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John Mara “Envious” of Steelers’ Coaching Consistency

The Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Giants share a lot in common: storied traditions, a history of Super Bowl success, and even an A-list actress with familial ties to both franchises. But even Giants owner John Mara is jealous of Pittsburgh coaching tree, one that has fruited only three head coaches since 1969; a stat that remains the pride of the league in a modern era of quick fixes and band-aid solutions.

“I’m envious of them,” Mara told reporters during the past week’s NFL owners meeting. “They set the standard for [coaching]. That’s something we all strive for.” Mara brought his own head coach, first-year man and former Giants offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo, along to the meeting. McAdoo replaced Tom Coughlin, whose twelve year coaching reign could be considered an eternity in pretty much everywhere except Pittsburgh.

All three of Pittsburgh’s head coaches of the past fifty-odd years have brought at least one Super Bowl championship to the Steel City. Current top dog Mike Tomlin is entering his tenth season, already boasting two Super Bowl appearances for one win, and exactly zero losing seasons during his tenure.

But according to Steelers owner Art Rooney, it is the coaches that make the franchise, not the other way around. “We are fortunate to have three good men available to come be our head coach,” he said. “We’ve tried to support all three of them when they became our coach. Obviously Coach Noll put in place a foundation that we still build on today. Coach Cowher and Coach Tomlin have tried to build on that, and it’s been successful. I don’t like to criticize other people’s way of doing things, but we do feel there’s value in stability and continuity, and so that’s worked for us.”

Stability isn’t sexy in the modern NFL, but the Steelers aren’t a sexy organisation. They are a successful one, though, perhaps, all things considered, the most successful franchise in the history of the NFL. Consistency starts at the top; it’s a methodology that should have the Steelers competing for a seventh Lombardi trophy in the extremely near future.

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