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83-Steelers-43 07-30-2007 11:42 PM

Tomlin likes rugged camp
Tomlin likes rugged first week of Steelers camp, expects more
By The Associated Press
Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Pro Bowl safety Troy Polamalu loves playing football but hates the Pittsburgh Steelers' training camp ? the drudgery, the never-ending practices, the lack of free time. No wonder he and the rest of his teammates can't wait for a day off.

Guess what? Tuesday will be the ninth consecutive day of work during new coach Mike Tomlin's first camp, and there's no day off scheduled until after Sunday night's Hall of Fame exhibition game against the Saints in Canton, Ohio.

No wonder Polamalu isn't ready to disclose what he thinks of spending nearly as much time on the practice field in a day as the Steelers would in a week of practice during the season.

"I'll tell you in private, but not in public," he said.

So far, Tomlin is getting the maximum out of his team ? the maximum permissible training camp time, that is. The NFL's labor rules mandate a day off if a team hasn't had any before its first preseason game, so Aug. 6 will be the Steelers' first day off since camp opened July 23.
"It is drudgery," Tomlin said, refusing to apologize for the heavy workload. "More and more, they're showing evidence they love the game, and that's the only way we're going to be special. It comprises more than physical talent, to be special."

Former coach Bill Cowher routinely gave his players Sundays off once two-a-day practices began, but Tomlin put his players on the field once Sunday and two more times more Monday ? their 12th and 13th practices in the first eight days of camp, including the opening day conditioning drills. Two-a-days are scheduled again Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, though the Friday morning session figures to be devoted to special teams in advance of Sunday's game.

"I wanted to get to know this football team, present some adversity to them, see who could rise up and see who had competitive spirit," Tomlin said Monday, reflecting on the overloaded first week of camp.

As might be expected with so many practices with a number of unfamiliar coaches ? six assistants are new, too ? some players are beginning to get edgy. Tomlin doesn't mind that, either.

"Week 2, this is where it probably starts to get a little miserable and you start to know people under duress and nobody feels great," Tomlin said.

Wide receiver Hines Ward, for example, complained Saturday that the defensive backs were being too rough with wide receiver Willie Reid, who missed all but one game last season with a seriously injured foot. On Sunday, safety Tyrone Carter shoved running back Willie Parker after being beaten by Parker during a blocking drill.

The risk with so much on-field work is an unnecessary and possibly preventable injury ? one reason Reid wanted a truce to the wide receivers-vs.-defensive backs feud that began when the receivers repeatedly beat their defenders during a night practice Thursday.

"We got all that corrected. There was just a point where everyone gets caught up in the moment sometimes and people get frustrated," said Reid, who took several hard hits from safety Anthony Smith in practice last week. "At the same time, a little contact, there's nothing wrong it as long as it's at the right time. Everybody's fine, nobody got hurt from it but, at the same time, everybody learned from it."

Tomlin matched the receivers and defenders in drills twice Monday, but, he said, "It wasn't done in any way to create a story. If we're going to compete, that's what we've got to do."

And what he plans to keep doing the rest of the week, too, as temperatures are forecast to reach the 90s for the first time during this camp.

"It's getting hot and I like that ? keep turning up the heat," Tomlin said. "We'll get to know them even more and they'll get to know themselves more."

Notes: With wide receiver and kick returner Santonio Holmes practicing again after sitting out most of four days with an unspecified problem, WR Chris Jackson was released Monday. The Steelers re-signed WR Gerran Walker, who was cut July 19. ... Tomlin ended both practices Monday nearly 20 minutes early, the first time he's done that. He said, "We want to throw them a bone every now and then." ... First-round draft pick Lawrence Timmons had an MRI on the ailing groin that has sidelined him for most of five days, but the results were not revealed.

Preacher 07-31-2007 01:34 AM

Re: Tomlin likes rugged camp
Man... Even Troy is starting to not like it!

GREAT! :thumbsup:

Push them beyond their breaking point... then when they keep going, that is where character and integrity is built.

Oh yeah.... So much for the tough Bill Cowher Team. Can you imagine what this team will look like?

83-Steelers-43 07-31-2007 01:49 AM

Re: Tomlin likes rugged camp
A "rugged", yet fair camp. Do your job, give 100% and you get a break. Who am I to say how Tomlin should or shouldn't run his camp? But it seems to me he's doing a pretty damn good job up to this point.

Between the players having to prove to a new coach what they are all about and Tomlin managing the camp the way it is suppose to be managed (IMO), I don't see us getting manhandled by the likes of the Ravens this year. I'm not stating we will beat them twice nor am I stating we will beat them once, but I am stating that I do not see us getting physically dominated by them like we were last season. Get that attitude, swagger and mean streak back in this team.

Atlanta Dan 07-31-2007 08:44 AM

Re: Tomlin likes rugged camp
I am not surprised to hear Hines bit**ing but Troy is another matter.

Tomlin has never done this before; time will tell if his efforts to break old habits turns out to be excessive.

83-Steelers-43 07-31-2007 10:18 AM

Re: Tomlin likes rugged camp

Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan (Post 270869)
I am not surprised to hear Hines bit**ing

Run!!! Run for your life!!! :jawdrop:

Preacher 07-31-2007 09:29 PM

Re: Tomlin likes rugged camp

Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 (Post 270895)
Run!!! Run for your life!!! :jawdrop:


Hey... Last year, I would have questioned it. This year however, Hines really has been more outspoken in ways that surprised me.

83-Steelers-43 08-01-2007 04:28 PM

Re: Tomlin likes rugged camp

Originally Posted by Preacher (Post 271115)

Hey... Last year, I would have questioned it. This year however, Hines really has been more outspoken in ways that surprised me.

You and me both Preacher. Particulary when it came to the Porter situation. You know, a situation which is handled by the front office. Not a veteran WR.

Black@Gold Forever32 08-01-2007 05:15 PM

Re: Tomlin likes rugged camp
Its just funny Ben and Hines makes comments and people get in a up roar....But its ok if Troy makes some

I'm not making a big deal out of Troy's comments....Hey Troy is still one of my favorite Steelers...It just got we wondering if Troy really likes to put the work in or if he just wants to get by on his talent......Just a thought and I'm not stating this as a fact just throwing that out there.....

Before somebody asks...Yes I have questioned Ben's work habits in the don't go

83-Steelers-43 08-01-2007 05:19 PM

Re: Tomlin likes rugged camp
I think because it was a first for Troy. Personally, I have never heard Troy say anything out of line or idiotic since his arrival. Just a guess on my part.

For me, if Troy came out and told ownership they were wrong when it came to hiring Tomlin, then the Porter situation and then turned around and complained with the way Tomlin held camp, I would have a problem with Troy. That's just me. I can't speak for anybody else.

For the record, I do not dislike Ward. I just feel at times he get's carried away and worries about things he shouldn't be worrying about. Even though I just joke about it. That's why we have a front office. I'm going to drop this topic because I don't feel dealing with the B.S. that tends to follow (not meaning you at all so please don't take offense BGF).

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