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Mike Tomlin is a good coach, and I predict when it’s all said and done he will be evaluated more on the level of Noll and less on the level with Cowher. This is one way to perceive the question: “who coached their first post season game better, Tomlin or Cowher?” ‘Definitely Tomlin. I think Tomlin will win in the post season in this, his second year; not for the first time in his third post season, a la Cowher. I think Tomlin is more in control of his team. I think sixteen years from now we will be able to contrast Tomlin’s multiple Super Bowl wins with Cowher’s one and I think it will be clear Tomlin was the better coach.

He is human; he made falable choices in his first year and choices we liked. Allowing Porter to leave and inserting James Harrison was his telltale major move, I’d say. He established there would not be a huge voice from the prior year on the D. I knew then he was a no-nonsense kind of coach. It worked out well however the team didn’t seem to have a VOCAL leader. I think he will put the charge of vocal leadership squarely on whoever SHOULD be the vocal leader of the defense this year. If he’s not thinking about that, he really should reconsider. The way the D presents itself this year, with Tomlin as a Defensive minded kind of guy, will say a lot more about what quality Tomlin is.

Two areas of vocal leadership are important to assess; head coach and defensively, on the field. Mike Tomlin is not very vocal, unlike Bill Cowher, obviously. Tomlin says what he means and means what he says. He’s not a “rah rah” kind of guy. What kind of vocal leader on the sidelines works best? Think Noll. Think of the contrast with Noll and Cowher. Now think of the end results, post season.

Here’s a question to ponder: was Bill Cowher less successful in the playoffs than he could have been (four AFC Championship losses?) if he were more like Tomlin and less of a rah rah guy? I say “yes”.

Mike Tomlin will win a playoff game or three this year, I predict. Cowher’s team lost its first two playoff games, remember. While those 11-5 Steelers of 1992 and 9-7 Steelers of 1993 were a lot different than the left over team Tomlin took over who had Super Bowl winners all over the roster, remember the most important fact which was that the Steelers didn’t show up on game day of Cowher’s first playoff game; for Tomlin, they showed up and they finished well although it was a loss. The Steelers had home field advantage in 1992 and mucked it up while the Steelers of Tomlin’s first year played well in the playoffs. I think that says a lot. There were plenty of people in 1992 who had been through the playoffs and won with the Steelers back in 1989 but they certainly fouled up their playoff game against Buffalo in 1992 and against Kansas City in 1993. Special teams lost the game in 1993 and Cowher was in charge of special teams in his career before coming to Pittsburgh, so that was kind of his area to overlook. Maybe he wasn’t the special teams coach, but it is his specialty.

How necessary IS a vocal leader on the field? ‘Very. Pittsburgh had many “talkers” in the 70s and dominated. Joe Montana cut people up on defense with his own words, his whole career and they won championships galore. It will be the onus on Tomlin to encourage someone on the D to start leading loudly again. While I think coaches should remain calm, not be “rah rah” types, players should be vocal. How Tomlin does in the second post season will rely largely on how he preps his Defense this year. I predict success.

Tomlin IS a good head football coach.

As submitted at



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