Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin answers questions during a news conference after losing to the Buffalo Bills in an NFL Wild Card playoff game. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

(CNN) — Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin abruptly left a postgame news conference midway through a question about his contract status following his team’s playoff loss on Monday.

The Steelers lost 31-17 to the Buffalo Bills in the NFL’s Super Wild Card round of the postseason and Tomlin was asked about what his future holds afterwards.

The reporter could be heard saying, “Mike, you have a year left on your contract” before the 51-year-old walked off the podium, effectively ending his press conference.

Tomlin’s contract is due to run out at the end of the 2024 season.

Following Bill Belichick’s departure from the New England Patriots earlier in January, Tomlin is the longest-tenured head coach in the NFL having spent 17 seasons with Pittsburgh.

Although the team’s 2023 campaign was rife with issues – from quarterback problems to defensive injuries – the Steelers finished with a 10-7 record and maintained Tomlin’s NFL record for consecutive non-losing seasons to start a career with 17.

Tomlin has an overall 173-100-2 record as Pittsburgh head coach, with two Super Bowl appearances, one Super Bowl victory and 11 postseason trips.

When he was hired by Pittsburgh in 2007 at the age of 34, Tomlin became only the third head coach hired by the organization since 1969.

His victory over the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII in his second season at the helm meant he became the youngest head coach in NFL history to both coach in and win a Super Bowl, a record that was later eclipsed by Sean McVay in Super Bowl LVI.

Steelers defensive stalwart Cameron Heyward – who also faced questions about his future following the defeat to the Bills – supported Tomlin and said he expects him to be back.

“Every player wouldn’t be anything without Mike T,” the 34-year-old defensive tackle told reporters. “This group would not function to even get to a playoff berth without Mike T. He keeps us accountable from top to bottom. I don’t want to play for any other coach.”

Heyward added: “I’m a year older. You look at this game, and the average is three years. I’ve beat it every time. But coming off some injuries during the season, it was a testament to even get to the playoffs. We battled all year long.

“I don’t really pay attention to what the coaching thing is because I feel like Mike T
is gonna be back. But that’s not my decision. I’m not going to speak for him. I just know the group here, collectively, is a strong group that can win the Super Bowl.”