Will Dan Snyder make a run at Mike Tomlin?

Mike Florio

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has always had a thing for Eastern Virginia. Could he eventually be coaching a team in the vicinity of that general area?

Ed Werder of ESPN dropped this nugget on Monday regarding the vacancy in Washington, and regarding a certain Hampton, Virginia native who played college football at William & Mary, in Williamsburg: “In a recent conversation with someone who knows Dan Snyder well and is aware of his thoughts on potential next Redskins head coaches that any list of candidates would include: Steelers HC Mike Tomlin, Bucs DC Todd Bowles, Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy.”

Tomlin is by far the most accomplished of the group. The head coach in Pittsburgh since 2007, he’s never had a losing record. As the Steelers pile up losses in 2019, a mutual parting that allows the Steelers to avoid a buyout (and possibly to hire someone like Pittsburgh native Mike McCarthy) and that hands Tomlin to Washington (possibly for a draft pick) could make sense. If, of course, Tomlin wants it.

He may be asked about it on Tuesday at his weekly press conference, and if he is he’d surely deflect and evade and ultimately say he’s focused on the job he has and that’s the only job he wants. But it makes sense to watch what happens over the next 12 weeks.

The Steelers are mired in a 1-4 start that could become their worst season since 1969. If both sides decide later this year that they want a fresh start, maybe that’s the direction in which this thing goes.

It fits with Snyder’s periodic effort to swing for the fences, from Steve Spurrier to Joe Gibbs to Mike Shanahan. The question is whether Tomlin would or could co-exist with team president and surrogate owner Bruce Allen, whose time in Tampa overlapped with Tomlin, then a young assistant coach with the Bucs.

Some things make too much sense to ever happen. This one potentially makes too much sense to not happen. Especially as Washington needs the kind of reset that only a skilled and accomplished coach can provide, as long as the rest of the organization gets out of the way and lets Tomlin do what he has done so well over the years in Pittsburgh.