4 Pittsburgh Steelers players who deserve to outlast Mike Tomlin but won't

The Pittsburgh Steelers will bring back Mike Tomlin and perhaps even extend him. However, not all of his players will be as lucky.

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills
AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Pittsburgh Steelers v Buffalo Bills / Sarah Stier/GettyImages
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
1 of 4
Next

Mike Tomlin will return as Pittsburgh Steelers head coach next season. That much is certain, as Tomlin will coach out the remainder of his contract. Pittsburgh will also seek a contract extension with Tomlin, despite some buzz suggesting the Steelers would part ways with their head coach after this season or next.

Tomlin hasn't won a playoff game in nearly a decade. His winning seasons streak is an impressive one, and he deserves praise for achieiving that feat with the corpse of Ben Roethlisberger, Kenny Pickett and Mason Rudolph. However, success in Pittsburgh isn't judge by winning records. Success in the postseason in most important, as is winning Super Bowls, of which the Steelers have six.

Tomlin knows this, and surely isn't happy with himself or his standings with the fanbase. The Steelers head coach walked out of a press conference when asked about his future following the team's loss to the Buffalo Bills on Wild Card weekend. Those who play under Tomlin praise him as a players coach, and someone who understands the modern NFL. Even Steelers legends like Troy Polamalu can't fathom how Pittsburgh would move on from him.

"He's a man of integrity, and I think that's important. He held everybody accountable. He has a really cool saying, 'I don't treat everyone the same, but I treat them fairly'...I felt like he was able to connect with players on a more human level including the fact that he's an amazing technician...to me just a really well-rounded individual," Polamalu told FanSided.

Who am I to question an all-time great? Rather than disagreeing with Polamalu or any current Steelers players, perhaps it's better to frame the argument this way: Which current Pittsburgh players will leave before Tomlin does?

4. Miles Killebrew won't outlast Mike Tomlin with Steelers

Miles Killebrew made an All-Pro team in 2023 as a special teamer. Killebrew is one of the best special teams players in football, and will be a free agent this coming offseason. It's also why Pittsburgh is unlikely to keep him around at an elevated price tag. Barring Killebrew doesn't sign a team-friendly deal, he could be done as a Steeler, which would be a major blow to Tomlin.

"I've always been a teamer," said Killebrew. "I've always loved it. I've always had a soft spot for it. I wouldn't have even made it to college without special teams. My coach told me he never saw someone put kickoff for their first 10 plays on their highlight film and he said we've got to have you here. I've always enjoyed it. It's something I've always taken a lot of pride in. It's something I've always known I can be good at. When I got to the league it was right in step with what I'd been doing. I never had to change my mindset. It's something I have always loved."

Pittsburgh learned the hard way what can happen when they pay a special teamer too much money. All-Pro Gunner Olszewski was signed by the Steelers just a few years ago on a $5 million deal. That cash should have gone elsewhere, as Pittsburgh tried to use Olszewski as a wide receiver and failed miserably.

Killebrew has been great for Tomlin in Pittsburgh, but he won't be around until the end of the coach's tenure.