The Steelers are 7-3 since Ben Roethlisberger got hurt. That’s amazing.
Jabroni QB Devlin Hodges has won both his starts and another game in relief. That’s amazing.
The Steelers are in the AFC’s No. 2 wild-card spot. That’s amazing.
Mike Tomlin is getting mad support for NFL Coach of the Year, an honor he has never won. There’s no doubt Tomlin has done terrific – not just in Roethlisberger’s absence, but after the departure of Antonio Brown and despite a slew of other damaging injuries. (What’s happened since with Brown has made Tomlin look all the better.)
But to get Coach of the Year, Tomlin has to make the playoffs.
To be Coach of the Year, you must do something exceptional. Missing the playoffs at 9-7 or 8-8 isn’t exceptional. Making the playoffs minus Roethlisberger = EXCEPTIONAL.
That’s the line I’m drawing: If the Steelers make the playoffs, Tomlin is Coach of the Year. If they don’t, he’s not.
Tomlin doing a great job now doesn’t excuse him for winning just three playoff games in the previous eight years despite talent that dictated better. Nor does that litany of failure detract from Tomlin’s guiding hand this season.
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