"The standard is the standard" is Mike Tomlin's most popular saying. Under Tomlin, the standard in Pittsburgh has been to consistently be in position to compete for a Super Bowl title. The Steelers' ability to uphold the standard under Tomlin has helped Pittsburgh's coach make NFL history.
By virtue of their 26-14 Week 17 win over the Cleveland Browns on Monday night, Tomlin secured his NFL-record 15th consecutive non-losing season to begin his coaching career as the Steelers improved to 8-7-1 with one game remaining. The record was previously held by the late Marty Schottenheimer during his time with the Browns and Chiefs from 1984-97.
The youngest coach to win a Super Bowl (36), Tomlin has also led the Steelers to two AFC titles, seven AFC North division titles, and nine playoff appearances. Earlier this season, Tomlin became the 20th coach to win 150 career games. Tomlin, 49, needed only 232 games to reach 150 wins, making him the fourth-fastest coach to reach that milestone.
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"I'm just appreciative of the standards set by those that have come before me," Tomlin said after getting his 150th win in Week 9 against the Bears. "All of us are here. That standard is inspirational for us. It inspires us, it challenges us. I'm just thankful to be a part of this thing that is the Pittsburgh Steelers. I do my job to uphold the standard."
While many of the faces have changed, the Steelers continue to have success under Tomlin and his largely effective leadership style. This season, despite several personnel changes, the Steelers remain in the hunt to make the playoffs for a 10th time under Tomlin.
"He's just so commanding," Steelers linebacker T.J. Watt said of Tomlin during a recent conversation with Bryant McFadden on the "All Things Covered" podcast. "When he walks in a room, everybody shuts up. His, 'Good evening.' That deep voice, just very commanding. You want to run through a wall after every meeting, just the way that he dictates to the whole meeting room the plan. 'This is how we're going to do it. These are the guys we need to attack, etc.' It's like, man, this guy really knows what he's doing. He believes in all of us no matter what the circumstance is. Just a guy that I love playing for."