A complicated game can be redeemed by this truism: Leading quarterback-head coach tandems last.

Sunday’s 4:25 p.m. ET Match up in the Superdome contains two of the match’s finest over the last decade — the Pittsburgh SteelersBen Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin matching wits using the SaintsDrew Brees and Sean Payton.

Brees and Payton have 117 wins together over 200 matches, second to the New England PatriotsTom Brady-Bill Belichick combo throughout the superbowl age (since 1966). Tomlin and Roethlisberger are on that list with 114 wins in 187 games.

The pairs have united for 1-5 double-digit-win seasons.

In Tomlin’s eyes, the formula is clear-cut.

“Win games. You are not together for more than 10 years in case you never,” Tomlin said. “That’s how it goes or the coach and the quarterback get run out of town”

Following is a look at both pairings from several angles.

Why they’ve lasted so long jointly

Tomlin has entered in every area of team business but in addition provides freedom for Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner to use. “Communication [is vital ], the same as any great relationship,” Tomlin said. “you need to have the ability to communicate with one another. I believe that is also what creates a successful marriage” Tomlin and Roethlisberger are instrumental in the team’s capability to answer bad reductions or underachieving stress. Sunday’s 17-10 win against the Patriots was a prime example. The Steelers appeared cluttered in Oakland in Week 14, but Tomlin’s defense was re focused and Roethlisberger spread the ball to eight distinct receivers. Roethlisberger’s 4 1 livelihood comebacks in the fourth quarter or overtime help matters, too.

Payton and Brees: Payton and Brees have been on the short list together with the likes of Bill Walsh and Joe Montana of ideal unions involving playcaller and quarterback. They arrived in New Orleans together in 2006 — after Payton got his very initial head-coaching project and hand-picked Brees as being a free agent coming out of a major shoulder injury with the San Diego Chargers. From the beginning, the Saints’ offense has been a collaborative effort that includes Brees’ input. As Brees said recentlyit has evolved through time from”first tier elementary school stuff into freakin’ Calculus 303.” And so they won the sole Super Bowl in franchise history after the 2009 season.

When it almost fell apart

Tomlin and Roethlisberger: The tandem never has been doing acute threat of parting ways, however the Steelers’ two-year reconstruct from 2012 into’13 was believed an assessment. Tomlin replaced offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, a Big Ben favorite, using Todd Haley, that didn’t net together with Roethlisberger for parts of six seasons. Pittsburgh stripped an aging defense and followed with an 8-8 season with a 4 8 clip in 2013. Roethlisberger and Tomlin helped Pittsburgh muster for four straight wins to finish the entire year. In past years, Roethlisberger’s comments have signaled potential issues with training decisions, but those were believed to be led in Haley more than Tomlin. He’s not triumphed in any discord since Haley’s departure.

Payton and also Brees: The Saints hit a rut using three straight 7 9 seasons from 2014 to’16. And though Payton never came near to being terminated, both he and the crew at least entertained the thought of a mutual separation after the’15 season. Payton’s mentor Bill Parcells always believed in the idea of moving on early instead of staying too lengthy. However, Payton failed to find the opportunity he liked enough to seriously explore any trade talks — he and the Saints fundamentally wound renewing their vows with a 20-16 contract expansion. This turned out to be a fantastic move since Payton has really helped to oversee a fantastic rebuilding effort. Brees is among only six players on the current roster that were with the team for over four years. And Payton has continued to grow as a playcaller, adding fresh wrinkles such as the read-option using third-string quarterback Taysom Hill and his creative utilization of running backs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram.

Just how they have each other’s back

Tomlin and Roethlisberger: Rarely when will Tomlin openly rip Roethlisberger because of his play. He’s a point to support him. He knows Roethlisberger is important to the Steelers do, and resulting in undue friction may complicate matters. Require Roethlisberger’s top interception total in 2013. Roethlisberger is tied for the league lead with 15, and a few weeks ago Tomlin was asked about the fashion. “He wasn’t carrying the ball to the end zone and then fumbling it to get a touchback,” stated Tomlin about Roethlisberger’s team-mates fumbling. “He just needs to keep to be thoughtful about the preservation of the chunk, such as he’s, and understand the responsibility that comes with being our signalcaller. I actually don’t see any issues in that location. But us, collectively, need to perform a far better job” Roethlisberger has explained that he and Tomlin communicate well and credits the coach for keeping a consistent message. And after the rib-injury difficulty in Oakland that caused Roethlisberger to miss 25 minutes of game actions, both the quarterback and coach had precisely exactly the same narrative: The faulty xray machine was unreadable. That’s teamwork.

Payton and Brees: Brees said he respects Payton could be your”boss,” but he also said he feels as if there is an open field of communication and his remarks aren’t always valued. “There is no ego,” Brees said. “I respect all boundaries there may be between player and head coach, yet there is actually just a friendship or perhaps a bond because of their experience together. There is a excellent deal of respect” Likewise, Payton enjoys how thorough Brees is when it comes to mastering the game plan through the entire week. I wrote a narrative with the both of these summer on the craft of the playcall, and if I asked Brees how often he hears that the first three or three words of a play and knows what the rest goes to be, he stated,”about 99 percent of the moment.” When asked how often he does not even need to hear the first word, Brees laughed and said,”Well, in certain conditions, alot “

What they are saying

What’s next for every duo

The Steelers could revisit that bargain with this offseason and push Roethlisberger’s wages nearer to about $30 million. After 124 wins in less than 1 2 seasons, Tomlin isn’t going anywhere. If Roethlisberger plays with three seasons and retires before his 40th birthday, the winning likely will continue. Most of the seasons attended with Tomlin with his side.

Payton and Brees: Ideally the following Superbowl in about six weeks. It’s tough to say the number of years Brees has abandoned, since he turns 40 in January. But it’s easy to see that this is the very ideal opportunity he and Payton experienced yet to double upon Lombardi trophies. The Saints (12-2) need just one more victory to lock the NFC’s No. 1 seed (plus so they want Payton and Brees to lift their offense out of a recent three-game slump). Brees has said often he believes he could play in a high level until he is 4-5 years of age. And it’s really tough to overlook considering the season he could be having. However, Brees has never given that he wishes to play that long. Maybe yet another superbowl would give him a great reason to walk away in a year or two? I think Payton will stick around after Brees leaves, though. Payton is just a quarterbacks coach by trade who developed Tony Romo at Dallas. And he’d be the perfect coach to come up with the next guy (the Saints came very close to drafting Patrick Mahomes this past year, speaking of perfect marriages). There just has never been a urgent demand for that”next guy” for about 13 years now.

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