The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs on Monday, creating even more questions about Mike Tomlin’s future as Steelers head coach.
Speculation has surrounded Tomlin all year long, with some wondering if Pittsburgh will part ways with him or if he himself will simply choose to go elsewhere.
One thing is for sure: defensive lineman Cam Heyward expects Tomlin to return in 2024, and if Tomlin doesn’t come back, Heyward wouldn’t want to, either.
“I don’t want to play for any other coach,” Heyward said, via the Steelers’ official X account.
Heyward was limited to 11 games this season due to injuries. During his time on the field, he logged 33 tackles and a couple of sacks.
The 34-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Ohio State, was selected by Pittsburgh with the 31st overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.
He had a very limited role over his first couple of seasons and didn’t become a full-time starter until his third year when he registered 59 tackles, five sacks and seven passes defended.
However, Heyward didn’t truly break out until 2017, when he racked up 45 tackles and 12 sacks en route to a Pro Bowl appearance and a First-Team All-Pro selection.
That marked the first of six straight trips to the Pro Bowl for Heyward. He also notched First-Team All-Pro honors three times during that span.
As for Tomlin, the 51-year-old has been Steelers head coach since 2007. He has gone 181-110-2 (including playoffs) over that time period, leading the franchise to a Super Bowl championship, a pair of Super Bowl appearances and seven AFC North division titles.
The most pressing issue for Mike Tomlin is that he has not guided Pittsburgh to a playoff win since January 2017.