The Pittsburgh Steelers were 2-6 at the bye, and given up for dead in the 2022 season. No one in their right mind believed that this team had even a slight chance at the post season. Many, including us, had already begun dreaming of a top five pick in the 2023 NFL draft. Fast forward to the final week of the season, and the Steelers are on the cusp of a playoff spot. So now the question must be asked, is Mike Tomlin the coach of the year in the NFL?
This has to be Mike Tomlin’s finest coaching performance to date. Even with amazing accomplishments like winning a Super Bowl, or getting a winning record out of a team with a quarterback named “Duck”. There have been other seasons where he has turned early losing records into successful seasons, but none compare to this.
The 2022 season was already meant to be a rebuilding year after the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger. The prospect of having either Mitch Trubisky, or a rookie in Kenny Pickett at quarterback automatically tempered expectations. The injury to star TJ Watt, and the losing streak that followed seemed to insure this season would be the worst possibly in franchise history. The 1-4 Pittsburgh Steelers: How did we get here?
There may be no coach in the NFL who could have willed his team back from the spiral they were in. So many called for the team to fire the offensive coordinator, abandon the offensive line, and tear down the team at the trade deadline. Most coaches would have bowed to that pressure. Not Tomlin. His steadfast belief in himself, and this team has paid dividends to the tune of a 6-2 record in the second half. The Steelers have a very real shot at the post season heading into the final week of the season. Taking this team from where it was, to where it is today should put make everyone ask is Mike Tomlin coach of the year in 2022? And that answer should be yes.
The competition for this award will be tough. There are several deserving candidates this season. Names like Brian Daboll, Nick Sirianni, and Kevin O’Connell have all had terrific coaching seasons. Non of which compares to what Mike Tomlin has done in our opinion. This team was dead in the water at the midway point. To turn them around, with a rookie quarterback no less, is nothing short of a brilliant coaching job. We have had our issues with Mike Tomlin’s coaching over the years on this site. Having said that, there is no denying this is a terrific coaching performance worthy of the NFL Coach of the Year award.