Mike Tomlin With Chance To Tie Chuck Noll Sunday

The Pittsburgh Steelers have started many seasons 2-0 before. But 3-0? That is much rarer. If the Steelers beat the Chicago Bears Sunday, they’ll leave Week Three undefeated for the first time since 2010. It’ll mark the third time Mike Tomlin has led his group to a 3-0 start. 2007, his debut season, the other.

Bill Cowher went 3-0 only once. 1992, also his debut season, but never replicating that the rest of his coaching career. And in non-strike shortened seasons, Chuck Noll did it only three times: 1973, 1978, and 1979.

For the record, the Steelers also went 3-0 in 1982, during a strike where they went nine weeks between the second and third game. But that weird season doesn’t really count.

Of course, it doesn’t mean a whole lot ultimately. Head coaches in Pittsburgh aren’t hired to go 3-0. They’re here to win Super Bowls. But for a Steelers’ team that’s been thought of as slow starters, this would help break up that notion.

In 1978, 1979, and 2010, the Steelers went on to go to the Super Bowl, winning the former two and losing the latter to the Green Bay Packers. Pittsburgh sputtered out in 2007, falling in the Wild Card game to David Garrard and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Tomlin has done a great job of creating strong second-half teams. The Steelers have finished at least 6-2 over the final eight games in each of the last four seasons, including 7-1 a year ago. If he can continue that streak and add to it with an impressive start, the Steelers can make a push for the #1 seed and home field advantage throughout.

About the Author

Alex Kozora

Full-time blogger from mom’s basement. Marrying tape and statistics. Chidi Iwuoma is my favorite Steeler of all-time.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Love me some Mike T but he knows he has to have 4 L’s to be compared to the Emperor

  • Alex Kozora

    I don’t think anyone is trying to compare him.

  • Jones

    Definitely an interesting factoid, but I’m more interested in winning during the “soft” schedule to pad the record before things get tougher. Have to stack W’s early and often!

  • NW86

    Stacking hotcakes, as Keisel would say. (Man, I miss Da Beard)

  • Steel City Slim

    When they went 3-0 in 2010 it was without Big Ben because he was suspended. Tomlin is a better coach than most people will ever give him credit for.

  • John Noh

    Will the Bears do the wussy thing of wearing white at home because of the hot weather?

  • nutty32

    Cowher certainly earned his 3 – 0 his rookie season by calling that fake punt in Houston to upset the heavily favored Oilers. Pretty much set the tone for the new and exciting post-Noll era. Boy, I wished that game was available on youtube. A watershed moment for a once proud franchise that had been wandering the desert for a good bit of time, minus ’89.

  • will

    4 L’s????? what does that mean?

  • Beaver Falls Hosiery

    The Steelers have hired three excellent head coaches in a row. Very fortunate that each was the right person needed at the right time.

  • GoSteelerz

    4 Lombardi’s… 4 Lombardi Trophies… In other words, 4 Superbowl wins…

  • Jaybird

    Wussy? That’s smart as hell , wearing white on a hot day. Staying cool beats watching Lawrence Timmons puking through his face ask anyday!

  • Jeff McNeill

    I don’t believe he has to get 4 to be compared because it is much tougher because of free agency. He needs more than he has, but if he gets to 3 I think the question of the greatest Steelers coach should begin.

  • Jeff McNeill

    They do have a tremendous track record with hiring head coaches.

  • Rocksolid20

    He has been blessed with a HOF QB . Still I’m
    glad we have him .

  • Rocksolid20

    No one does it better .

  • dany

    yeah there’s no way you can fault a team for getting a competitive advantage when they can. Calling is wussy makes it a a possible excuse

  • Negan

    True but when you look around the league at other great coaches a lot of them benefit from HOF QBs as well

  • Rocksolid20

    Such as ? And I’m not talking Brady , that’s a given .

  • will

    Ok. Got it. Thank you

  • francesco

    I’m waiting for a 16-0 season.

  • Bryan

    Well I mean Chuck Noll is on the short list of greatest coaches of all time, Mike Tomlin is merely very good. Also the fact that debateably both of the following statements can be true at the same time is quite ridiculous for how lucky we have been (1. Mike Tomlin is the Steelers worst coach since 1969, 2. Mike Tomlin is a top 3 coach in the NFL right now)

  • FATCAT716

    Philip Rivers, Drew Brees, Cam. “Eli Manning”

  • Rocksolid20

    A nice list but not one guy on there that I would trade Ben for .
    Only and a small maybe , A. Rogers . Eli is a HOF QB with 2 rings
    and Brees is close to HOF with his 1 ring . Rivers has never won anything and not a
    HOFer and at this stage of his career Cam has won nothing and is not even close to a HOF QB .

  • Steel City Slim

    Yup and when that “HOF QB” got suspended, the Steelers still went 3-1 with Dennis Dixon and Charlie Batch. I don’t know why people always have to put caveats by any of Tomlin’s success. Belichick has a Hall of Fame QB, Chuck Noll had a HOF QB. Never hear anybody taking any credit from them.

  • RyanW

    Not too mention Cowhers only ring is with a HOF QB in Big Ben as well.

  • Steel City Slim

    Exactly. Great point.

  • Steel City Slim

    “Brees is close to HOF”? You lost all credibility with that comment. Brees is a lock for the HOF.

  • Ken Krampert

    How bout we beat Chicago on Sunday 1st, hahaha….you guys crack me up.

  • Rocksolid20

    So I’m to understand , you would trade Ben , for Brees ?
    Brees piles up yards stats because he’s always playing from behind .
    He wil be lucky if he and his team win 8 games this year .

  • Rocksolid20

    I’ve not said Cowher was anything special . But you putting Noll in your conversation loses all your credibility . He was the coach that set the ground work for the Steelers to becoming a winning organization .

  • GoSteelerz

    You are very welcome! 😀

  • 19-0

  • Bill Dopico

    I think the organization laid the groundwork for winning. They agreed to move to a multipurpose stadium. They agreed to go AFC. Art Sr. deferred to Dan, who hired Noll. Art Jr and Bill Nunn in scouting and personnel found HOF’rs down the board. Joe Gordon played a big role in their success. Then there was Riecke. Who knows? He may have had more to do with their success than anyone, but I hope not!

  • Lil Smitty

    If the Steelers win will this be one of the Stats of the Wierd?

  • Steve Johnson

    Good point, I think he is a good coach, better than the average coach in the NFL. Besides Belicheat, Pete Carrol, the Coach in GB, Atlanta and Andy Reid, who is better? And I would take Tomlin over all of them except Pete Carrol and Bill B. However, that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be criticized for his poor clock management skills in the past, or poor Coaching Decisions at times. He will always be compared to Bill Cowher, just Cowher was forever compared in my opinion, the greatest coach of all time, Chuck Noll.

  • Steel City Slim

    Never said that he is above criticism. I get frustrated with some of his decisions too. But at the end of the day his team walks away with more W’s than L’s. He managed to oversee a transitional period in which he had to replace aging veterans all while having little to no cap space, constantly picking in the mid to latter parts of the rounds in the draft, and never had a losing season in the process. Most coaches would be revered for that, but Tomlin seems to get the short end of the stick from some people for that.

  • pittfan

    Tomlinson is widely regarded as a very good, if not great coach, coach, which he is. He’s not mentioned amongst the greats of all time, yet, because he “only” has 2 SB wins. I’m hoping he adds a couple more real soon here.

  • ryan72384

    Ahhh yes the 2007 WC game. Led by Najeh Davenport. Still remember that long run by Garrard on 4th down that put them in field goal range. I forget who it was but I think either Troy or Harrison was held badly or they would have made the stop and we probably would have won the game after a pretty sweet comeback by Ben. I could be wrong though. It might not have been holding at all lol.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Lumbardi’s as in the trophy, as in Super Bowl victories, as in rings. Capish?

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    I don’t disagree. it’s a different era. As it is, I think he’s a great coach… Not perfect but great. I wouldn’t mind seeing another Lombardi in the lobby.

  • Joeybaggadonuts

    Great response. It reminds me of pulp fiction when they were cleaning up the dead body when Mr. Wolf said “Let’s not start blankety-blank blank blank just yet.”

  • NCSteel

    This team should go 5-0 at least.
    Anything less to me, would be the team not playing up to potential.

  • Terrible Towlie

    Mike T> Cowher

  • Terrible Towlie

    Harrison was held…quite obviously and right in front of a worthless official

  • Steel City Slim

    Never said that I would trade Ben for Brees. Don’t know where you got that from. But like I actually said before, Brees is a lock for the HOF. If you think otherwise then that’s your opinion, but I’m 100% positive that the people who vote for the HOF will differ with you.

  • Steel City Slim

    At this point I wouldn’t say that Tomlin is a “great” coach. I’ll say he’s a good coach. I think the term “great” is misused alot in today’s society.

  • Besd1

    Very interesting post. As a British fan (and historian) I don’t know as much about Steelers history as I should and there are two names there I know nothing about at all. Who are Joe Gordon and Riecke?

  • Steve Johnson

    I agree, he does get the short end of the stick from those loyal Bill Cowher Fans that seems to think he will be walking back through that door in the future. The same fans that called for his head on a plate for loosing four AFC Championship Games at home.
    However, I disagree that he doesn’t get enough credit because a lot of people out there think he is the 2nd or 3rd best Coach in the NFL. But, there is no excuse to have a loosing record on the road against sub .500 teams. I read some where his record over the last five to seven years was 5-13 on the road against sub .500 teams. If that’s not accurate, its pretty close. Yes, On Any Given Sunday; but that quote seems to always apply to the Pittsburgh Steelers losing to an inferior team.

  • Bill Dopico

    Joe Gordon was communications director. Lou Riecke was strength and conditioning coach.

  • Besd1

    Thanls, I shall go and find out more about them.