Terry Bradshaw on Mike Tomlin: 'Really a great cheerleader guy'

ByJeremy Fowler ESPN logo
Saturday, December 24, 2016

PITTSBURGH -- Ten years into Mike Tomlin's tenure in Pittsburgh, Terry Bradshaw is not impressed.

Bradshaw, who won four Super Bowls as the Steelers' quarterback from 1970 to '83, said he has issues with the notion that Tomlin is an elite coach, saying only that he's "a great cheerleader guy."

"I don't think he's a great coach at all," Bradshaw said while a guest on Fox Sports 1's "Speak For Yourself." "He's a nice coach. To me, I've said this, he's really a great cheerleader guy. I don't know what he does. I don't think he is a great coach at all. His name never even pops in my mind when we think about great coaches in the NFL."

Bradshaw said he considers Tomlin's predecessor, Bill Cowher, a great coach. Show participants were torn on Bradshaw's assessment -- Jason Whitlock agreed, whereas Hall of Fame receiver Cris Carter disagreed.

Tomlin's Steelers have won five straight games and can clinch the AFC North with a win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday in Heinz Field. Tomlin is one of eight head coaches in NFL history to win at least 100 games in the first 10 years on the job.

Steelers director of communications Burt Lauten weighed in Friday night in defense of Tomlin.

Tomlin has failed to reach the AFC Championship Game since 2010, but he has never posted a losing record in Pittsburgh and his teams are consistently in contention. Steelers players swear by Tomlin, who has been heavily involved in the rebuilding of a defense that has allowed 14 points per game since Week 11. In 2012, Tomlin hired offensive coordinator Todd Haley, whose Pittsburgh offense has been one of the league's best in recent years.

One knock on Tomlin's teams has been the trend of losing to sub-.500 teams on the road, but Pittsburgh has cleaned that up in recent weeks, with road wins over Cleveland, Indianapolis, Buffalo (then-.500) and Cincinnati.

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