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83-Steelers-43
06-10-2007, 11:08 PM
Steelers' mandatory voluntary workouts

By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, June 11, 2007

There's nothing voluntary about the Steelers' voluntary workouts.

Be there -- or else.

Whether they want to be there or not, whether they like it or not, nearly all of the Steelers -- with the exception of veteran guard Alan Faneca -- have been present and accounted for.

A handful of players have missed days because of business and personal reasons or injuries. Big deal.

That's why they call them voluntary workouts. It's the offseason, and the players aren't robots. They do have lives outside of football.

But -- voluntary or not, two-hour time limit or not -- new coach Mike Tomlin wouldn't have scheduled the 14 workouts (officially known as organized team activities) if they weren't important.

Under the guise of the workouts being much ado about nothing, Tomlin has been installing a new offense and tweaking the defense in preparation for training camp.

Nearly 100 percent participation speaks volumes about how the Steelers feel about their new coach.

They don't have to like him, just respect him.

They respect him, all right.

If not respect for their coach, the Steelers understand that by participating they at least present a united front that they care.

Another first-year coach, Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys, is being billed as a player's coach.

Phillips -- who, like Tomlin, has assumed control of a team coming off a subpar season -- said it's OK if his players don't show up for voluntary workouts because he doesn't want to burn them out for the regular season.

Some of the Cowboys have taken Phillips at his word. Starting wide receivers Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn and running back Julius Jones skipped some of the Cowboys' voluntary workouts, just because.

Tomlin said no such thing. He expected all of his players to attend because they wanted to be there. And with the exception of Faneca, they have.

At least Faneca has a legitimate excuse. A six-time Pro Bowl performer entering the final year of his contract with no new deal in sight, he believes his absence is the only way to bring attention to his situation.

Faneca's problem isn't with Tomlin. Management signs the paychecks.

The rest of the Steelers' rank-and-file have fallen in line behind Tomlin, even the ones who wanted former assistant coach Russ Grimm to get the job.

Again, the Steelers don't have to like Tomlin to play for him.

Respect -- or the fear of the unknown -- will suffice.

Even if all of the players haven't bought totally into the Tomlin way, they value their jobs more.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_511965.html

Galax Steeler
06-11-2007, 04:12 AM
I think tomlin will do well but faneca is going to be a thorn in his side this year.

Preacher
06-11-2007, 04:19 AM
Now that is a good article.

In hindsight, I wonder how much of Cowher's being a player's coach caused a couple of problems?

TackleMeBen
06-11-2007, 06:36 AM
I think tomlin will do well but faneca is going to be a thorn in his side this year.

:iagree:

Atlanta Dan
06-11-2007, 07:15 AM
Unless Harris spoke with nobody and was just mailing in this column, there was a definite undertone to the article that players who wanted Grimm or Whisenhunt hired have been told to deal with it.

Contrary to some of Ben's comments that he felt more comfortable with Tomlin as HC, I think the message is that Tomlin is the players' boss, not their pal, and for anyone who has a problem with that don't let the door hit you on the way out. Since Faneca has already decided he is leaving, he can stay away - not everyone (e.g. - Haggans at work despite a seriously ill baby across the country) has that luxury and is playing for their job.

Good - some hard choices need to be made as this team rebuilds and everyone needs to get knocked of their 2006 comfort zone.

TackleMeBen
06-11-2007, 08:27 AM
, [quote]there was a definite undertone to the article that players who wanted Grimm or Whisenhunt hired have been told to deal with it.

good its about time they stop pouting about it and learn to move on. :wink02:


Contrary to some of Ben's comments that he felt more comfortable with Tomlin as HC, I think the message is that Tomlin is the players' boss, not their pal, and for anyone who has a problem with that don't let the door hit you on the way out. Since Faneca has already decided he is leaving, he can stay away - not everyone (e.g. - Haggans at work despite a seriously ill baby across the country) has that luxury and is playing for their job.


I dont think they hired Tomlin to be their pal. They hired him to shape those boys back into the best calibar team in football and to win another Superbowl, which I think they are capable of doing. :cheer:

stlrtruck
06-11-2007, 10:49 AM
I think tomlin will do well but faneca is going to be a thorn in his side this year.

I only think Faneca will be problem in his side until training camp. Then he'll be there to play and honor is contract, then go out and get the big bucks next year. Faneca knows that if he sits out or doesn't play well that he's only hurting his chances of signing the big deal next year.

Then next year, just like any time we've lost a so-called key player, someone else will step in line and take us position only to make us wonder, "Alan who?"

polamalufan43
06-11-2007, 10:51 AM
No doubt if Faneca isn't released by the season opener then he will cause an interesting season. But I think I'll give him the same message a lot of us have said, SHUT UP AND PLAY!

~PF43:tt02:

PalmerSteel
06-11-2007, 06:21 PM
just like stlrtruck said, faneca will make noise until training camp, then he wont be a distraction. he may be disgruntled, but he isnt stupid. at his age, his attitude and performance on the field this year will be key for him to get the big paycheck.
these stories make me anxious for the season to begin. this team is going to be hungry this year and we know that we got the talent. watch out new england, indy, and baltimore!

domthebomb228
06-13-2007, 07:07 PM
Exactly... I doubt Faneca's doucheyness will translate onto the field. If he's looking to get signed to a big $$ contract from somebody else, he's gonna have to perform this year. Which is kind of confusing considering we have an entirely new system that he's neglecting to learn.

But I can pretty much guarantee all of you we won't have a Randy Moss-ish situation here, with Faneca tanking on the field just to get attention.