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mesaSteeler 03-28-2012 12:08 AM

On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinator
 
On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinator
By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...28372/?print=1
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Mike did it.

Long after Bruce Arians was pushed into "retirement" and the Steelers hired Todd Haley to replace him, coach Mike Tomlin stood up and claimed responsibility for both deeds.

It wasn't Art Rooney II with the broom in the boardroom, but the head coach who swept out Arians as his offensive coordinator and offered the job to Haley.

And those who doubt those stories don't have a clue, at least that's how Tomlin sees it.

"I thought that it was time for change," Tomlin said Tuesday, speaking about the subject publicly for the first time.

"We're moving into a situation here where we have an opportunity to grow and develop some young talent offensively. It's awesome to have an opportunity to maybe have the division of some common opponents -- people who are comfortable with how you play football -- get uncomfortable. That's what's going to happen to us this year. We're excited about that.

"More than anything, I'm not going to apologize for change. That's football. I think all of us in this industry understand that, and our intentions are that it changed for the better."

The Steelers announced Jan. 20 that Arians had "retired." They announced Haley's hiring Feb. 7. A story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Tomlin had told Arians he wanted him back and that Arians wanted to return but that Rooney put the brakes to that.

Tomlin stated emphatically that both decisions were his, that neither came at the behest of the Steelers president.

"He didn't," Tomlin said of Rooney having influence in Arians leaving. "I don't know where some of these perceptions come from. I don't break my neck to try to combat them in any way. I don't know where they come from.

"And I hired Todd Haley as well, which is your next question, which is another funny one to me. And don't get me wrong, of course, Art Rooney owns the football team, he can do what he wants to do, but those directives did not happen."

Tomlin held a news conference the day after the Steelers lost a playoff game Jan. 8 in Denver -- stating that day he thought both coordinators would return for 2012. He has been mostly silent since then in his public discourse. He made a few remarks when Haley was introduced at a news conference but took no questions. He also has been interviewed on Steelers.com, the team's website, about some matters.

During the nearly hour-long interview at an AFC coaches breakfast as part of the NFL meetings, Tomlin touched on a number of different topics, nearly all of them for the first time:

He expects Haley and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to have a good relationship. "I'm not worried ... I don't anticipate any issues. I anticipate both guys getting along great."

Marcus Gilbert, who started at right tackle as a rookie, will definitely move to left tackle because of the return of Willie Colon.

"We fully expect him to ... I probably had more concerns about him being the right tackle than I did him being at left tackle, just because of his college experience."

While he likes the "men" behind injured running back Rashard Mendenhall, "I'm sure we're going to get a running back in some form or fashion" in free agency or the draft.

Haley's new playbook will include new terminology the players and coaches must learn and maybe a fullback, but there will be no overhaul in the blocking schemes.

"It's been fun. Todd is very flexible, he's very sound in his approach. We've had awesome discussions in terms of building it. ... We're going to build our attack around the strengths of our men.

"Obviously Ben is a talented guy, we've got some talented receivers, we've got an interesting group of running back prospects, we're putting together an offensive line. So we're laying down the fundamental basis of how we'll approach it, what's going to be us regardless of circumstance."

The Steelers want to acquire "a young quarterback in some form or fashion" but they are not looking to groom someone for the day when Roethlisberger leaves.

He was blunt regarding the history of injuries to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and Colon, and whether they can remain healthy for long periods. Colon has missed all but one game of the past two seasons with Achilles and arm injuries. Sanders has had several surgeries on his feet and a knee, including a postseason foot operation this year.

"You can't anticipate it's going to stop," he said of Sanders' injuries, although maintaining he is on track to recovery from his latest surgery. "The same could be said for Willie Colon."

He equated Rooney's statement that Roethlisberger needs to "tweak" his game as merely for him to "evolve." He said he does not think Roethlisberger's ability to maneuver in and out of the pocket has been diminished because of his age (30).

"I don't think we are at that point. I think that point is somewhere in the future, you acknowledge that. He is probably one of the older guys we have on the offense, so there is something to be said for that. But I don't think we are to the point where he is diminishing physically to where we have to alter his game from that perspective."

Three draft prospects, besides those from Pitt, have made official visits to the Steelers: Ohio State offensive tackle Mike Adams, Florida International wide receiver T.Y. Hilton and Cincinnati defensive lineman Derek Wolfe.

Formal workouts with players will begin April 16, as provided by in the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, which has reduced the number of spring practices (organized team activities) from 14 to 10, plus a three-day minicamp. OTAs will start May 22 and the spring practices will end with minicamp May 12-14.

He has not thought about whether a team will sign Mike Wallace as a restricted free agent. They have until April 20 to do so and the Steelers have the right to match it and keep him.

"We'll cross that bridge when we come to it -- if we come to it."

He continued to report upbeat progress on running backs coach Kirby Wilson, who was severely burned Jan. 6 in a kitchen fire. Wilson left the hospital more than a week ago and is "attacking rehab." Tomlin expects him to return to his staff this year.

Nose tackle Casey Hampton could open the season on physically unable to perform list, and if that's the case, Tomlin said Steve McLendon is starter-capable and Ziggy Hood would be a possibility, as would someone else who might be signed or drafted. But he said they are approaching it as if Hampton will play.
For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus. Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com and Twitter @EdBouchette.

First Published 2012-03-28 04:22:00

mesaSteeler 03-28-2012 12:10 AM

Re: On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinat
 
Steelers coach Tomlin made call to hire Haley as offensive coordinator

By Scott Brown
PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Mike Tomlin said the decision to change offensive coordinators was his — not a "directive" from Steelers president Art Rooney II — and expects new coordinator Todd Haley and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to get along "great."

Tomlin, speaking publicly for the first time since Jan. 9 while at a media breakfast for AFC coaches at the NFL meetings, also said during a nearly one-hour chat is that Roethlisberger doesn't need to alter his style.

"I think Ben is Ben, and we're not going to ask him to be someone he's not," Tomlin said.

The sandlot style that has made Roethlisberger a two-time Super Bowl winner has not come without a cost.

Roethlisberger has been sacked at least 40 times every season that he has played 15 or more games. The pounding he has absorbed led Rooney to say in January that the two-time Pro Bowler needs to "tweak" his game.

Tomlin said yesterday Roethlisberger, who turned 30 this month, is not so far advanced in his career that the hits he has taken are an issue.

"That point is somewhere maybe in the future, you acknowledge that," Tomlin said, "but I don't think we're at the point where we think he's diminishing physically to the point where he has to alter his game."

That is not to say Roethlisberger won't have to make changes.

Roethlisberger enjoyed a close relationship with Arians. Now he has to build a rapport with the headstrong Haley, a former head coach who has a reputation for challenging star players, not backing down from them.

Tomlin said the two may have to work through early rough patches, but he expects Roethlisberger to flourish.

"Both guys have a desire to be great at what they do," Tomlin said. "Both guys are singularly focused on winning world championships for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and that's a great place to begin."

Arians had been the Steelers' offensive coordinator since 2007, and he had been with the organization since 2004. Tomlin said Jan. 9, a day after the Steelers' playoff loss in Denver, that he expected Arians to return for the 2012 season.

Arians retired Jan. 20, but he resurfaced less than two weeks later in Indianapolis as the Colts' offensive coordinator. The unseemly transition from Arians to Haley fueled speculation that Tomlin had been ordered — or at least strongly encouraged — by Rooney to make a change after the Steelers finished tied for 21st in the NFL in scoring (20.3 points per game).

"He didn't," Tomlin said. "I hired Todd Haley as well, which is the next question, which is another funny one to me. Don't get me wrong. Art Rooney owns the football team. He can do what he wants to do, but those directives did not happen.

"Bruce served us well and was a really good football coach, but I thought it was time for change. We moved into a situation where we had an opportunity to grow and develop some young talent offensively."

Key dates

Here is the offseason schedule for the Steelers:

April 16: First day teams are allowed to start lifting program

April 27-29: NFL Draft

May 22-24: First three voluntary practices

May 29-31: Voluntary practices

June 4-7: Voluntary practices

June 12-14: Mandatory minicamp

Scott Brown can be reached at sbrown@tribweb.com or 412-481-5432.

Read more: Steelers coach Tomlin made call to hire Haley as offensive coordinator - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt...#ixzz1qNwlmDsx

Millers the sh!t 03-28-2012 12:21 AM

Re: On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinat
 
Nice post man. Probably the best one I've read since the season ended.

tony hipchest 03-28-2012 12:33 AM

Re: On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinat
 
people confuse tomlin saying he anticipates both coordinators being back after seasons end, with him being forced to either fire arians or watching rooney doing it for him.

of course thats what all arians lovers need to be able to sleep comfortably with out their woobies at night.

i thought haley was the best available hire remaining, although i woulda been elated with norv turner.

i wanted a proven play caller with head coaching experience (much like lebeau was when cowher brought him back).

like colbert said, hales offense had given steelers (top notch defense) fits in the sb and the last 2 times the steelers faced the cheifs.

El-Gonzo Jackson 03-28-2012 07:40 AM

Re: On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinat
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by tony hipchest (Post 1004623)
people confuse tomlin saying he anticipates both coordinators being back after seasons end, with him being forced to either fire arians or watching rooney doing it for him.

of course thats what all arians lovers need to be able to sleep comfortably with out their woobies at night.

i thought haley was the best available hire remaining, although i woulda been elated with norv turner.

i wanted a proven play caller with head coaching experience (much like lebeau was when cowher brought him back).

like colbert said, hales offense had given steelers (top notch defense) fits in the sb and the last 2 times the steelers faced the cheifs.

Ha ha! You said woobie! :toofunny:

ANDYMISIU 03-28-2012 09:18 AM

Re: On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinat
 
I'm just happy that BA is gone on several levels. 1. Is that Ben did have too much control of the offense at times when he should have let go. 2. BA didn't know when to let Ben have control of the offense and the no huddle. 3. BA was getting too much credit for the bad offense... we'll soon find out the truth. 4. I like change and Haley is pretty cool change. 5. I do want to see more emphasis on the running game.

TRH 03-28-2012 09:22 AM

Re: On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinat
 
i had thought all along it was Tomlins decision....and supported by Rooney. Somewhat of a mutual decision in a way. Some good info in that article...a good one.

Steel95 03-28-2012 05:16 PM

Re: On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinat
 
I've said it before and I will say it again, this was the best thing for the Offense. #7 had far too much lead way running the Offense, he didn't respect it, took far too many chances, too many Int's in the Red Zone, too many Field Goals and far too less of TD's. With the talent on that team, they should have scored far more points than they did. Here comes Haley; he will not be affraid to get N2 Big Bens face if he starts screwing around, and I love it! Sometimes change is needed, he needs a Coordinator and not a friend.

Curtain_of_Steel 03-28-2012 09:40 PM

Re: On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinat
 
Nice of Tomlin to man up and say it now. Perhaps he couldve said it, when he fired BA, as opposed to having all the BS written about the team for months.

honestly I think he wanted to fire BA when Mendy tried 4 times from the 1 and failed.

Bayz101 03-28-2012 09:51 PM

Re: On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinat
 
I honestly think he wanted him fired when he was hired as head coach, just took BA making a fool of himself a few times for Rooney to realize it.


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