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83-Steelers-43
09-25-2007, 11:06 PM
Tomlin understands loyalty to former coaches
If there wasn't a degree of loyalty among veteran players and the men who coached them, then that would be the sign of an issue ...
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Veteran Steelers players who complained that neither Russ Grimm nor Ken Whisenhunt was hired to succeed Bill Cowher as coach received hearty approval yesterday.

It came from Mike Tomlin, who landed the job.

"That was a non-issue for me," said Tomlin, who is into his ninth month as Steelers coach. "You expect that. If there wasn't a degree of loyalty among veteran players and the men who coached them, then that would be the sign of an issue or a problem."

Guard Alan Faneca and receiver Hines Ward first expressed their disappointment publicly that neither of the former Steelers offensive coaches was hired. But that has not been an issue for a while, particularly not after Tomlin's team had the fastest start of any Steelers season since Bill Cowher went 3-0 as a rookie coach in 1992.

Tomlin could become the first rookie Steelers coach to win his first four games, and, if he does, it would come at the expense of Whisenhunt, Grimm and their Cardinals Sunday in Arizona.

But the new Steelers coach refuses to be drawn into the passion play involving coaches who might have felt wronged.

"It's really a non-story for me, to be honest with you," Tomlin said. "It's a big game because it's the next game. I'm here, I want to be here, I'm glad to be here. If it is a story at all, it's their story, not ours. We have to prepare to play. It's a big game because the Cardinals are our next opponent."

Tomlin said he does not know Whisenhunt or Grimm and has not talked to them since the Steelers hired him. He expects their meeting on the field Sunday to be professional.

As for where his veterans' loyalties rested, he did not ask.

"When you work in close quarters with men and you make personal sacrifices to compete, those kind of relationships form," Tomlin said. "I had no intentions of trying to break down those relationships.

"I was brought in here to do a job. I focused specifically on the job that I needed to do and I understood that over time that my shared relationships with the players would create similar feelings.

"There's really no way to combat that other than to go about your day-to-day task and understand that, over time, we will have shared experiences. We're three games into shared experiences. That's just part of it, that's human nature, that's people working with people and that's what any business is about, whether it's football or otherwise."

Tomlin is off to a perfect start in his new job and seems to have won over his players. It took them nine games to win their third last season.

"It means just that," Tomlin said. "Fast starts, slow starts. The reality is, we have 16 games and every game stands on its own. Every time we step into a stadium, we have to be prepared to compete to win. It is what it is."

That has become a favorite cliche of the Steelers' new coach -- that and issues being non-issues and stories being non-stories. As he closed his press conference yesterday, Tomlin even laughed at all the questions about coaching against candidates who wanted his job, saying someone must want to "sell newspapers."

Did Steelers management make the right call when it hired Tomlin instead of Grimm or Whisenhunt in January? The team might still be 3-0 with any of them. More and more, though, it looks as though management did not make a wrong decision.

It's why someone asked Tomlin about fans' expectations that the Steelers season stretch into January.

"That's great," he said. "I like it. Keep the standard of expectation high. We aren't going to shy away from that. There is nothing wrong with expectations, particularly high ones. Hopefully we're giving them something to be excited about."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07269/820507-66.stm

MasterOfPuppets
09-26-2007, 05:56 PM
the man has definetly got poise when it comes to interviews.

Atlanta Dan
09-26-2007, 06:09 PM
Because Tomlin understands men are loyal

"You expect that. If there wasn't a degree of loyalty among veteran players and the men who coached them, then that would be the sign of an issue or a problem."

"When you work in close quarters with men and you make personal sacrifices to compete, those kind of relationships form"

IMO you could get pretty drunk if you played a drinking game and had a shot everytime Tomlin refers during media appearances to men in describing players and coaches.:smile:

tony hipchest
09-26-2007, 06:13 PM
tomlin refers to the arizona coaches as just "guys". im gonna have to go back and see if he only refers to steelers as "men".

a slight dis perhaps? :stirthepot:

:chuckle:

tony hipchest
09-26-2007, 06:29 PM
Guys like Lawrence Timmons who I think happens to be leading our team in special teams tackles and William Gay, young guys, we are counting them. They have to continue to grow and develop.

. He is a young guy, everything he does on a day to day basis helps him prepare to play on weekends. He is not a Hines Ward kind of guy who can show up on Friday and prepare to play on Sunday.

(Darnell) Docett is kind of a guy that makes them go up front. He is their under tackle.

....

, but they have some quality players and some guys that are on the rise. They are a good football team
i looked... he says "guys" much more... :dang: (but doesnt look like he ever refers to the opposition as "men". definitely seems to be a calculated sign of respect.