The dance between a Hall of Fame player and the coach who leads his successors is a delicate one. Say too much and look petty and cranky. Say too little and . . . look petty and cranky.
“I don’t think he’s a great coach at all,” Bradshaw said on Fox Sports 1’s “Speak For Yourself.” “He’s a nice coach. To me, I’ve said this, he’s really a great cheerleader guy. I don’t know what he does. I don’t think he is a great coach at all. His name never even pops in my mind when we think about great coaches in the NFL.”
Bill Cowher, Tomlin’s predecessor? Now, there’s a great coach, according to Bradshaw, who won four Super Bowls as the quarterback of Chuck Noll’s Steelers from 1970 to 1983.
Tomlin, though, has impressive credentials. To wit: he is one of eight coaches in NFL history to have won at least 100 games in his first 10 years on the job. And his Steelers clinched the AFC North by beating the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.
“I have more identity with Cowher than I do Tomlin,” Bradshaw said of Cowher, who stepped down in January 2007. “His teams were tough. Tomlin came in from Minnesota [where he had been a defensive coordinator] and I didn’t know anything about him, so maybe it’s unfair for me to make the comparison.”
Of course, Bradshaw went on to say that the Green Bay Packers should get rid of quarterback Aaron Rodgers before they part with Coach Mike McCarthy, if it were to come to that.
“If I were going to get rid of one of the two, who would I get rid of, you ready? I’d get rid of Rodgers,” he said. (Yes, he said it.) “I’m going to keep a great coach. I think that guy is a great coach. You heard what I said. I think McCarthy is one of those coaches you absolutely hang onto. Especially if you look at Rodgers, and how old is he now? 32, 33? If it got down to that . . . I may be crazy, I just think an organization will endure and last longer if they have a great coach.”
And you know who he thinks isn’t a great coach? That’s right.