Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Cam Heyward is tired of hearing speculation that Mike Tomlin could be coaching elsewhere next season.
When asked about Tomlin’s status following the Steelers’ Wild Card Round playoff loss to the Buffalo Bills, Heyward acted as if it’s a shoo-in that Tomlin will be back in 2024.
“I’m gonna say this about Mike T,” Heyward said, via Teresa Varley of the Steelers’ official team website. “Why are we so concerned with somebody who has a year on their contract, has been locked in, and just wants to coach football? … This guy has been locked in from the very get-go. But yet, we’re worried about if he’s coming back or not.”
Rumors have swirled about Tomlin’s future in Pittsburgh since the middle of the season where things appeared to be going south for the Steelers. The chatter became louder in December when the Steelers lost three consecutive games, but it was muffled when they then responded by winning three straight to end the regular season and make the playoffs.
“I appreciate the question, but I just think for him in general, Coach T has earned that [right] to just be singularly focused on one goal,” Heyward said. “We’ve asked this question week in and week out. It’s just not fair to the process.”
Heyward added that that the Steelers would “not function to even get a playoff berth” without Tomlin and that he did not want to play for any other coach.
Mike Tomlin is the only NFL head coach Heyward has ever known since entering the league as a first-round pick of Pittsburgh back in 2011.
Heyward made six straight Pro Bowl appearances between 2017 and 2022 and also earned three First-Team All-Pro selections during that span.
He logged 33 tackles and a couple of sacks in 11 games this season.
The Steelers went 10-7 in 2023.