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83-Steelers-43
09-24-2007, 11:31 PM
Once loyal employees, Whisenhunt and Grimm would love to knock off players they used to coach
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

There will be Ken Whisenhunt, who took the Cardinals' offer rather than wait for the Steelers to go through a more protracted interview process.

There will be Cardinals assistant head coach and line coach Russ Grimm, who thought he had the Steelers' job only to learn a day later he did not.

And there will be Mike Tomlin, who is tied with Bill Cowher as the only Steelers' rookie coach to win his first three games.

As Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger acknowledged Sunday, it should make for an interesting week.

"It's going to be a great game, I think," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "Arizona is going to come at us with everything they have. Whis wants to win that game, I think, more than getting to the Super Bowl and winning it. I know they're all excited to play us."

Whisenhunt was the Steelers' offensive coordinator the past three seasons under Bill Cowher, and their tight ends coach for three seasons before that. Grimm, a native of Scottdale in Westmoreland County who played at Pitt, was the Steelers' offensive line coach since 2001 and promoted to assistant head coach in '04 in part to help him get a head coaching job.

As it became more evident that '06 would be Cowher's last season, Whisenhunt and Grimm quickly became prime candidates, if not the candidates to succeed him. Whisenhunt even opted out of the Atlanta Falcons search for a coach when he told them he wanted to wait for the Steelers' decision.

He changed his mind after interviewing with Arizona and accepted its offer.

The Steelers choice then came down to Grimm and Tomlin, a young outsider seen as a long shot. Grimm thought he had the job on Jan. 20, and there were published reports that both Grimm and Tomlin would be the new head coach. Tomlin was given the job Jan 21 and introduced as the new coach at a news conference Jan. 22.

Team president Art Rooney II acknowledged that "leaks," including those from the NFL office, led to confusion and that there might have been a misunderstanding on Grimm's part.

"I think it's fair to say Russ was close," Rooney said in January. "We gave serious consideration to giving Russ the job and he merited it. That's why we made him a finalist."

It's fair to say Grimm would like nothing better than for the Cardinals to beat the Steelers Sunday.

Keisel joked about it when he said the Steelers would "get ready to go down and smack Russ around."

"It's going to be cool, I think," Keisel said. "It'll be interesting to go out there and face Whis, who we're used to going against. It'll be nice to see them again."

But neither Grimm nor Whisenhunt will get to play against the Steelers, and it's hard to tell if their passion for this game can be passed to players who weren't emotionally involved. Only three Steelers from last season are on the Cardinals' roster -- special teams player Sean Morey, defensive end Rodney Bailey and center Chukky Okobi, signed by Arizona two weeks ago after the six-year veteran was released by the Steelers before the opener. They also have tight end Tim Euhus, who spent the first week last season on the Steelers' roster.

The Cardinals have played well despite a 1-2 record. Each of their two losses came in the closing minute on the road, in their opener at San Francisco and Sunday at Baltimore. They beat a good Seattle team at home.

Tomlin can become the first Steelers coach to win his first four games. Jim Mora was the last rookie coach to go 4-0 in 2004 with Atlanta. He was fired after the '06 season.

Wally Lemm holds the NFL record by winning the first 10 games he coached. He took over for Lou Rymkus after the Houston Oilers opened 1-3-1 in the 1961 season of the old American Football League. The Oilers won their next 10 games, including the AFL championship against San Diego. Lemm then quit to become head coach of the old St. Louis Cardinals.

Those Cardinals are in Arizona today, and a rivalry with the Steelers, at least for one year, began the day Whisenhunt was hired. It intensified when Grimm was hired after the Steelers spurned him. It picked up in the offseason when Whisenhunt and Roethlisberger disagreed over why the quarterback had a poor 2006. Roethlisberger has since taken some not-so-subtle swipes at the "old" Steelers offense under Whisenhunt vs. the new one under Bruce Arians.

"Obviously they're going to be coming off a hard loss and coming at us with everything they have," Keisel said. "I think it's going to be our biggest test of the year."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07268/820319-66.stm

Haiku_Dirtt
09-24-2007, 11:49 PM
"I think it's going to be our biggest test of the year."

As odd as this sounds I think Keisel is right.

83-Steelers-43
09-24-2007, 11:51 PM
IMO, our biggest test will come on December 9. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be tested before December 9, but if we are talking about our "biggest" test, I'll stick with December 9 in New England.

tony hipchest
09-25-2007, 12:03 AM
"I think it's going to be our biggest test of the year."

As odd as this sounds I think Keisel is right.it doesnt sound odd at all. the next game is always the biggest game.

Keisel joked about it when he said the Steelers would "get ready to go down and smack Russ around."

:jammin:

"Arizona is going to come at us with everything they have. Whis wants to win that game, I think, more than getting to the Super Bowl and winning it. I know they're all excited to play us."

is keisel officially the new defensive spokesman/quote machine of the steelers?

Haiku_Dirtt
09-25-2007, 12:11 AM
IMO, our biggest test will come on December 9. There is no doubt in my mind that we will be tested before December 9, but if we are talking about our "biggest" test, I'll stick with December 9 in New England.

I took it to mean the biggest test of the first four games. But at the end of the season who knows Jacksonville could be the biggest for all we know if head to head competition is the deciding factor for a wild card.

Steel Pit
09-25-2007, 12:38 AM
I'm not the least bit concerned about Arizona. They'll come up with a few gimmicks that will put 10 or so points on the scoreboard for them but otherwise, it's going to be another double digit margin of victory for the Steelers.

The Steelers know what they're facing, maybe a suprise onside kick, a fake field goal or punt, heck the Cardinals may even attempt a double reverse WR pass. Who knows? Who Cares?

The bottom line is that the Cardinals can not line up and play a standard style of football against the Steelers and the final score will prove it.

Steelers 37 Arizona 10

Galax Steeler
09-25-2007, 03:16 AM
I hope you are right steel pit that sounds good to me.

Buzz05
09-25-2007, 07:19 AM
is keisel officially the new defensive spokesman/quote machine of the steelers?

Well atleast we wont have to worry about Keisel's dogs killing horses....

BlastFurnace
09-25-2007, 08:23 AM
It's an out of conference game. It may be a test, but the biggest test will come when we play Baltimore. Those two games will tell the Steelers where they are this season. We owe them one...if not two...after what they did to us last season.

HometownGal
09-25-2007, 08:34 AM
Tomlin would tell you all a thing or two or three. :mallet: EVERY game is just as important as those that preceded it and those that follow. I don't put any more emphasis on this week's game vs. Arizona than I do any other game and I never take any team lightly.

It is great, though, to see the guys geared up and ready to do battle against their former coaches. :thumbsup: I believe Whiz and Grimm will have the Cards just as ready, though I believe the Steelers are the more talented group and will conquer! :tt02:

Steelers 30
Cards 13

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 08:46 AM
It's an out of conference game. It may be a test, but the biggest test will come when we play Baltimore. Those two games will tell the Steelers where they are this season. We owe them one...if not two...after what they did to us last season.

Second to the Patriots game, I agree completely. IMO, the Colts and Patriots are the two elite teams (and I think we could match up well with the Colts) in the league right now. If we prove we can beat the Patriots, deep playoff run/possible #6 in our future.

But Baltimore will be a tough test no doubt. It always is. Oh well, let's take care of the Cards first. Fun to speculate though. :cheers:

83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 08:52 AM
is keisel officially the new defensive spokesman/quote machine of the steelers?

It's looking that way. I've seen him do more interviews this season than anybody else on that roster. Well, he's got the sense of humor and personality (and I'm guessing patience) to be our "defensive spokesman/quote machine".

Hope to continue hearing more from him as the season progresses.

Stlrs4Life
09-25-2007, 09:33 AM
It will be an interesting game to say the least. Still believe we prevail. I don't think either side has the edge on the other.

MyCuz64Furness
09-25-2007, 09:40 AM
good read.:tt02: