(Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
With the Steelers beating their nemesis in the Ravens on Sunday, 28-24, and improving to
7-0, which is tied for the best start in franchise history (1978), Mike Tomlin also captured his 140th career regular-season win, breaking a tie with Tony Dungy for the most wins by a Black head coach in NFL history.
Tomlin was hired as the Buccaneers' defensive backs coach in 2001 during what would be Dungy's last season in Tampa Bay. Tomlin is thankful for Dungy opening up the doors for him in the league and has always looked up to him as a mentor.
"We don’t have enough time to chronicle the things I learned from Coach (Dungy) in a very short period of time, I might add," Tomlin said this past Tuesday in his weekly press conference when asked about what he learned under Dungy in Tampa Bay. "I only worked for him for one season just his approach to business, the thoroughness, the clean communication particularly in difficult times, the clarity of thought, his commitment to a style of play and a plan are all things I have really held onto over the years and think about often."
Dungy told Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports earlier this week that he knew Tomlin was destined for great things when he hired him in Tampa Bay.
"I wanted to make him my defensive coordinator and they said no," Dungy said with a laugh when he told Lolley that the Buccaneers prevented him from hiring Tomlin as his defensive coordinator when got the Colts head coaching job in 2002. "I said, 'Look, just give me one coach. I'll take the youngest guy.' They recognized that he was a good, young coach as well. They said no. There was no question he was destined to be a head coach. I very much knew it and the Bucs knew it, too."