Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Tuesday he’s not concerned with rumors about the Washington Redskins’ interest in hiring him as their next head coach.
“I’m not worried about that, to be quite honest with you,” Tomlin said at his press conference. “You were the first person to mention it to me in a public setting.”
Asked what his reaction was in a private setting, Tomlin replied, “About the same I’m giving you. Guys, I’m the head coach of a 1-4 football team that’s going on the road to play a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback with my third quarterback. You think I’m worried about anything this week other than that?”
The press conference ended without further questions.
The Steelers, who are expected to start Devlin Hodges after backup quarterback Mason Rudolph was concussed on Sunday, visit the Los Angeles Chargers and quarterback Philip Rivers on Sunday night this week.
ESPN reported Monday after Washington fired head coach Jay Gruden that Tomlin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy would be included on any list of candidates for owner Dan Snyder.
Tomlin, 47, is in his 13th season as the Steelers’ head coach and remains under contract through 2021, with a team option for the 2022 season.
Unless the Steelers chose to fire Tomlin — the team hasn’t fired a head coach since 1968, employing only three across the 50 years since — Washington would have to acquire him via trade. It’s unclear what compensation might be, but the Oakland Raiders dealt Jon Gruden, Jay Gruden’s brother, to the Bucs in January of 2002 for two first-round picks, two second-rounders and $8 million.
Tomlin has a 126-70-1 record as Pittsburgh’s head coach, leading the Steelers to Super Bowl appearances after the 2008 and 2010 seasons and winning it all in Super Bowl XLIII.
The Steelers are off to a 1-4 start this season, with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger lost for the year due to elbow surgery following a Week 2 injury.