Analyst Makes Massive Prediction About Steelers

Stephen A. Smith made a massive prediction about the Steelers after Mike Tomlin's extension.
Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith speaks during a live taping of ESPN's \"First Take\" at Florida A&M University's new Will Packer Performing Arts Amphitheater as part of the school's homecoming festivities Friday, Oct. 29, 2021.
Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith speaks during a live taping of ESPN's \"First Take\" at Florida A&M University's new Will Packer Performing Arts Amphitheater as part of the school's homecoming festivities Friday, Oct. 29, 2021. / Tori Lynn Schneider/Tallahassee Democrat
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PITTSBURGH-- Stephen A Smith loves to talk about the Pittsburgh Steelers. The news of the Mike Tomlin extension gives him even more reason to talk about the black and gold. Usually, the Steelers are fodder for Smith's well-known monologues and tirades, but this latest news has him a bit more mellow.

On a recent appearance on ESPN's First Take, Smith shared his thoughts on the recent extension. He was extremely complimentary of Tomlin as a person, offering extensive praise for the Steeler's coach. He was much less confident in his team's Super Bowl chances, however.

"This man is something special and he deserves his bag and I'm happy for him...Having said that, um, it's no knock against him but I don't see the Steelers winning the Super Bowl in three years. I hope I'm wrong."

His expectations for the Steelers during Tomlin's upcoming extension lie somewhere less ambitious. While he doesn't view them as true contenders, he didn't write the Steelers off completely.

"I can't look at that and say, 'I see a Super Bowl.' But I do see them as a playoff team. I do see them contending and I'm happy that Mike Tomlin got his extension."

Smith's words echo the main criticism levied against Mike Tomlin over the last decade. Many doubt he is capable of leading the Steelers back to the Super Bowl.

They may have a case. The Steelers haven't won a Super Bowl in 15 years and haven't returned to the big game since losing to the Packers in 2011.

Pundits and fans look at Tomlin's success and find issues as well. The team's Super Bowl victory in 2009 is often attributed to Bill Cowher, as the roster was very similar to the team that won in 2006. And while the Steelers maintain their belief in Tomlin, the team hasn't won a playoff game since losing in the AFC Championship in 2017.

With the latest extension, the Steelers are betting on Tomlin to prove Stephen A. Smith wrong. 2024 could be the year for him to do so, with Russell Wilson and Justin Fields giving him the best QB combination the Steelers have seen since Ben Roethlisberger's retirement. Add in an elite defense, a re-worked offensive line, and a highly motivated head coach, and the Steelers could be in a prime position to prove Smith's prediction wrong.

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Jacob Punturi

JACOB PUNTURI

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