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‘One Of The Best Coaches In The NFL’: Former NFL DB Devin McCourty Praises Mike Tomlin’s Leadership, Competitiveness


At one point during the 2023 season, it seemed like the end was much closer than ever in his tenure with the Pittsburgh Steelers for longtime head coach Mike Tomlin.

Obviously, that didn’t happen even with the shouts for change from the fan base after another one-and-done playoff appearance. But one thing has been incredibly clear regarding Tomlin over the years: his reputation and standing as an elite-level NFL head coach is much different from the national media and from a player’s perspective than from the fan base.

As it should be, too.

Praise for Tomlin continued Tuesday from former NFL safety Devin McCourty, who spent a number of years playing against Tomlin while with the New England Patriots. Appearing on a segment with Hall of Fame head coach Tony Dungy, McCourty chose Tomlin as one of the two head coaches he would want for a must-win game right now, right alongside Los Angeles’ Sean McVay, while Dungy chose Andy Reid.

For McCourty, it’s quite simple with Tomlin: he finds a way to win regardless of who is at quarterback.

“There’s a guy still holding it down for the old guard, Mike Tomlin in Pittsburgh. It just feels like they can have a great Hall of Fame quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger, or they can have guys that we’re not sure if they’re gonna be there next year, like Kenny Pickett, Mason Rudolph this year. And still we look up and we’re like, ‘Pittsburgh is in the playoffs again,’” McCourty said on why he’d want Tomlin in a must-win game. “And I think that comes from the kind of competitiveness, the leadership Mike Tomlin has, and just the way that those guys, they say, ‘Any given Sunday, give us a chance to go play for Coach Mike T. We’re gonna give it all we got.’

“And I really enjoy seeing what Mike Tomlin been able to do and obviously why he’s still one of the best coaches in the NFL.”

Tomlin, entering his 18th season in charge of the Steelers, has seen and done it all. He knows how challenging it is to win consistently in the NFL, and the fact that he’s done so year after year to this point without a losing season is quite remarkable.

However, the lack of postseason success in the last seven seasons is concerning. He hasn’t been able to win a playoff game in that span, which has raised some questions, at least in and around Pittsburgh, regarding him being the right man for the job moving forward.

But the key decision makers within the Steelers’ organization still believe in him. He has to produce soon though, because the noise is getting louder. Still, there is plenty of support out there for Tomlin, especially from fellow coaches, former players and well-respected national media members.

McCourty is the latest to throw support behind Tomlin.

Regardless of who is under center, Tomlin is going to find a way to have the Steelers competitive and in the playoff picture. Not every coach can say that.

Now, with a completely reshaped quarterback room, Tomlin has to prove it once again. The room seems better than it’s been in years, so hopefully he can win a few more games and win a playoff game. He’s still considered one of the best coaches in the league, but the 2024 season is a big one for him to prove it — again.

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