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mesaSteeler
04-30-2009, 10:18 PM
Not many open jobs as Steelers open minicamp
http://www.philly.com/philly/wires/ap/news/state/pennsylvania/20090430_ap_notmanyopenjobsassteelersopenminicamp. html
ALAN ROBINSON

The Associated Press

PITTSBURGH - Unlike coach Mike Tomlin's first minicamp two years ago, there probably won't be much drama when the Pittsburgh Steelers begin their lone mandatory offseason practices Friday.

Only a couple of months into the job, Tomlin was greeted in 2007 by several players who openly wished another man had been hired for his job. One of them, All-Pro guard Alan Faneca, was engaged in a very public contract dispute in which he fired some sharp criticism at the Rooney family, the team's owners. Faneca later signed with the Jets as a free agent.

Not all the Steelers are happy today , absentee linebacker Larry Foote is about to become an ex-Steelers player , but Tomlin's biggest challenge now isn't winning his players over. It's trying to win another Super Bowl.

Just as he declined to carry over many of former coach Bill Cowher's practices and policies when he was hired, Tomlin hasn't studied other successful coaches and how they handled winning an NFL title.

"That's probably consistent with how I approach my business," Tomlin said. "I tend to coach from the gut and some of my life experiences. I was part of a Super Bowl champion as an assistant (in Tampa) and I remember the pitfalls that come with that and I'll probably rely more on that experience than I will things that happened in other locations. Every situation is different."

The Buccaneers won the Super Bowl during the 2002 season, only to go 7-9 and miss the playoffs the following season. Similarly, the Steelers started 2-6 and finished 8-8 in 2006, the season after winning the Super Bowl under Cowher.

If Tomlin wants to tap the knowledge of anyone associated with a post-Super Bowl letdown, he can find plenty of sources in his own locker room.

"When you've been there, it makes it difficult to respect and appreciate the journey, and we'll not take it for granted," Tomlin said.

Three months to the day since they beat Arizona 27-23 in the Super Bowl, the Steelers will be missing only two starters on Friday: Foote, the inside linebacker who will be traded or released; and cornerback Bryant McFadden, who signed with the Cardinals as a free agent. Backup receiver Nate Washington (Titans) also left via free agency.

Foote has started every game the past five seasons, but he effectively became a two-down player last season because 2007 first-round draft pick Lawrence Timmons played on passing downs. With Timmons ready to start, the Steelers will save about $2.89 million under the salary cap when Foote leaves.

Foote, who said he considers himself a three-down linebacker, asked the Steelers that he be allowed to move on so he can start elsewhere. He wouldn't mind playing for his hometown Lions, even if he would be going from the NFL's best team a season ago to its worst.

The Steelers' draft picks and undrafted rookie free agents also will attend the three-day minicamp, though none of them are expected to immediately push any holdover starters. First-round pick Evander "Ziggy" Hood could help in situational roles but, according to position coach John Mitchell, is "light years" away from playing as he switches from defensive tackle in college to defensive end.

Among those who could help as rookies are third-round wide receiver Mike Wallace and third-round cornerback Keenan Lewis, former high school teammates in New Orleans who find themselves reunited in Pittsburgh; fifth-round running back Frank "The Tank" Summers; and fifth-round cornerback Joe Burnett, who, like Wallace, also can return kicks.

"We are real happy with how this turned out," director of football operations Kevin Colbert said. "We think we got a lot of guys who can compete and add some depth and hopefully allow us to win some games."

Galax Steeler
05-01-2009, 03:34 AM
I hope we have a better year then we had after winning the superbowl in 05. I think Tomlin will have our guys pumped up and have another great year.

Steely McSmash
05-01-2009, 11:03 AM
I agree that Tomlin will do a better job.

Under Cowher I felt the team was kind of Hot and Cold, not so consistent as a result of his emotional leadership style. Tomlin seems to keep it cool and cerebral.

realdeal
05-01-2009, 12:16 PM
Bill Cowher did a terrible job getting his team mentally prepared to defend their title. Coach Tomlin will not have this problem! :tt03:

joeyssteelcurtain
05-01-2009, 01:07 PM
I am thinking South Beach

55BaileyFan
05-01-2009, 01:13 PM
No issues defending the title. We won't implode in the regular season. Hopefully we are around 11-5 when the season concludes.

revefsreleets
05-01-2009, 01:48 PM
What a beautiful position to be in...drafting players knowing that you can sopend time tutoring them and getting them up to speed. Much better than rushing them into action unpreapared and watching them getting eaten alive (think: Anthiony Smith against the Pats)

thumper
05-01-2009, 02:00 PM
Bill Cowher did a terrible job getting his team mentally prepared to defend their title. Coach Tomlin will not have this problem! :tt03:

Cowher knew he was leaving and did a half assed job in 2006. He did a dis-service to the team, the fans and to himself

fansince'76
05-01-2009, 02:02 PM
Cowher knew he was leaving and did a half assed job in 2006. He did a dis-service to the team, the fans and to himself

As much as I liked Cowher overall, I have to agree. He was essentially R.O.A.D. that entire year.

55BaileyFan
05-01-2009, 02:10 PM
It's all depth pretty much. Only spot open is William Gay trying to win out the other corner spot and Sweed trying to hold down the #3 spot.