View Full Version : Steelers Tomlin Set for First Mini-Camp

04-19-2007, 05:10 AM
Steelers minicamp - HERE WE GO STEELERS!! :tt02:

When: Friday-Sunday
Where: Steelers' South Side practice facility

Notable: Teams will practice for the first time under new coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers will practice twice on Friday and Saturday and once Sunday.

Steelers' Tomlin set for first minicamp

By Scott Brown
Thursday, April 19, 2007

A pair of sunglasses hung from the top button of his shirt, adding to the relaxed feel at the sprawling resort where the NFL owners' meetings were held in late March.
The Camelback Mountains, which tower over the cactuses and palm trees that dot Phoenix, provided a fitting backdrop as Mike Tomlin ate breakfast and chatted with reporters.

More than two months into his job, the Steelers' coach was still being asked about climbing to the peak of his profession.

Did the self-admitted "dreamer" think he'd get an NFL head coaching job? Does he consider himself a trailblazer? Was he surprised he got the Steelers job?

The answers, in short order, were yes, no and yeah, maybe a little.

Not that Tomlin has had time to ponder the significance of his hiring.

In no particular order, he has assembled a coaching staff, relocated his family to Pittsburgh, celebrated his 35th birthday and undoubtedly become glassy-eyed from watching game tapes of his own players and ones the Steelers are interested in drafting.

On Friday, he'll take his most significant step to date with the Steelers, as the team opens minicamp.

To understand how Tomlin got to this point, it's worth reflecting on his life.

One play that still stands out early in his career at William & Mary College is one the former wide receiver didn't make: a catch that would have gone for a touchdown.

"That was the first time I felt the gravity of letting people down, and I didn't like it," Tomlin said. "That's kind of how I developed a work ethic in regards to ball, my outlook in terms of team."

That outlook was perhaps the most profound change Tomlin went through early in his career.

Years later, he would tell a former teammate that he "felt sorry" for the upperclassmen because he wasn't as prepared as he should have been the first season he played.

What he learned about the importance of accountability not only shaped him as a player, but also stayed with him as a coach.

"Like all athletes, I said the right thing, but at the end of the day, I was probably selfish," Tomlin said. "There were some people there that were truly unselfish people, people that showed me what it was about, knowing that if they did that, I'd probably take their spot.

"That was awesome, humbling to me and, along the way, made me appreciate stuff like that, understand what true team ball is about."

It showed, particularly during subsequent offseason workouts, as Matt Kelchner, who recruited Tomlin, recalled.

The players would gather at the school track to run, and it was early enough that darkness and cold weather generally prevailed.

Yet there was Tomlin, Kelchner said, all but waving pompoms as he exhorted his teammates with equal parts cheer and effort.

He'll reprise that role in a sense during the first of two minicamps the Steelers will have -- albeit on a much larger stage.

It probably seems like just yesterday that Tomlin flew into Pittsburgh to be introduced as the new Steelers coach -- and quickly found out that his life had changed dramatically.

As his car sped toward the South Side and his first news conference, Tomlin noticed a sign on a building that welcomed him to Pittsburgh. That "rocked" him.

"You hear about the relationship this city has with this organization, but until you're part of it, you really don't know," Tomlin said. "There's nothing that can prepare you for it. It's awesome."

Tomlin says he can't go out in public without being approached by someone.

He doesn't mind the attention, though, acknowledging that it's part of the deal that comes with coaching the Steelers.

He's smart enough to know that he's warmly greeted on the streets or in restaurants in part because he has yet to lose a game.

But he's also confident that he can handle the high expectations because he doesn't like losing any more than he did touchdown passes.

"It was pretty clear early on that he was going to do special things," said Tony Dungy, who hired Tomlin to coach the secondary in Tampa Bay in 2001, even though he had never met him before the interview process. "He had the great gift to be able to talk to rookies, to Pro Bowl guys. He wasn't intimidated by anything in the NFL, and he just had this passion in his personality that got his point across."

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

04-19-2007, 06:29 AM
Let's get it started!!!

04-19-2007, 09:37 AM
The NFL offseason takes too long. Bring on training camp already!!!

04-19-2007, 09:45 AM

04-19-2007, 11:04 AM
Isn't this a lot earlier than usual?

04-19-2007, 11:09 AM
And so it begins...:tt02:

04-19-2007, 11:51 AM
Isn't this a lot earlier than usual?

Teams that hire a new head coach are allotted one additional mini-camp to get things in place.

04-19-2007, 12:25 PM
"You hear about the relationship this city has with this organization, but until you're part of it, you really don't know," Tomlin said.

How many times have we heard this? For all the pessimism going into 2007 and the excitement Tomlin is bringing to the table let's hope level heads prevail.

04-19-2007, 12:39 PM
This means we can get a peek at Mikey T and his staff getting those boys back into shape ..lol

04-19-2007, 12:53 PM
I don't know boys and girls... I just have a feeling...


Yeah... its that good.

04-19-2007, 03:45 PM
Yea i am ready

04-19-2007, 03:45 PM
right now i am looking forward to the draft

04-23-2007, 08:01 AM
Notebook: Steelers' Tomlin paying attention to details

Monday, April 23, 2007

• Mike Tomlin did his share of observing during minicamp. "The thing I liked about him is he watched every position's drills," quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said Sunday. "He wasn't just watching one group or the other." Said Tomlin: "I appreciate all elements of the game, what's required of us to play great technically, fundamentally."

• Cornerback Ricardo Colclough said he has completely recovered from the pinched nerve in his neck that sidelined him for most of last season. "It's time for him to define what kind of career he's going to have," Tomlin said. "We've had that conversation, and I know that he wants to be the best that he can be."

• Second-year wide receiver/kick returner Willie Reid was happy to get back on the field. Reid suffered a midfoot sprain while returning a kickoff against the Chargers last season. "It was one of those freak injuries that took a long time to get over," Reid said. Reid hopes to figure into the passing game this season. "Most definitely, I think I can," he said. "Just keep working hard and everything will fall into place."


4 - Career sacks for James Harrison, who is likely to replace Joey Porter at right outside linebacker.

60 - Career sacks for Porter.

-- Scott Brown


04-23-2007, 08:03 AM
Mini-camp: Big Ben, offense playing catch-up
Monday, April 23, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

A Steelers practice in baseball caps abbreviated by 30 minutes ended coach Mike Tomlin's first minicamp with whoops and pats on the back, including a big one from Ben Roethlisberger yesterday.

Players broke the huddle around their new coach but the weekend did not end before Roethlisberger gathered the offense around him for a few final words.

"Guys, don't get frustrated because the defense is probably better than us [right now] but this is their stuff they've been doing for a long time and for us, this is all new," their quarterback told them.

"I think we came a long way in these couple of days. We still have a long way to go, but we all know that and that's what's important, that we know we can still get better and I think we will."

When Tomlin was hired to replace Bill Cowher, it appeared the defense would be the side that would go through more changes because Tomlin's six-year history as an NFL defensive coach has all been with a 4-3 Cover 2. But Tomlin kept coordinator Dick LeBeau, most of his staff and the 3-4 zone blitz defense.

The offense is what underwent change. New coordinator Bruce Arians, promoted from wide receivers coach, changed the language in the playbook, will use a slightly different philosophy and put more on Roethlisberger's shoulders to call protections, among other things.

"Terminology, cadence, there are a lot of things that tripped us up," Roethlisberger said. "But I'm real proud of the offensive line. They have a lot to deal with and they've done a great job.

"We've been doing a lot of stuff the past couple of weeks that when we first started doing it, we were griping -- 'We don't want to be here, it's April' -- but I'll tell you what, after this minicamp, everybody's very appreciative that we did it and we think it really made us a lot better."

Roethlisberger said the players took to their new coach in the first weekend together on a practice field.

"I think it went well," Roethlisberger said. "He kind of sat back and watched a lot, which is good because I think that's the way he is. He likes to feel us out. That's what he did. He stood back and watched.

"The thing I liked about him is he walked around and watched every position's drills. He wasn't just watching one group or the other. He was walking around and I think everybody appreciated that he was interested in everybody."

Tomlin said he was happy with the learning that took place on offense but, "We've got miles to go before we sleep, as they say, from that standpoint."

Tomlin did not cancel the final practice of minicamp, the way Bill Cowher often did, but he cut the scheduled 110-minute session short by 30 minutes and he allowed players to wear caps instead of helmets.

"When you have a great weekend -- and I think we had a great weekend leading up to this morning -- you want to reward guys if you can," Tomln said. "If throwing them a bone and letting them put hats on and go out and have some fun is a good thing, then great. You don't want to get to this point in the weekend and it's been so positive and have an injury because somebody accidentally collides with one another."

NOTES -- Tomlin's next minicamp is May 11-13 and that one is mandatory, so guard Alan Faneca would face a fine and possibly revocation of part of his signing bonus if he does not attend. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," Tomlin said. Tomlin talked to Faneca and knew he planned not to attend the past weekend. Tomlin expects to talk to him again and encourage him to practice with his teammates. ... WR Willie Reid, who did not play again after his foot was sprained Oct. 8, went through the practices over the weekend with no apparent problems. ... Punter Chris Gardocki attended minicamp but did not punt because of what Tomlin called a back injury.