Upon hearing the news that the Pittsburgh Steelers gave Coach Mike Tomlin a contract extension, Cleveland Browns fans should be elated.
You heard me, elated.
Mike Tomlin is a decent NFL coach; there is no doubt.
We have signed Coach Mike Tomlin to a three-year contract extension.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) April 20, 2021
Tomlin won a Super Bowl with Bill Cowher‘s team, and he hasn’t won since.
With the exception of Bill Belichick, very few coaches win the Super Bowl in different decades.
They tend to join a new team, turn it around, win, and then either go through a dry spell or switch teams to go through the process all over again.
Why Do Coaches Tend To Win Shortly After Joining A Team?
There are several reasons for this.
The coach flies under the radar for a while with little to no expectations.
Generally, coaches join teams after the teams’ have losing seasons so they are given a little time (and lots of good draft picks) to rebuild the organization.
Why Can’t They Win Multiple Times?
The schedule gets more complex.
Draft picks are not as favorable.
Key players leave.
Tomlin won the Super Bowl in his second season, 2008.
The Steelers then won the AFC Championship in 2010.
Nothing has happened since.
Sometimes when a team has an aging group of players and the same coaching staff, things get stale.
This seems to be the case for the Steelers.
Then, there are the player issues.
Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and to a lesser extent JuJu Smith-Schuster provided off-the-field distractions.
Players are not bought in, and a coaching change is sometimes the best thing for both the team and the coach.
The Steelers do not replace head coaches unless necessary so I suppose no one should be surprised Tomlin was extended.
I do think the wildcard loss to the Browns in 2020 would put Tomlin on more tenuous ground for a contract extension.
For a while, it looked like Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger could be on the same timeline; that is done in ’21.
I'll leave this here pic.twitter.com/ReHUf0M7X4
— Cole Clark (@ColeClark66) April 20, 2021
Back To The Browns
Everything about new coaches striking early in their tenure applies to the Browns and Coach Stefanski also.
The Browns really need to prove themselves as a contender by winning the AFC North this season.
Advancing through the playoffs, potentially to the AFC Championship, would be another logical step forward.
The roster is young, and things are starting to click.
That same young talent will soon be looking for contract extensions so the time is now.
2021 cannot be a wasted opportunity for the Cleveland Browns.
The future division leaders of the AFC North look to be the Browns and the Cincinnati Bengals.
Baltimore has issues with the salary cap, and the same coaching situation that applies to Mike Tomlin can also apply to John Harbaugh.
The Ravens and Harbaugh won the Super Bowl in his 5th season with the team; he is now entering his 14th year.
Cincinnati with a healthy Joe Burrow is on the rise too but may need time to get him a roster that supports him.
The Browns are the most complete team in the division so it is definitely go-time.
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