Mike Tomlin should be the NFL coach of the year, period. Absolutely, without a doubt. Awards can always be debated. That is the beauty of sports. MVP, Rookie of the Year, Come back player of the Year, etc.
But this year, no matter which team makes an improbable postseason run or wins the Super Bowl in February, Mike Tomlin should be named the NFL Coach of the Year.
Tomlin getting the most with the least
Back in September, the Pittsburgh Steelers were wondering how quarterback Ben Roethlisberger could lead an offense that lost two-star players in wideout Antonio Brown and running back Le’Veon Bell before the season even began.
Then to make matters more complex, Roethlisberger suffered a season-ending elbow injury in the first game of the season. Talk about going from bad to worse in a hurry.
After five weeks, the Steelers were 1-4, without several star players and looking like a team that may be qualifying for the top pick in the 2020 NFL draft. Then in a blink of an eye, it all changed for the better.
The big change
Tomlin’s “us against the world” mentality that he has always preached during his time with the Steelers started to rub off on his young inexperienced team.
Suddenly, two inexperienced quarterbacks in Devlin Hodges and Mason Rudolph were making plays and Tomlin’s defense got better by the week.
Young stars like Devin Bush and T.J. Watt are looking a lot more like a combo that has played together for years, and the pass rush was starting to click.
The once 1-4 Steelers now lead the league in sacks, takeaways and have moved from the bottom third on defense to sixth overall. Pittsburgh has won 7 of 8 games and it is looking more likely that this team is heading to the postseason.
For a team that started 1-4 (which is almost always a death sentence in terms of making the playoffs), the Steelers will be one of those teams in the AFC that no one wants to face in the postseason.
Mike Tomlin is on the latest list of candidates to win the Coach of the Year Award but he is far from the favorite.
The overall favorite to win the COTY Award is the 49ers Kyle Shanahan at +200. He has done a great job with a team that just two seasons ago was a bottom feeder.
After Shanahan is Buffalo’s Sean McDermott. McDermott has Bills fans daydreaming of the good old days as they are in a great spot to make the playoffs.
Baltimore’s John Harbaugh is third overall followed by Tomlin, who has jumped from the tenth spot (which is where he was listed Thanksgiving weekend) to fourth overall.
Fans can make an argument for every coach on the list, but with a roster that even the biggest Steelers fan has to glance at from time-to-time to know who is in the game, Mike Tomlin may be having his best season coaching wise in 2019.
Here is a look at the top 10 favorites to win the NFL Coach of the Year according to Betonline.
- Kyle Shanahan (49ers) +200
- Sean McDermott (Bills) +400
- John Harbaugh (Ravens) +475
- Mike Tomlin (Steelers) +500
- Matt LaFleur (Packers) +1000
- Pete Carroll (Seahawks) +1000
- Andy Reid (Chiefs) +1400
- Sean Payton (Saints) +1400
- Bill Belichick (Patriots) +2000
- Matt Nagy (Bears) +3300