Mike Tomlin, as expected, was asked about his name being linked to the Washington Redskins‘ head coaching vacancy during his weekly Tuesday press conference. Following the Redskins’ decision to relieve former head coach Jay Gruden of his duties early Monday morning, owner Dan Snyder reportedly has Tomlin to be Washington’s next head coach.
Tomlin, who is signed through the 2021 season, stiff-armed the question while stating that he remains focused on his obligations as Pittsburgh’s head coach.
“I’m not worried about that, to be quite honest with you,” Tomlin said. “Guys, I’m the head coach of a 1-4 football team that’s going on the road to play a Hall of Fame caliber quarterback with a third-string quarterback. Do you think I’m worried about anything this week other than that?”
Tomlin will continue to focus on getting the Steelers out of their current 1-4 state. Pittsburgh, despite being competitive in each of its last four games, has just one win to show for it entering Sunday night’s road game against the Los Angeles Chargers, who are also taking their lumps after a 2-3 start.
Despite Pittsburgh’s current state, if the Steelers can defeat the Chargers, they’ll still be in the thick of things in the AFC North division title chase. Pittsburgh is currently two games behind Baltimore (3-2), followed by Cleveland (2-3) and one game ahead of winless Cincinnati. The Browns, who will host Seattle (4-1) on Sunday, are the only AFC North team that has not lost a game within the division.
A defensive assistant on Jon Gruden’s staff that helped lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to victory in Super Bowl XXXVII, Tomlin was just 34-years-old when he succeeded Bill Cowher as Pittsburgh’s head coach in 2007. In 13 seasons, Tomlin has compiled a 134-77-1 record that includes eight playoff appearances , six division titles, two AFC titles and a victory in Super Bowl XLIII. Tomlin, who was 36-years-old when Pittsburgh edged Arizona to win their sixth Super Bowl, is the youngest head coach in history to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory.
Tomlin’s .642 winning percentage is the 19th best mark in NFL history. The only active head coach with a better career winning percentage is New England’s Bill Belichick, whose .684 winning percentage is the eighth-best mark in league history. Tomlin, whose 126 regular season wins is the 27th highest total in league history, has never had a losing season as the Steelers’ head coach.
Despite his success, Tomlin has received criticism for Pittsburgh’s lack of postseason success since their last Super Bowl appearance, a 31-25 loss to Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV. Since then, Pittsburgh has a 3-5 postseason record that includes their blowout loss to New England in the 2016 AFC Championship Game and Jacksonville’s upset victory in the divisional round of the 2017 playoffs.
The criticism intensified in Pittsburgh after the Steelers, despite fielding a team with 11 players with Pro Bowl selections on their resumes, failed to make the playoffs after a 7-2-1 start.