The Pittsburgh Steelers have today announced long-time head coach Mike Tomlin has inked a contract extension with the franchise.
Having been with the franchise since 2007, and having brought the team a Super Bowl in 2009, the new deal extends Tomlin's spell in charge of the Steelers through to at least the 2018 season.
At time of writing the financial intricacies of the extension have not been revealed but Pittsburgh president, Art Rooney III, has gone on record to explain the thinking behind the deal.
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"I am pleased to announced we have extended Mike Tomlin's contract through the 2018 season," he explained on the Steelers' official website.
"Mike has proven he is one of the top head coaches in the National Football League, and we are confident he will continue to lead the team in our pursuit of another Super Bowl championship."
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If Mike Tomlin sees out his new two-year extension it will see him pass a decade in charge in Pittsburgh and today's announcement once again proves the franchise's focus on the long game - they've only have three head coaches since 1969.
Tomlin's record meant any parting of the ways after the 2016 season (the expiration date on his previous deal) would have been tough to justify on the Steelers' behalf.
The 43-year-old has an 82-43 record in the regular season and has never coached the franchise to a losing season since becoming the league's youngest coach to take the hot seat.
The Super Bowl XLIII victory is also backed up by another appearance in the season finale back in 2011 and Tomlin can also point to a 5-4 playoff record.
Speaking on his new deal today, Tomlin made it clear he still had plenty to achieve in Pittsburgh:
"I very much appreciate this contract extension, but my sole focus has been and will continue to be meeting the challenged that lie ahead for the 2015 season," he explained.
"These past nine years in Pittsburgh have been a wonderful experience for my family, and I look forward to pursuing what is the Steelers' goal every year - bringing another Super Bowl championship to the city of Pittsburgh."
Coming off the back of a season which saw Le'Veon Bell break out at running back, Ben Roethlisberger have a career year in yards thrown and Antonio Brown stake a claim for the NFL's best wide receiver these are certainly exciting times for the Steelers.
If Tomlin can combine the team's offensive talents with a return to the stingy defensive days of old then he and the franchise could be celebrating another Super Bowl success before his extension is up.
Steelers fans: Will it be a failure if Tomlin doesn't bring a Super Bowl to Pittsburgh by 2018? Have your say in the comments below...
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