PDA

View Full Version : What if Steelers had hired Whisenhunt?


mesaSteeler
01-30-2009, 06:29 AM
What if Steelers had hired Whisenhunt?
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/s_609430.html
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, January 30, 2009

TAMPA, Fla. What if?

What if Mike Tomlin wasn't coaching the Steelers against the Arizona Cardinals in Super Bowl XLIII?

What if Steelers chairman Dan Rooney took a mulligan and hired Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt instead?

Would Whisenhunt have led the Steelers to Super Bowl XLIII? Would the Steelers be facing Arizona?

Would the Steelers still be primarily a running team? Would they still have the top-ranked defense in the NFL?

"I don't know if Mr. Rooney would have said (to Whisenhunt), 'Keep (defensive coordinator) Dick LeBeau,' " Steelers inside linebacker Larry Foote said. "Who on God's green earth is going to get rid of Dick LeBeau? Unless it's something more personal, a guy wants to bring his buddy in."

Would Arizona assistant Russ Grimm, who, like Whisenhunt, lost out to Tomlin for the Steelers' job while also interviewing with Arizona, be coaching the Cardinals in this year's Super Bowl?

"I don't know who the coordinators would have been or how it would have went down," Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton said. "But you can't take away from the job Mike T has done."

Of course, there are no sensible answers to hypothetical questions.

But this is Super Bowl Week, when the lack of actual breaking news leading up to the big game produces an overload of hypotheticals.

In truth, the Tomlin versus Whisenhunt story line is simply too irresistible.

"During that time, we were speculating just like everybody else, calling people that changes were coming," Foote said. "It worked out for the best, and they made the right decision."

A surprise choice, Tomlin, named NFL Coach of the Year on Thursday in a fan vote on NFL.com, held the winning lottery ticket to a dream job.

Officially, Tomlin beat out Grimm, the other finalist and longtime Steelers assistant.

In reality, Tomlin also beat out Whisenhunt, who along with Grimm interviewed for the Steelers job but dropped out of the running and went with a sure thing in Arizona.

"Everything that was said about the heir apparent to coach (Bill) Cowher was not anything that involved me," Whisenhunt said this week. "That was other people speculating."

Had Whisenhunt waited, he might be coaching the Steelers in Super Bowl XLIII instead of coaching against them. But we'll never know.

What we do know is that Whisenhunt had a reputation for being a ball-control coach when he was the Steelers' offensive coordinator.

We also know Arizona has become more pass-happy under Whisenhunt.

"Coach Whisenhunt will do whatever he thinks he can do to move the football," LeBeau said.

Under Tomlin and offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, the Steelers have attempted to become more balanced offensively.

"Before we used to just run the ball no matter what," said running back Willie Parker, who earlier in the season questioned the Steelers' lack of commitment to the run. "We had two backs (Parker and Jerome Bettis) and split carries, and we were just gonna keep running, running, running.

"From my standpoint, it's whatever it takes to win a ballgame. Whether it's passing more or running more. Whatever in the first quarter that's helping us out, we're going to keep doing throughout the game."

As for questions concerning Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and Whisenhunt being able to coexist, the QB said yesterday the two have made amends.

"There was some stuff made in the media," Roethlisberger said. "I said things; he said things. I apologized to him and told him I didn't mean him any wrong. We're on a good level right now."

As for Roethlisberger's relationship with Tomlin: "It's been great. He's really easy to talk to. It also helps that I am a captain and that I'm a little older, and I can go up to the room and talk to him."

Steelers director of football operations Kevin Colbert said Tomlin hasn't made many changes.

"To coach Tomlin's credit, he stayed pretty much (the same)," Colbert said. "Defensively, we didn't change. Offensively, we are almost the same."

Whoever wins Super Bowl XLIII won't determine whether the Steelers hired the right coach. But it will prove they had two excellent candidates to choose from.

John Harris can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

RoethlisBURGHer
01-30-2009, 09:32 AM
I have been wondering this myself.

Personally, I hate when people say that they passed over Whisenhut. He took the Cardinals job before any desicion was made.

Truthfully, I wanted Dan Rooney to hire Whisenhut. I also wouldn't have been upset if they hired Grimm, but I liked Whisenhut better.

I was shocked when they hired Tomlin, and I wasn't quite sure of the hire. But I trust Dan Rooney's desicions and before long I thought they made the right one.

I wouldn't want anyone else coaching the Steelers. Not even if Cowher wanted to come back for free.

SC Steeler Steve
01-30-2009, 09:46 AM
I too was very unsure of the Tomlin hire at first. Then I thought about 2 coaches in 33 years and said to myself, these people know what they are doing. I am very satisfied with MT. I think and hope he will do 15 to 20 in Pittsburgh. I also think he will win 3 or 4 SBs with many other competetive seasons. I was pulling for Whisenhunt also cause it was the feel good story, but again I am very happy with Mikeie T. To hell with what may have happened if Whis were in Pittsburgh.

scsteeler
01-30-2009, 10:13 AM
Yes we will never know what the Steelers would be like under Whiz and I wish they would stop saying the Rooney's passed him over for Tomlin which is a untruth. Whiz took the Arizona job before a the Rooney's made their decision. I am quite glad we have Tomlin, I was worried about this choice at first but I trusted the Rooney's as always to pick the best guy for this new era and again they made the right choice.

revefsreleets
01-30-2009, 11:07 AM
They'd be in the Super Bowl......IF they played in The NFC West.

Benzbrother
01-30-2009, 11:11 AM
I too was very unsure of the Tomlin hire at first. Then I thought about 2 coaches in 33 years and said to myself, these people know what they are doing. I am very satisfied with MT. I think and hope he will do 15 to 20 in Pittsburgh. I also think he will win 3 or 4 SBs with many other competetive seasons. I was pulling for Whisenhunt also cause it was the feel good story, but again I am very happy with Mikeie T. To hell with what may have happened if Whis were in Pittsburgh.

:iagree:

revefsreleets
01-30-2009, 11:31 AM
Oh, by the by, IF the Steelers played in the NFC West they'd be 18-0 and have the #1 rated offense in the league to go with that defense...

steelreserve
01-30-2009, 11:38 AM
Who cares? We're in the Super Bowl.

Honestly, Whiz was an offensive guy and he went to a team with a good offense and ran with it. Tomlin was a defensive guy and he came to a team with a good defense, and you can see what happened here. Seems like both of them found their perfect match.

HometownGal
01-30-2009, 11:59 AM
Who cares? We're in the Super Bowl.

Honestly, Whiz was an offensive guy and he went to a team with a good offense and ran with it. Tomlin was a defensive guy and he came to a team with a good defense, and you can see what happened here. Seems like both of them found their perfect match.

Yep - that's it in a nutshell.

Tomlin has been the perfect fit here in the Burgh and Wiz has found his groove as a HC in AZ. I was a huge Cowher supporter and was a little hesitant when the Steelers announced Tomlin as their new HC, but Coach T quickly gained my respect and admiration.

There positively isn't another guy out there who I would want HC'ing the black 'n gold and I hope he is here longer than Coaches Noll and Cowher combined. :thumbsup:

fansince'76
01-30-2009, 12:04 PM
Whoever wins Super Bowl XLIII won't determine whether the Steelers hired the right coach.

Yeah, but considering some of Harris' past articles, I know damn good and well he'll be saying as much should the "wrong" coach happen to win Sunday, and there will be at least 10 threads here expressing the same sentiment. I can already see the "Tomlin Can't Win the Big One!" garbage. :coffee:

Stlrs4Life
01-30-2009, 12:40 PM
If I only had a million dollars.