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Galax Steeler
03-24-2009, 03:51 AM
DANA POINT, Calif. -- Different coach, different year, different players, even -- soon -- different ownership. Mike Tomlin knows all about how the Steelers fell flat on their face the previous time they entered the season as Super Bowl champions. He hopes for one more difference this time: The outcome.

That 2006 season turned into one big Super Bowl hangover for the Steelers that began with one big headache for their quarterback and ended with an 8-8 record, no playoffs and the end of the road for coach Bill Cowher, who resigned after that season.

None of that means much to Tomlin as he prepares his team to defend its sixth NFL championship.

"It's not something that I'm going to attempt to avoid," Tomlin said yesterday at the NFL meetings. "I think if I attempt to avoid it, I may acknowledge the possibility of it happening exists. I'm not willing to do that.

"We simply are just going to prepare and attack the challenges that lie ahead for us. We know that things that happened in the past are things that happened in the past, and it may affect how we're judged from a perception standpoint. But it's not going to dictate how we work or how we approach our business."

Tomlin spoke at length publicly yesterday for the first time in seven weeks, or since he appeared the day after his team won Super Bowl XLIII in Tampa, Fla., at the winner's news conference Feb. 2. He has taken a low-key public approach since he and his players paraded through downtown Pittsburgh Feb. 3.

"I'm a private person by nature," Tomlin explained. "This is what I do, it's not who I am. I understand that it's necessary that people get to know me. I have somewhat of a public job. I'd like to think that the longer I'm on my job, the more I'll simply be evaluated by the quality of my work, and the necessity to hear myself talk this time of the year when it doesn't matter will be less and less."

He does not want his 2009 team to be hungry as much as driven, he said.

"Hungry is a word that I've been analyzing here of late. It's not hunger that drives me, it's not hunger that needs to drive our football team. Hunger and thirst are things that can be quenched. We have to be a driven group, we have to seek greatness. I think driven is a more appropriate word, it's a word I tend to use with them as we prepare for '09."

That preparation will change a bit in light of the Steelers having played games into February. Tomlin and Garrett Giemont, his conditioning coordinator, developed a plan to take the long season into account this year.

"In order to be a candidate for a championship-caliber team you have to work hard, but within that we have to find a delicate balance of working smart," Tomlin said. "And we have to acknowledge what has happened to us here in the past few months in terms of what we have done to our bodies as a football team."

So, young players who did not play much or at all last season are working at team headquarters now. Tomlin will stagger other players' starting dates based on the number of snaps they took last season.

Tomlin likes his team, even if he has lost a few players to free agency such as Nate Washington and Bryant McFadden. The Steelers re-signed nine of their own free agents but no one else's over the past 3 1/2 weeks of the signing period.

"I think, really, it's kind of in line the way we approach our business. I think it's consistent to what's happened here in the past and probably what's going to happen here in the future.

"We value the growth and development of our guys, we're going to try to retain as many of those guys as we can. We understand what comes with being successful, that sometimes people are going to value your players and sometimes in the process you're going to lose some of them. That comes with the territory. I think we're all comfortable where we are right now in free agency."

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/09083/957819-66.stm

PalmerSteel
03-24-2009, 05:31 AM
i love that man. so glad we got the best coach in the nfl.

Godfather
03-24-2009, 09:23 AM
I don't see how there would be a repeat of 2006. Ben isn't going to wreck a motorcycle and then have his appendix blow up and then get a concussion.

Plus, even with that "horrible" season, we only missed the playoffs by one game. If it weren't for an unlucky bounce against Denver or Cowher mismanaging the timeouts against Atlanta, we'd have been the 6 seed.

tony hipchest
03-24-2009, 09:32 AM
"Hungry is a word that I've been analyzing here of late. It's not hunger that drives me, it's not hunger that needs to drive our football team. Hunger and thirst are things that can be quenched. We have to be a driven group, we have to seek greatness. I think driven is a more appropriate word, it's a word I tend to use with them as we prepare for '09."
its this type of cerebral approach that will make him great and will seperate him from so many coaches that came before him and will come after.

not only does he analyze everything happening on the field and in games, but he puts time in analyzing the minutia of a single word he uses.

to me, that says boarderling psychotic in his attention to detail.

if the players can maintain that focus to detail we should be top of the league for many years to come.

tyler289
03-24-2009, 09:32 AM
With Tomlin at the helm, I can't see anything close to a repeat of 06. Almost the entire team is intact (no losing key guys like Bettis, Hope, and Randle El) and we shouldn't have to worry about Ben almost dying and having the worst year of his life.

PeckerWood
03-24-2009, 08:46 PM
Cowher pretty much mail it in, in 2006 so I don't see Tomlin doing the same thing because Tomlin know he will be back as headcoach in 2010.

Cowher knew 2006 was his last year.

Fire Haley
03-25-2009, 08:36 AM
I don't see how there would be a repeat of 2006. Ben isn't going to wreck a motorcycle and then have his appendix blow up and then get a concussion.


You better be knocking on wood when you're saying that.

GodofGridiron
03-25-2009, 10:00 AM
Tomlin commands respect with his acute logic. Nothin seems to rattle him and its almost impossible to corner the man. There will be more trophies to come if his team adopts his mindset.

Dude is way impressive in front of the press.

steelerdave1969
03-25-2009, 11:22 AM
Coach Tomlin reminds me so much of Bill Cowher in his first 6 or 7 seasons. I loved coach Cowher and what he brought to our team in intensity and in just being a players coach. I almost gaurentee you that all Cowher's players loved him in those first 10 or 12 seasons or so and I think that Tomlin has earned his respect that he demands and I love our coach for sure.

Dino 6 Rings
03-25-2009, 11:48 AM
The Drive keeps him Driving.

Ha!

I really really like our Head Coach.

Sharkissle29
03-25-2009, 12:41 PM
Coach Tomlin reminds me so much of Bill Cowher in his first 6 or 7 seasons. I loved coach Cowher and what he brought to our team in intensity and in just being a players coach. I almost gaurentee you that all Cowher's players loved him in those first 10 or 12 seasons or so and I think that Tomlin has earned his respect that he demands and I love our coach for sure.

The only big difference between Tomlin and Cowher is that Tomlin is WAY more aggressive than Cowher was, and thats what i love. He plays more to win games, rather than lose them. There were definitely a handful of games where Cowher was way too conservative and the end result was a loss.

Though i loved Cowher, look for Tomlin to completely surpass him in all coaching statistical categories.

GodofGridiron
03-25-2009, 09:04 PM
His "years coaching to Super Bowl wins" ratio already statistically kicks Cowhers ass.

NJarhead
03-25-2009, 09:15 PM
You'd have to be a rock not to be inspired by Mike Tomlin. He said, "this is what I do, not who I am," but in my opinion "who he is" is why he is so good at "what he does." There is a direct relationship between the two and I absolutely love the guy for that. He's a terrific role model for anyone in the business of motivating people.

:drink: This Bud's for you Coach!

The Duke
03-25-2009, 09:37 PM
Tomlin is freakin awesome!! :tt03:

and I still want a pair of glasses like his

devilsdancefloor
03-25-2009, 10:25 PM
Coach is awesome i cant get enough :nw: :nw: :nw: :nw:

Edman
03-26-2009, 12:25 PM
Tomlin is right, there is no hunger. The vast majority of Steelers vets already have two rings. It's all about drive and striving for greatness. Mike Tomlin and this team know they have the potential to be something more after winning XLIII: A Dynasty.

Anyway, we will not see a repeat of 2006.

Blitzburgh_Fever
03-26-2009, 04:30 PM
Hey, hey, well slow it down. You cannot forget what Cowher did for this team.

:tt02:

Agreed! Cowher turned a team that had become pretty bad over the previous decade, and it only took him 2 or 3 years to do. The Steelers from the get go with Tomlin had some pretty great guys.

I'm not at all saying Tomlin inherited a Super Bowl-caliber team, as obviously the '07 roster was drastically different from the '05 and lost more stars from the '06 roster. I truly believe had, say, Cam Cameron or someone come into Pittsburgh in '07 we probably go 8-8 or 9-7, and no way we go 12-4 in '08, much less win the Super Bowl. Tomlin's personality meshes perfectly with the Steelers and keeping LeBeau was obviously the right thing to do. Not to mention the acquisitions in the '07 were pretty integral in not just play time, but roster moves. '08 draft picks will likely be developing nicely as well.

Again, not saying Tomlin wasn't the key factor in winning the Super Bowl, but don't denegrate Cowher to Romeo Crennel without looking at the past. :thumbsup:

Preacher
03-26-2009, 04:55 PM
"In order to be a candidate for a championship-caliber team you have to work hard, but within that we have to find a delicate balance of working smart," Tomlin said. "And we have to acknowledge what has happened to us here in the past few months in terms of what we have done to our bodies as a football team."

So, young players who did not play much or at all last season are working at team headquarters now. Tomlin will stagger other players' starting dates based on the number of snaps they took last season.


honestly, THIS is what impressed me the most.

Remember his first year when he drove the team into the ground in practices.... established the mentality he wanted on the team?

He got the mentality, then backed off the second year giving guys time off. They thanked him by winning the SB.

This year? He recognizes the added stress on the bodies with the long season last year.

Talk about learning from your past... very very impressive.

WeegiesWarriors
03-27-2009, 08:15 AM
The picture in the signature of Preacher leads to an interesting question. Can Tomlin diminish Cowher's legacy? Going by that awesome sig... they are equal where it matters and we're only through year 2 of Tomlin.

Cowher has his critics on the message boards. But to the masses, he was a demi-god. Right now you can look back on Cowher's years and pull out the positives, but as the Tomlin years roll on I think Cowher's legacy could diminish. Whereas, nothing either Cowher or Tomlin could do would ever diminish the legend that is Chuck Noll.

stlrtruck
03-27-2009, 08:44 AM
The picture in the signature of Preacher leads to an interesting question. Can Tomlin diminish Cowher's legacy? Going by that awesome sig... they are equal where it matters and we're only through year 2 of Tomlin.

Cowher has his critics on the message boards. But to the masses, he was a demi-god. Right now you can look back on Cowher's years and pull out the positives, but as the Tomlin years roll on I think Cowher's legacy could diminish. Whereas, nothing either Cowher or Tomlin could do would ever diminish the legend that is Chuck Noll.

I think he could surpass Cowher's legacy but don't think it would diminish it. Cowher has the legacy of bringing back the old school hard nosed football style that many fans were use to seeing under Noll. That excited people and the fact that he made the Steelers contenders again will always be remembered. Unfortunately because of his 1-1 in Super Bowls his total impact on the team will be diminished.

As for Tomlin, I do think that if he continues on the path he's got the team on, then he'll at least be able to match Noll's legacy, especially with the constant "Brady" rules that are indoctrinated every year., should he be able to bring at least 3 more trophies to the show case (preferably in the same time frame that Noll did).

Edman
03-27-2009, 09:50 AM
If Tomlin keeps up this rate, yeah, he can diminish Cowher's legacy. But Cowher's legacy does not deserve to be diminished. He's won and taken the Steelers to the playoffs several times despite fielding bupkus at QB for the majority of his stint here. Though quite frankly, it was said that Cowher never valued the QB position, and he did ride the Kordell bandwagon for a while. Lets not forget he actually didn't want Ben in the '04 draft.

Let's see how Tomlin fares without Ben.

stlrtruck
03-27-2009, 10:41 AM
Let's see how Tomlin fares without Ben.

That's going to be 7-8, maybe 10 years down the road.