Steelers Mike Tomlin 16th best coach in the NFL

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Lists are always fun, especially when the ill-informed proudly display their ignorant reasoning.

Rotoworld's Patrick Daugherty came up with ranking list of the coaches in the NFL, one through 32.

At the risk of mincing words, it's one of the least informed, cliche-ridden pieces of rhetorical garbage I've ever read.

If one does not understand the concepts of leadership and management, one could come to conclusions that calling plays on the sidelines has more value than managing those who do. If one has no comprehension of how those plays are called (and that one does not exist in the video game world of assuming plays are just called, and not the result of countless hours of preparation and communication), that one may come to believe the true value of a coach is only his contributions on game day.

Add all those things together, he may put Steelers Mike Tomlin 16th in the NFL, behind, among many others, Chicago's Marc Trestman, Philadelphia's Chip Kelly and San Diego's Mike McCoy.

An example of the nonsnese spewed, here's the backwards logic representing Tomlin's spot at 16:

As head coach of the Steelers, Tomlin has three annual goals: Win the Super Bowl, win the AFC North and beat the Ravens. It’s with the Ravens’ John Harbaugh that Tomlin shares the most similarities as a coach. Like Harbaugh, Tomlin leads neither his defense nor his offense. He leads men. He was extremely successful at it his first four years on the job, guiding the Steelers to two Super Bowl appearances and one title. Management has made his job much tougher since. Tomlin was infamously forced to part ways with successful OC Bruce Arians, while the state of his roster has steadily aged and deteriorated thanks to dubious cap management from GM Kevin Colbert. Tomlin has done all that’s been asked of him and more, but with little say over his personnel and offensive and defensive philosophies, it’s grown harder to pin-point what exactly he’s allowed to do. That would make it hard for any coach to exert his influence. It also makes it easier for the Steelers to find their scapegoat if things continue to trend downward in 2014.

If it's hard to pinpoint what the head coach is doing, it means you don't know what the head coach does. He's been in charge of the team for seven seasons, it's safe to say he has some discretion over the team's schemes by now. And I'm still struggling to understand how Bruce Arians was successful as the Steelers' offensive coordinator - the team finished in the bottom third of the league in scoring in Arians' final season there.

We'll never know why Arians' offenses in 2011 and 2010 managed to get better since he was co-Head Coach of the Year in Indianapolis and hired in Arizona, but revisionist's history always makes more compelling copy.

It's a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately league, but that doesn't justify placing Baltimore's John Harbaugh at No. 5 overall, particularly after Baltimore's epic meltdown to end the 2013 season.

Tomlin does not call plays, but he is responsible for the plays that are called. He delegates responsibility to his coordinators and position coaches, holding them accountable for the results. Those results have not been the best of Tomlin's career, and pale in comparison to many of his peers, when viewed simply through a one-year lens. But something should be said for the fact he's had to transform the face of the team through a transition period in which few coaches would find a great deal of success. Unlike certain other coaches in the AFC North (all of them, mainly), his team didn't get slaughtered in their final game, and managed to keep a team focused and find success over the second half of the season, despite a horrendous start.

However, there are plenty of reasons to fault Tomlin for the team's performance over the last two seasons. They've been the very definition of mediocrity - his 16th place finish here could be interpreted as a .500 team, a mark the Steelers had to fight and claw to reach in each of the past two years. Their horrendous start in 2013 should cast a pall over Tomlin and the franchise right now, and Tomlin would be the first to admit it. But you've got to come up with stronger reasons than what's presented here. There isn't even a mention of the Tomlin Two-Step, a horribly distracting and embarrassing mistake that easily sits at the top of Tomlin's mistakes over his seven year career.

Writing why he's a middle-tier coach in comparison to the rest of the league while at the same time passive-aggressively blaming the front office for decisions made and flat-out admitting it's unclear to you what Tomlin does renders your opinion moot.

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