, if not the way the season ended.
“We didn’t finish the way we’d like,” Rooney said. “The playoff game … I don’t really see how you attribute that to coaching preparation.”
“We set a franchise record starting out 11-0, won our division. So those are the positives. The way we finished was not one of the positives. I know Mike feels as bad about that as any of us and is determined to do what we need to do to fight to get back into having another opportunity to with the division and move on.”
Tomlin has been the Steelers head coach since 2007 and is currently the third-longest tenured head coach in the NFL, behind just Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots and Sean Payton of the New Orleans Saints.
The Steelers have had just three head coaches since 1969, with Tomlin following in the footsteps of Chuck Noll (1969-91) and Bill Cowher (1992-2006) as long-tenured head coaches.
Tomlin has 145 career regular-season wins, which are tied with Pete Carroll for the 21st most in NFL history, four behind Cowher. Carroll and Tomlin are tied for third place in wins among active coaches, trailing Belichick and Kansas City’s Andy Reid.
But in the playoffs, Tomlin’s teams have disappointed as of late. The team has not won a playoff game since 2016, going 0-2 while missing the playoffs twice. Both of those losses were as the higher seed at home.