PDA

View Full Version : Tomlin's First Team Meeting


lamberts-lost-tooth
03-20-2007, 06:17 AM
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Coach Mike Tomlin had his first meeting with his new team yesterday as the Steelers began their offseason workout program with little fanfare at their South Side training facility.

So little, in fact, that Tomlin declined interview requests. A Steelers spokesman explained that Tomlin did not want to make a bigger deal out of his first meeting with his team than what it was by speaking publicly.

He saved that for his players.

"He laid down the law," wide receiver Cedrick Wilson said.

Wilson was the only player available to the media after Tomlin spoke with the players and they went through workouts. He said 85 percent of the roster attended and that more players were traveling to Pittsburgh to begin training, something Tomlin strongly urged them to do.

Wilson said Tomlin told them that "you can go train in Orlando or you can go train in Arizona where it's a nice climate, whatever, but you can't get out of those places what you can get here and that's football."

"And that's what he's preaching," Wilson said, "and that's what he's coaching. A guy like myself, I'm definitely taking heed of it.

"He stepped in and kind of laid down the law a little bit, like, 'Hey guys it's going to be a little bit uncomfortable but as soon as we can get over that it's going to be better for all of us.' The guys worked hard today, on the field and also in the weight room, and I look for the same thing tomorrow."

Each player has to prove himself to the Steelers' new coach, Wilson said.

"Oh yeah. I think everybody does. He doesn't know anyone. He just came from Minnesota. ... I think everyone has to prove themselves."

Wilson said quarterback Ben Roethlisberger also had some things to say yesterday, at least to the wide receivers. Roethlisberger has been working out at the Steelers' facility off and on for several weeks.

"He made it clear, he is here right now. That's a statement itself," Wilson said. "It's March 19. We have five or six months before the season begins. He is here and we are here and we will get into the feel of throwing the ball and catching and things of that nature later on as guys gradually get used to the new strength coach and his way of doing things.

"I think the goal is for the receivers and the quarterback to work a ton. Our third-down efficiency was pretty good last year, but it wasn't as good as it was the year we won the Super Bowl. That's where we're going to have to get it up. If you want to win a championship you have to be darn good on third down. This time right now we can lay a platform for the upcoming season."

It won't be known until later what kind of impression Tomlin has made on his players or if some of the discontent expressed by them over his hiring and the release of linebacker Joey Porter has subsided.

Two offensive co-captains, guard Alan Faneca and wide receiver Hines Ward, have been outspoken about each. Faneca, among those who did not make it to the team's facility yet, complained when the Steelers bypassed offensive line coach Russ Grimm and hired Tomlin to replace Bill Cowher. Ward, who attended yesterday, still was protesting the release of Porter, who subsequently signed with the Miami Dolphins.

"It's shocking that they let him go," Ward told Michael Silver of SI.com last week, "because he was really the emotional leader, the guy who brought out the best in a lot of players. That's why so many veterans -- Alan Faneca, James Farrior and others -- called me when they heard he was released. We were all shocked.

"You can always replace players, but you can't always replace leaders. That's what we lose more than anything. It was tough when we lost Jerome [Bettis] before last year, and then we lost coach Cowher. Now we lose Joey Porter? It's going to be different."

A request through the team to talk to Ward yesterday, a day after Porter was charged with misdemeanor battery in Las Vegas for allegedly punching Bengals tackle Levi Jones in the face, was not fulfilled.

abgroove
03-20-2007, 06:32 AM
It's a new coach and the players will have some adjusting to do. But, they are all professionals, so it shouldn't be much of a problem. We all thought that Whiz or Grim would get the job, but they didn't and it's time to move on. Who really gets to choose their boss or co-workers anyway? I have loads of respect for Faneca and Ward, but they need to get over their objections and do their jobs.

Livinginthe past
03-20-2007, 06:51 AM
Sounds like Coach Tomlin has them moving in the right direction.

Looks like Cedric Wilson is the new mouthpiece for the Steelers team - I guess they couldn't put one of the older heads out there after the negative image they have portrayed at times this offseason.

Thats a smart idea by MT - too many cooks spoil the broth.

Atlanta Dan
03-20-2007, 07:01 AM
Interesting they would not make Hines available to the media.

That might be the Steelers decision or it might have been at Ward's request. Hines has developed an unfortunate habit of popping off in SI with derogatory comments since the SB win and then claiming he was misquoted.

Hines knew he was going to get questioned on his comments re Porter and probably was not upset he could dodge them for now. In addition, Hines, unlike Faneca, will have less upside in negotiating with another team if he is let go after this season and may have concluded it is time to practice and quit complaining.

There is definitely a new sheriff in town.

fansince'76
03-20-2007, 07:04 AM
Article translation: The long vacation that was the 2006 season is finally over. About damn time.

HometownGal
03-20-2007, 07:15 AM
Hines knew he was going to get questioned on his comments re Porter and probably was not upset he could dodge them for now. In addition, Hines, unlike Faneca, will have less upside in negotiating with another team if he is let go after this season and may have concluded it is time to practice and quit complaining.



I think you're right there, Dan. It is time for both Hines and Faneca to stop B & Ming and get themselves ready for the upcoming season - what's done is done. The team is moving in a new direction with a new "sheriff" and these guys need to focus on getting into playing shape and what they need to do to bring their best to the table. I have no doubt that everything will work out just fine and Tomlin will develop his own positive rapport with the guys.

fansince'76
03-20-2007, 07:21 AM
It is time for both Hines and Faneca to stop B & Ming and get themselves ready for the upcoming season - what's done is done. The team is moving in a new direction with a new "sheriff" and these guys need to focus on getting into playing shape and what they need to do to bring their best to the table. I have no doubt that everything will work out just fine and Tomlin will develop his own positive rapport with the guys.

Agreed, HTG. For example, when is the last time Ben started prepping for the season this early? Ever? Certainly didn't happen last year - seems to me last year he was too busy riding that stupid crotch rocket around and damn near killing himself on it. Looks like Ben got the message, and it's a very positive sign that the majority of the rest of the guys are getting it too.

coachspeak33
03-20-2007, 08:25 AM
Article translation: The long vacation that was the 2006 season is finally over. About damn time.

I couldnt agree more!!!!!!!!!

Quit patting yourselves on the back & STAY HUNGRY

TackleMeBen
03-20-2007, 08:25 AM
Maybe now people will stop saying that Ben has such a bad work ethic. he showed up for off season conditioning...but i have one question??? did he show up on his crotch rocket??? lol

coachspeak33
03-20-2007, 08:29 AM
Interesting that a young coach, at least duriing the early stages in the offseason, has seemed to "mature" some of the guys....Either that or their in there fightin for their spot....Something that Mr. Chiny Chin appeared to deem UN-important.

coachspeak33
03-20-2007, 08:31 AM
Interesting that a young coach, at least duriing the early stages in the offseason, has seemed to "mature" some of the guys....Either that or their in there fightin for their spot....Something that Mr. Chiny Chin appeared to deem UN-important.

I should clarify by stating this appeared to be the attitude of William Laird during 06 and especially the offseason leading up to 06

ChronoCross
03-20-2007, 08:44 AM
What surprises me is that only 85% of the players showed up for the new coach.

ajs8207
03-20-2007, 09:40 AM
What surprises me is that only 85% of the players showed up for the new coach.

Many others, including Troy, are supposedly on their way to Pittsburgh

BettisFan
03-20-2007, 10:10 AM
i guess tomlin will do well this year i think we can go 9-7 mabey even 10-6

memphissteelergirl
03-20-2007, 01:47 PM
I am glad to see that Tomlin is lighting a fire under a few bee-hinds. I think the complacency that plagued the team last season will be a thing of the past. Yes, there will be some major mental adjustments that can and will be made, but once everyone gets on the same page and realizes they all have to work toward a common goal, it will work out!

HERE WE GO STEELERS, HERE WE GO!! :tt02: :tt02:

tony hipchest
03-20-2007, 01:59 PM
Agreed, HTG. For example, when is the last time Ben started prepping for the season this early? Ever? Certainly didn't happen last year - seems to me last year he was too busy riding that stupid crotch rocket around and damn near killing himself on it. Looks like Ben got the message, and it's a very positive sign that the majority of the rest of the guys are getting it too. in defense of ben, i think he was doing everything that was expected of him last off season and was said to have had his best set of mini camps ever. many players were doing their own thing. hines in disneyworld, washington d.c., korea. i mean, its not like when the players were reunited for their trip to the whitehouse, ben, hines, washington and ced could go run some practice patterns on the whitehouse lawn. although that would be cool. a full off season of work with hines, holmes, and ben should put them head and shoulders above where they were last year.

and can someone keep starks away from all the "Chunky Soup"??? they must send him that stuff in 55 gallon drums.

fansince'76
03-20-2007, 02:11 PM
in defense of ben, i think he was doing everything that was expected of him last off season and was said to have had his best set of mini camps ever. many players were doing their own thing. hines in disneyworld, washington d.c., korea. i mean, its not like when the players were reunited for their trip to the whitehouse, ben, hines, washington and ced could go run some practice patterns on the whitehouse lawn. although that would be cool. a full off season of work with hines, holmes, and ben should put them head and shoulders above where they were last year.

and can someone keep starks away from all the "Chunky Soup"??? they must send him that stuff in 55 gallon drums.

You're right Tony - the whole team had a "to the victors go the spoils" attitude last offseason, which I can understand coming off a SB win. However, when that attitude bled over into preseason and then the regular season, it translated into a 2-6 start and a lackluster 8-8 finish. I much prefer the mindset they seem to have now.

GutterflowerSteel
03-20-2007, 02:18 PM
Schein and Wilcots just started the Afternoon Blitz talking about this very topic. They were very complimentary about Coach Tomlin and his leadership and feel that he's got the Steelers headed down the right road. Solomon said that when he did the Steelers' last game this past season, he spoke with Big Ben who told him that he couldn't wait for the off season because he wanted to work with the receivers a lot--and he couldn't wait to get started. :helmet:

...and Ronnie Lott will be on the air with them around 3:30 EST. :thumbsup:

TackleMeBen
03-20-2007, 03:40 PM
Schein and Wilcots just started the Afternoon Blitz talking about this very topic. They were very complimentary about Coach Tomlin and his leadership and feel that he's got the Steelers headed down the right road. Solomon said that when he did the Steelers' last game this past season, he spoke with Big Ben who told him that he couldn't wait for the off season because he wanted to work with the receivers a lot--and he couldn't wait to get started. :helmet:

...and Ronnie Lott will be on the air with them around 3:30 EST. :thumbsup:

i heard the same thing. i am glad that some of the media thinks tomlin is going to do a great job with the team this season. ( i loved the slamming of eli though :wink02: )

GutterflowerSteel
03-20-2007, 04:18 PM
i heard the same thing. i am glad that some of the media thinks tomlin is going to do a great job with the team this season. ( i loved the slamming of eli though :wink02: )

I know, that was great...and right on! :smile:

tony hipchest
03-20-2007, 04:50 PM
eli is always getting slammed for not developing as quickly as he was supposed to coming out of college. of course this is a hot topic, now that once again, plex and shockey are absent from the minicamps, and down in miami. no wonder he isnt getting good quick.

ben missed his first voluntary workouts cause he hadnt been drafted. in his 2nd year his main wr held out and missed all the time midway through pre season. last year bens accident, hines injury, and the time holmes missed, had them behind the curve.

going into his 4th year it is so important to get some of this vital work in with his weapons. we should see alot more chemistry with the offense, even with the coaching changes.

OneForTheToe
03-20-2007, 04:53 PM
I don't think 15% missing the first day of the pre- mini camp is all that bad. I'm not sure how many players are actually on this team, but I suspect that would be around 10 players missing. There are apparently a few on the way, naturally a few probably would have excuses (health, or otherwise) that leaves only a few possible stragglers who don't want to travel to burgh for mini camp. Every team has a few players who like to workout on their own. Although, I do wonder about Faneca ……. Did he normally come to the voluntary camps in the past?

polamalufan43
03-20-2007, 09:02 PM
Well, as long as the team chemistry works out this season and Tomlin continues to show us he is here to play, then Good Luck to him with working with the team.

~Polamalufan43:tt02:

GBMelBlount
03-20-2007, 09:38 PM
i guess tomlin will do well this year i think we can go 9-7 mabey even 10-6


Dude, are you trying to make me cry!! I want nothing less than a SB. We lost a crapload of games last year with Ben leading in turnovers, and unbelievable losses to Cincinnatti, Raiders, Atlanta, etc. We were in every game last season going ito the 2nd half except maybe baltimore. I'm also crying about Faneca, but if we make good draft and personnel decisons and our younger WR's &CB's come along, & Ben fully recovers, we are going to kick some @$$!!!!!!!!!