TV Execs Think the Next Tony Romo in NFL Broadcasting Could Be … Mike Tomlin?
The Steelers just gave their longtime coach an extension through the 2024 season, but others want him in the NFL broadcast booth
Ever since Tony Romo became an instant hit after putting down a football and picking up a microphone in 2017 for CBS, TV executives have been searching for another retired player with the skills to become a star in the NFL broadcast booth.
Many believe that ex-player is Peyton Manning, but the former Colt and Bronco has thus far been unwilling to give up retirement to take a broadcasting gig. (That may change.)
Another NFL name that has TV execs intrigued? According to Richard Deitsch of The Athletic: Mike Tomlin.
A Super Bowl-winning coach who has guided the Steelers to the playoffs nine times during his 14-year tenure as head coach, Tomlin just signed a three-year contract extension with Pittsburgh that runs through the 2024 season.
Longtime Sunday Night Football executive producer Fred Gaudelli believes other current coaches like John Harbaugh of the Baltimore Ravens coach and Sean McVay of the L.A. Rams could have success in the broadcast booth, but he thinks the best bet for TV stardom is Tomlin.
“Tomlin, to me, he would be transformational,” Gaudelli told The Athletic. “I mean, he’s got a language all of his own that everybody can understand. He’s got a really expressive personality. You’d want him in the studio so you could see him more, but I think he’d be equally good on a game. If you said to me you can take one guy out of the league right now, it’s not even a hard call. It’s Mike Tomlin.”
Gaudelli, who keeps the names of people he finds intelligent or personable or funny that may be able to succeed on TV on a “Potential Talent” list, said he has spoken with the 49-year-old Steelers coach about becoming a broadcaster after he is done coaching in the NFL.
“He told me, ‘Fred, I’m never coming to the dark side,’” Gaudelli said.
The third-longest-tenured head coach in the NFL behind Bill Belichick and Pete Carroll, Tomlin probably has at least a few more Super Bowl runs left in him before he even considers TV.
“We have a goal of winning the organization’s seventh Super Bowl championship, and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about this upcoming season,” Tomlin said after signing his extension with Pittsburgh in April.
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