Following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 45-42 playoff loss against the Jacksonville Jaguars, some of the team’s ownership partners have decided they’ve seen enough of the team’s head coach.
According to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, a group of Steelers’ fan owned limited equity partners plan to lobby owner Art Rooney into firing Mike Tomlin:
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, some of the team’s limited partners intend to lobby owner Art Rooney to fire of Tomlin and to hire a new coach.
The limited partners, who became involved nearly a decade ago as member of the Rooney family sold their interest in the team after acquiring gaming interests that violate league policy, have no authority over the management of the team, but they have a pipeline to owner Art Rooney. Per the source, they plan to utilize it.
The concerns relate to the increasingly obvious issues with decision-making in key moments of the game, also known as “situational football.” The absence of a plan in the final seconds of the loss last month to the Patriots was one thing; the frittering away of the final 47 seconds on Sunday against the Jaguars, when Pittsburgh was five yards from the end zone and down 10 points, only made it worse. (The source specifically pointed to those key 47 seconds, noting that the players were moving without any real sense of urgency as the clock was ticking and the Steelers needed two scores.)
Since being hired as Pittsburgh’s head coach in 2007, Tomlin has a 116-60 record with eight playoff appearances, two Super Bowl berths, including a win in 2008.
Whether or not, Rooney buys into the lobbying is yet to be determined but one can imagine that Mike Tomlin’s seat will be very warm heading into 2018.