PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan) – Black Monday is here.
Mike McCoy is out in San Diego.
Chip Kelly’s experiment in the Bay Area is finished; what a dud.
Gary Kubiak resigned in Denver.
Jeff Fisher was already gone in Los Angeles. Same with Gus Bradley in Jacksonville and Rex Ryan in Buffalo — done, finished, kaput.
Who knows if the list will grow? Will Chuck Pagano be shown the door in Indianapolis and/or Bill O’Brien get the boot in Houston in the coming days? Who knows, but the NFL-watching populace will keep a pulse on it.
What I do know is this: This time of year in the NFL really drives home what for me is one of the most incredible statistics in all of sports. You know the one, the one where the Pittsburgh Steelers have had just three coaches since 1969.
Do we appreciate that enough in Pittsburgh?
Do we really appreciate that enough in Pittsburgh?
I mean, you hear it all the time, but do we appreciate what that stability, consistency and uniformity has brought to the organization over the years? I don’t know if we do — no matter how many times we hear that stat.
The Cleveland Browns, by contrast, have had 18 coaches in that same span — and would have had more if they had a team from 1996-98. You know as well as I do part of the reason the Browns are in disarray is because they have had no evenness at the top, they have been the epitome of a coaching revolving door.
So even as Steelers great Terry Bradshaw probably only agrees with the coaching methods of one of the three of these men, you have to look at Chuck Noll, Bill Cowher and Mike Tomlin and really take a step back and try to grasp all they have meant to our city since 1969. More to the point, you probably have to look at the Rooney family as one that has valued evenness and an unwillingness to change for change sake as something that has kept the Steelers’ franchise — especially since the NFL went to a salary cap — among the elite in the league.
So as I just turned 40, I really don’t remember Noll all that much as Steelers coach. Or, check that, I don’t remember Noll’s great teams. He was on the backside of those 193 regular-season wins and four Super Bowl titles in the years when I grew old enough to remember.
That said, Bill Cowher was the coach of my youth — the resolute and determined Pittsburgher who we saw in all of us and who guided the franchise to 149 regular-season wins and that Super Bowl XL victory.
Now there is Tomlin, who notched his 100th career win this season and seemingly has many more chapters to write as coach here in Pittsburgh.
So as fanbases all around the NFL try to figure out today who their next coach will be or if their coach did enough to keep his job, I take a moment to reflect. And maybe you should too.
Just about every Sunday, we gripe, complain, grumble, criticize, moan, lament, protest and object with the best of them here in Pittsburgh — that much cannot be argued. But Pittsburghers —- the Rooneys in this case —- are also among the most loyal people on this Earth.
And maybe that’s exactly why, because there have been so few coaches over that long span, the Steelers seemingly have a legitimate shot each season.
Colin Dunlap is a featured columnist at CBSPittsburgh.com. He can also be heard weekdays from 5:40 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sports Radio 93-7 “The Fan.” You can e-mail him at email@example.com. Check out his bio here.