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NFL minority ownership group lobbying to fire coach after disappointing playoff loss Jim Rogash/Getty Images

A group of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ limited partners are reportedly attempting to lobby owner Art Rooney into firing head coach Mike Tomlin following the team’s 45-42 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Playoff on Sunday, sources confirmed to Pro Football Talk.

The group, who purchased stock in the team nearly a decade ago after other members of the Rooney family were forced to sell shares of ownership due to longtime gambling ties, don’t have authority in management of the team, but do have direct conversations with the majority owner.

The contingency includes Rob Citrone, Paul Evanson, Larry Paul, Stephen Paul, Bruce Rauner, Paul Sams, John Stallworh, Benjamin Statler, Scott Swank, David Tepper, Thomas Tull, Peter Varischetti, and Mike Wilkins.

The group is concerned about Tomlin’s decision-making skills in key moments, which included the final 47 seconds of Sunday’s loss in which the source claimed the players were “moving without any real sense of urgency” as the team trailed by two scores and was five yards away from the end zone.

The partners also raised concerns about Tomlin’s lack of discipline, specifically noting star wide receiver Antonio Brown’s Facebook Live stream from the team’s locker room last season, which caused a national stir.

The coach also drew criticism for openly acknowledging a potential matchup against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship, which many took as overlooking and underestimating the Jaguars leading upp to Sunday’s loss.

Tomlin received a contract extension through 2020 in August and is one of three Steelers coaches employed since 1969, following Pro Football Hall of Famer Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher.

The 45-year-old coach has led the Steelers to two Super Bowl appearances, including a victory in Super Bowl XLIII, where he became the youngest coach in NFL history to appear in and win a Super Bowl at age 36. Pittsburgh has won five AFC North Division titles and made seven playoff appearances during his tenure.

Tomlin currently holds a 116-60 regular season record during his first 10 seasons, reaching the 100-win plateau in fewer games (157) than any coach in franchise history, joining Noll and Cowher as the third to accomplish such a feat. He is also the eighth coach in league history to win 100 regular season games during their first 10 seasons.

Jason has contributed to numerous websites in the past covering a wide range of sports including SEC football for the past four seasons. He began his journalism career as a student journalist at the University of Tennessee where he covered the Vols for the student radio station and newspaper. Here’s ...Read more
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