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Mike Tomlin Angrily Shuts Down USC Rumors

Mike Tomlin made it clear at his press conference that he is not a fan of the rumors surrounding his "interest" in coaching at USC.
Mike Tomlin

At his weekly press conference, Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin addressed rumors of his interest in the vacant USC head coaching position. Needless to say, it seems apparent that Tomlin is not interested in filling the vacancy. The way Tomlin addressed the issue speaks volumes to the culture he has helped build in Pittsburgh. Organizations would be hard pressed to find another coach with Tomlin’s track record of consistency. He doesn’t seem interested in leaving that sustained success behind to move down to the college ranks.

Mike Tomlin Says Never to Leaving the Steelers for College

Frustration With the Rumors

As has usually been the case during his time as a head coach, Mike Tomlin was not a fan of addressing the rumors. Ignoring outside noise has been a staple of the culture and brand of football Tomlin has installed. The task at hand has always been the task at hand. In this particular case, the task at hand is Pittsburgh’s Week 8 game with the Cleveland Browns, which could be considered a must-win. Now is not the time for Tomlin to be addressing rumors, and the frustration was obvious in his statement.

Seen in the full clip below, Tomlin feels that he has the best job one could ask for in professional sports. So to him, it’s “a joke” to suggest that he might be interested in coaching at USC, or any college for that matter. His statement of, “Never say never, but never,” makes it obvious how Tomlin feels about the rumors. He has never been one to cut corners; if Tomlin says something, he usually means it. Tomlin went onto say that there’s not a college in the country that could write a big enough check to get him to move on from coaching the Pittsburgh Steelers. To conclude, Tomlin pointed out that no one is asking questions to Andy Reid or Sean Payton about moving to the college ranks, two longtime coaches with similar accomplishments to Tomlin.

“Never Say Never”

While Tomlin was clearly frustrated with the speculation, he did say, “Never say never.” But his anger was apparent. If the door to moving down to college isn’t 100% closed for Tomlin, it seems 99% closed. That could always change in the future, but for now it’s clear that Tomlin is focused on winning football games with the Steelers.

Tomlin’s rant reinforces the culture he has built in Pittsburgh and the expectations he has for his players. Sometimes cliché, Tomlin has never been shy to point out that the standard is the standard. In this instance, the standard is remaining focused on the next game and stringing together enough wins to make the playoffs. Anything that distracts himself or his players from that task is outside noise to Tomlin. This college speculation is no different. Sure, the door might be open for moving down to college in the future. But Tomlin’s response to the rumors drew praise from media members and former players, and shows how he has become so well-respected during his time as the Steelers head coach.

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