Former NFL offensive lineman and current football analyst Mark Schlereth took in a Pittsburgh Steelers’ practice yesterday. And he came away pretty impressed with the job Mike Tomlin did.
Schlereth will be on the call for Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints and tweeted out a couple of quick takeaways from his day at the Steelers’ facility, an indoor practice on a rainy Pittsburgh Saturday.
It isn’t the first time we’ve seen someone analyze Tomlin in that sense. While the Steelers are in the middle of a difficult 2-6 leader, Tomlin remains the leader and now the clear face of the franchise following Ben Roethlisberger’s retirement, the last player who was on the roster prior to Tomlin being hired in 2007.
Since, Tomlin has racked up the wins. He currently sits 18th in NFL history with 156 wins, passing Joe Gibbs at the start of the year, and remains just two wins shy of tying Bud Grant’s mark. While Don Shula (and probably soon enough, Bill Belichick’s) seems out of the question to ever reach, if Tomlin can average even just eight wins over the next five seasons, he’ll land right around 200 career wins which would tie him for seventh all-time. Breaking into the top five will be a challenge. The Chiefs’ Andy Reid currently sits there with 235 but his total will grow over the years meaning Tomlin will probably need to surpass Tom Landry’s 250. That’ll be tougher to do.
Getting back to Schlereth’s point, former and current players have always held Tomlin in high regard for his transparency, consistency, and the “Tomlin-isms” the media loves to talk about. Schlereth is perhaps a little biased as well, as he admitted to in this next tweet.
A very cool Hall of Honor banner hung up in the end zone of the team’s indoor facility. This weekend, the team unveiled its Hall of Honor Museum now officially open to the public.
Of course, for Steelers’ fans, Schlereth’s praise isn’t all that noteworthy. All that matters is wins and those have been hard to come by in Pittsburgh. Barely squeaking into the playoffs last year only to be routed by the Chiefs and a 2-6 start this year, one loss away from their worst start in 35 years. Tomlin’s Steelers also haven’t won a playoff game since 2016, the longest drought since before Chuck Noll arrived to turn the team around. Just like a CEO, it’s a results-oriented business and the results haven’t been good enough.
Schlereth will serve as FOX’s color commentator for tomorrow’s game against the New Orleans Saints, a 1 PM/EST kickoff at Acrisure Stadium.