Appearing on local radio stations helps give me a good sense of what’s being said about the home team in its own town. On Monday, a visit with Andrew Fillipponi of 93.7 the Fan in Pittsburgh caused me to do a spit take.
During the segment, Fillipponi suggested this idea for the Steelers: Trade Mike Tomlin, and promote Mike Munchak to head coach.
It’s a stunning thought, an ultra-aggressive approach for an uber-conservative team that has allowed its insistence on continuity among its coaches to become part of its identity. But with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger publicly stumping for Munchak to stay with the team at a time when he’s one of the finalists to coach the Broncos, it’s an intriguing thought.
“I pray that fans write as many letters as they can to Mr. [Art] Rooney to keep Coach Munchak around,” Roethlisberger recently said. “He’s such a special coach. When the linemen are happy and love to play for their coach, they play better.”
With vacant jobs starting to fill (three have been filled in the past 24 hours or so), it could be hard to find a suitor for Tomlin, if the Steelers were inclined to even try. And the concept knocked me wobbly in large part because, typically, the trade of a coach happens when another team wants to get him, not when his current team wants to unload him.