Today, on the eve of the training camp, the Pittsburgh Steelers rewarded head coach Mike Tomlin with a three-year contract extension (financial terms not disclosed) through the 2016 season. This extension continues a trend that began with Tomlin’s predecessor Bill Cowher after he succeeded Chuck Noll as their coach in 1992.NFL leading the Steelers to the playoffs in four of his five years at the helm. More importantly, he (and general manager Kevin Colbert) has quietly retooled an aging franchise into a younger and potentially more talented unit than the one he inherited from Cowher.
In fact, if you look deeply at the moves made by the Steelers this offseason, you can see they were made by a coaching staff and front office with job security. Everything from cutting aging veterans who were fan favorites, to drafting (and potentially starting) two high-round offensive linemen (one with character concerns) to even persuading line backers coach Keith Butler to pass on a chance to become a defensive coordinator to stay with the Steelers give that impression.
With an extension in hand, the 40-year-old Tomlin will look to build upon his impressive 55-25 record (60-28 overall), with one Super Bowl Championship, two AFC Championships, three AFC North Titles and four playoff births in five NFL seasons.
After locking up first-round selection David DeCastro yesterday and Tomlin today, the Steelers still have some work to do with negotiations, as they try to lock up wide receiver Mike Wallace to a long term deal. Unfortunately, no one knows whether the Pro Bowl wide out will sign his RFA tender and report to camp, or begin what could be an ugly contract dispute.
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