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I looked for the Mike Tomlin Coaching Tree Mega-Thread, before ...

Discussion in 'Steelers Talk' started by mytake, May 19, 2020.

  1. mytake

    mytake Well-Known Member

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    I started this post, but I could not find it. I am not trying to start another bash Tomlin thread about his coaching tree, but I am curious to see what others think on why there haven't been black coaches that have thrived and went on to bigger things during the Tomlin era? I realize the biggest reason is that coordinators have been white and older in LeBeau and Butler on defense, and Bruce Arians on offense, and most are coordinators who are hired for HC jobs. Another reason is that there hasn't been much turnover in coordinators.

    A third reason could be that some of the position coach hires, for example, Porter and Lake, haven't been successful. (I still say the talent wasn't there for these coaches. But at the same time, it didn't look like Porter and Lake were maxing out the players they had). Mitchell on the d-line was a good coach, but he never advanced. Mann, the WR coach, was a good position coach, yet he didn't advance before he retired. Plus Art Rooney II has had a voice in hiring at least one coordinator, Haley.

    But with Tomlin's longevity, one would think there would be coaches that he would be able to develop. I only ask this because of the conversation that the owners are having about minority hires. I realize there are only 96 positions total between the head coaches, OCs, and DCs, minus the head coaches that do dual roles, so the opportunities are few.

    Maybe I have answered my own question, but I am interested in your logical thoughts.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
  2. thorn058

    thorn058 Well-Known Member

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    I don't think Tomlin is in the business of passing on knowledge and grooming coaches for advancement. Not that he has anything against that more like his focus is on the season and what he hopes to accomplish.

    I think if you look at some of the great coaching trees through the history of the league I think you will find that a good portion of them have well thought out systems which the explain to the coaches underneath them and so on to the players so that the system can reach the point they are after such as what happened with Bill Walsh. Since Tomlin doesn't have that singular vision it is not something he can really pass on to his staff and have them parlay that into advancement opportunities.

    I think you have a solid point about some of the positional coach failures with some of them just making a jump too soon before they had established a coaching background. The rest of the staff, I'm not sure some of them are looking for that advancement. There is something to be said for knowing your niche in life and accepting it. I heard Arthur Moats the other day talking about money and the belief that guys play better in that contract year for money. He said money is just money hou can't be motivated by that, you can turn on talent just to get paid. That there is an inner desire to compete and be better and that is what drives improvement not a desire for more money. A desire to be great. I think that goes for coaching as well some aren't interested in money and fame of head coaching, plenty are like Dick Lebeau who just wants that group of guys that love him so much they'd run through a wall for him. Same thing with Munch, maybe he wants another bite at the apple but he was happy doing what he did in Pittsburgh as well.

    Edit: excellent topic btw.
     
  3. mytake

    mytake Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, Thorn. Good analysis. Excellent point about coaches that have systems which they pass on to other coaches.
     
  4. STEELWINDS

    STEELWINDS Well-Known Member

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    Hey Thorn058.

    I have expressed my views numerous times regarding Tomlin's coaching strengths and weaknesses. If you are looking at Xs and Os as a strength, then from what I have witnessed, he is not the Coach you want to emulate. If you are looking for a coach that is a great motivator, can keep the troops together through adversity and seems to have the respect of his players then he is your guy.

    His track record speaks for itself. After much research on his forte of a "Secondary Background Specialist" I posted an extensive chronological excerpt from his coaching resume. It all led back to him with a long history focused in on the secondary. Given that, during his time here we have drafted 14 secondary personnel. All with possibly the exception of Keenan Lewis, did not pan out. Not one. That is abysmal and totally unacceptable.

    Some may present different arguments to this. However, the development of our secondary under him is what it is, horrible. His trademark is stamped all over this.

    More Proof: We finally have a very, very, good secondary. However, none of these players (Haden, Nelson and Fitzpatrick) are his drafts. Now Edmunds is. And again he is floundering.

    His coaching tree is more like a tumble-weed than a flourishing giant Sequoia. Personally, I would not look too much at anybody from his coaching lines to hire. That is unless I am looking for a Motivator. Munchak was good but he was once a head coach already. The same for Lebeau. For young and upcoming assistants that needed to be groomed under a HC he again gets a poor grade.

    I like some of Tomlin's qualities. However, his lack of Xs and Os is what has kept us back in part from getting another ring or two. A real shame with all of the talent that he has had to work with; especially on the "O" side of the ball. At this point, I would keep him and see how this season goes. IMO, this may be the most complete team that he has had a chance to work with.

    Once again, the "D" is great. The "O" contrary to what some think is also very, very talented. I already analyzed each position in another thread about the "O" so I will not do it again. However, they are good folks. They just have to stay healthy and build chemistry. Now, it is up to Ben. If Ben can stay healthy all season long I do not see any reason at all why we cannot get a ring. If Ben cannot stay healthy we will in all likelihood see a repeat of last season's movie and Tomlin will get another free pass as sad as that may be.


    STEELWINDS AKA The East Side Kid
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2020
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  5. mytake

    mytake Well-Known Member

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    Steelwinds,

    I appreciate your opinion, but you went off topic. Why don't you think Tomlin has developed black assistant coaches that have progressed up the coaching ladder? You say Tomlin gets a poor grade for grooming young coaches, but why?

    Thanks.
     
  6. Disco1981

    Disco1981 Well-Known Member

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    Why? Because he is not a good Coach, Simple as that...Bellicheat, As much as a Dick as he is, Not only is the best Coach by far...But is far and away the best at developing Assistants also...Seems almost every year someone is poaching one of his coordinators... It's really that simple
     
  7. Roonatic

    Roonatic Well-Known Member

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    I can't think of any Belicheat disciples that went on to have any success as a head coach. I'll give you the best coach by far but the best at developing assistant coaches might be reaching.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes you get to a good situation you stay there. Many ex players talk about the grass not being greener after leaving here. Mitchell was here before tomlin. He did advance to asst. head coach. His age and tenure here let him step back on his terms.

    Richard Mann was at the top of his game as a position coach. He was going to retire or did retire when mt made the call for help. Mann came in with the premise that it would only last so long. They had history. In stepped drake, another coach with a well thought of coaching history already in the league. His was cut short as we know. Ray Sherman was given a shot by mt for restarting his advancement in the league again with an internship. As we know he took over for drake last year. It was never to be more then a stepping stone for him before that. Ike Hilliard as an up and coming coach was hired.

    James Daniels has been here for quite awhile and will retire soon from this stabile situation with the steelers. He also has history with mt. He also brought many years as a top coach at his position.

    Many hires have been long time top of their position type coaches with history somewhere in the past or just feel Pittsburgh is a fine organization to work for as many players feel too.

    Butler and fichtner have advanced inside the organization but also have history with mt. The hires that don't have history with him are coaches advancing from college to here. Faulkner, canada, sarrett, klem, austin, Bradley, Dunbar, and young new assistants martin, symmes, Stewart. MT has advanced these coaches from the college ranks to the pro's but they have also stepped into a very stabile organization, so why leave.

    Mike Shannahan was brought in a few years back and interned with the steelers in camp like Sherman did to help advance their careers. At least allowing them to stay current. Sherman happened to call into a situation that was unforeseen for a year. Shanahan went and found a coaching job. Munch left for personal reasons.

    To end, we don't know how it will turn out for the younger coaches that have been hired from the college ranks as assistants. With the stability of this organization, usually advancement here from within happens quite often so why leave?:cool:
     
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  9. Disco1981

    Disco1981 Well-Known Member

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    They didn't have success, But Belicheat at least got them the opportunities
     
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  10. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    The higher you move it becomes less hands on and more organization. I believe some of these good coordinator types find that out when they step into head coaching ranks. they really have to rely more on their coordinator and position coaches to carry out their philosophy and have less hands on as they were accustomed too as just coordinators. It's why many don't excel once they become head coaches as quickly.:cool:
     
  11. steelersrule6

    steelersrule6 Well-Known Member

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    They get jobs because they worked for Belichick, most of them suck as HC.
     
  12. JAD

    JAD Well-Known Member

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    His coaching tree for as long a tenure that he has and one of the longest time frame for HC, I believe only Belicheat has longer time, he does probably have one of the worst coaching tree in the NFL for any HC coach with more then 10 years. Also his one big miss so far is Hinds Ward who is making a name for himself as a receiver coach and helping the offense with the Jets. Hines is doing this on his own and not wanted by Tomlin.
     
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  13. JAD

    JAD Well-Known Member

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    Bellicheat assistance coaches always seem to shine when working alongside Bellicheat, that includes the Texas coach, the Lions coach, even Romeo Cremmel, and McDaniel, however when they become Head Coaches of other teams they don't shine anymore but do get the chances to become Head Coaches because of working with Bellicheat. I don't think Tomlin gives his coaches the chances because most know that he is not a great X and O and teacher type of coach but a good talker better then Bellicheat who stinks at talking but great at X and O's and game planning, game time decisions, clock management etc.
     
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  14. mytake

    mytake Well-Known Member

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    Maybe Tomlin was concerned about hiring Ward because of the hires of Joey Porter and Carnell Lake. More so, I am guessing there may be some bitterness on Ward's part in how the Steelers ended his playing career. Ward would have brought enthusiasm and toughness to the Steelers WR position.
     
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  15. defva

    defva Well-Known Member

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    The way our organization is going .... we need to hold onto any good coach or asst that we can ... lol. Back in the 90's we were losing asst left and right.
     
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  16. Disco1981

    Disco1981 Well-Known Member

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    My All Time Favorite Steeler...A man who epitomized hard work and toughness...Played his whole career ( a long and VERY successful career ) with only the Steelers, But wasn't good enough smh...Stuff like this is what makes Tomlin a Clown
     
  17. Disco1981

    Disco1981 Well-Known Member

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    As least he got em there...I think that speaks even more highly of Belicheat...Only successful with him
     
  18. Roonatic

    Roonatic Well-Known Member

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    Is B. Arians considered a Tomlin guy? He had more success than anything suckling Belicheat's philosophy .
     
  19. Iowasteeljim

    Iowasteeljim

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    This is an interesting discussion. I'm kind of hi-jacking what Thorn said, but it seems to me that most of these coaching "trees" can be attributed to a system, maybe even more so than to the head coach. I'm not sure NFL coaches are in the business to develop their coaches with goal being that those coaches go on to bigger and better things. I could be wrong, but I think college coaches do a better job of intentionally developing their coaches towards advancement. Like I said, interesting discussion.
     
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  20. SDOT

    SDOT Well-Known Member

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    Coaching tree?

    [​IMG]


    Butler and Ficthner make up that tree. I can't even think 10 in game winning decisions he successfully made. The 2 point conversion in SD to win. Bell barely got across. Differing was the right decision last season but Juju fumbled. Drawing a blank on anything else.
     
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  21. thorn058

    thorn058 Well-Known Member

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    I think that whole situation was a comedy of errors based on what Ward and Tomlin are like. If I remember correctly it was Ward's second consecutive internship last year and I didn't see anything that screamed conflict between he and Coach Drake or Tomlin but I also didn't see anything where anyone was talking about how he was doing other than the players saying all the advice Hines was giving them. It maybe that Hines didn't want to put it out there that he'd have loved a permanent place and it is totally in character for Tomlin to completely miss the signs. So when they suddenly needed someone Ward have moved on to another opportunity and Tomlin offered Sherman a temp gig. I don't think it was anything more than that.
     
  22. mac daddyo

    mac daddyo Well-Known Member

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    Todd Haley is the head coach of a high school team in fla. :smiley1::cool:
     
  23. Steel_Elvis

    Steel_Elvis Staff Member Mod Team

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    So, is he an apple that fell off the coaching tree, and then rolled off a cliff?
     
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  24. Thigpen82

    Thigpen82 Bitter optimist

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    I also loved him for all those things... but none of those are necessarily prerequisites for being a good coach.

    I mean, he might be a good coach, but just because he was a great player doesn't guarantee that. Or that there wasn't someone else preferable. :shrug:
     
  25. Thigpen82

    Thigpen82 Bitter optimist

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    I think you (and Thorn) are right on this. If you look at Cowher's coaching tree, for example, I wouldn't say they scream a particular "Cowher-esque" way of playing. When Wisenhunt was here, we knew that the trick plays were his, not necessarily Cowher's. When Lebeau was here, we know that he developed the zone blitz, not Cowher.

    Likewise with Arians, who could be part of either Cowher or Tomlin's "tree". You can see Arians style imprinted on his playcalling - but its Arians' style, and it would be odd to attribute that to a particular tree.
     
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