Mike Tomlin to USC? Or LSU?

Former Steeler executive Doug Whaley can see how it could happen

Former Bills GM and Steelers executive Doug Whaley joins The Fan Morning Show every Wednesday from 9-10 am in-studio.

Doug began the conversation with an idea involving Mike Tomlin’s future that took everybody on the show off guard.

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“Six letters for Steelers fans to be very concerned about…LSU, USC. Think about that. Both institutions can out-pay the Rooney’s.  Their alumni base has enough money to give Mike Tomlin whatever he wants.

Two, Mike Tomlin would be GM, president, CEO of that football program. Three, LSU, (athletic director) Scott Woodward is known for going big game hunting. In LSU, you have such a fertile recruiting ground, you’re going to put a barricade, a fence around it.

Saban’s not going to be around forever. Now you can talk about dominating the SEC like Saban and you can put your name alongside those who have won a Super Bowl and a National Championship.”

Whaley did say that he doesn’t have any insider information through his contacts around the league that this is a possibility or consideration.
But if he were Mike Tomlin’s agent, he would go for it.

“I’m thinking, ‘do they have a definitive plan in Pittsburgh to find a quarterback after Ben?’ Eh. In the NFL, you get one maybe two first rounders every year. As Saban said, in college you can recruit maybe 20.

Now you go to USC. Another fertile recruiting base. A historically prominent program that’s down. Another alumni base that can pay whatever. Then you start talking about revenue streams off the field.
Commercials, movies. For me, if you’re talking about maximizing your ability to generate revenue, as an agent I’m saying, ‘We’ve got to listen to this coach.’”

Whaley says Tomlin’s messages and clichés would never get old at the college level because there’s so much turnover and a new crop of players are hearing those messages for the first time every 2-3 years.

But would Mike Tomlin really walk away from the legacy he has built and is still building as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers?

“Granted you can put your name in there as a Hall of Famer like Bill Cowher with the Steelers. But did Bill Cowher win a Super Bowl and a National Championship? That’s transcending just Steeler legacy. You’re talking football legacy. The lure of the football ecosystem in totality, not just the NFL.

Back in the day, the NFL set the ecosystem and it was a trickle down effect. Now it’s a trickle up effect. Look at our game. It’s infiltrated by what’s happening in college. Now you can say I dominated both.
Just saying.”

“Money. Full control. And legacy. That talks. You did it in the pros and you did it in college. Not many people can say that. Not many people can say I’m going to be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a coach and the College Football Hall of Fame as a coach.

That’s legacy.”

Featured Image Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports