Mike Tomlin is the first NFL figure to contract COVID-19 during the 2021 offseason. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Pittsburgh Steelers coach tested positive for the virus and is currently away from the team. A Steelers spokesperson wouldn't confirm the case, but members of the coaching and personnel staff were sent home last week due to multiple positive tests.
Tomlin's reported positive test comes as the Steelers are looking to get under the salary cap before the start of the league year (Mar. 17). One of the biggest decisions they have to make is with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger who is due $40 million in 2021. Steelers GM Kevin Colbert wouldn't commit to Roethlisberger's future last week, but Tomlin is confident the two-time Super Bowl champion will be back next season.
"I don't have a clear assessment of the overall depth of the cap ramifications, but I think it's reasonable to assume there's a chance he'll be back, certainly," Tomlin said as reported by NFL.com. Despite being away from the team, Tomlin will likely still continue to work as he's looking to win another Super Bowl. The Steelers got off to an 11-0 start in 2020 but cooled down significantly the last part of the season. And it ended with a thud, losing to Cleveland Browns in the wild-card round of the playoffs 48-37.
We didn't do enough," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said of the late-season collapse, as reported by ESPN. "We didn't position them in enough good circumstances. We didn't make enough plays, particularly in the critical moments. We were a group that died on the vine."
Tomlin, 48, has been the Steelers head coach since 2007. He was hired after one season as the Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator and five seasons as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive backs coach. In his career, Tomlin has won 145 regular-season games and eight playoffs games. His best season was 2008 when the Steelers won their sixth Super Bowl. It was also a history-making moment for Tomlin, becoming the youngest head coach to win the big game (36). In his 14 seasons as the Steelers head coach, the team has never had a losing season. They have only missed the playoffs five times during that span and have claimed seven NFC North titles.