09-08-2007, 12:17 AM
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Taking the helm of the Pittsburgh Steelers
in my mind this article shows how the steelers may have the best of both worlds and a perfect blend of the 2 previous coaching styles.
One came in with a steely-eyed, unflappable vision of what needed to be done. The other burst onto the scene banging pots and pans to wake up a slumbering giant.
Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher did not share coaching styles, particularly in their first seasons with the Steelers. Yet each accomplished a great deal over a long time as a head football coach. Noll won four Super Bowls among 209 victories, fifth most in NFL history. Cowher won one Super Bowl among 161 victories, 13th in history.
As Mike Tomlin begins his first season as Steelers head coach at age 35, he brings yet another philosophy and style to a job held by only those two other men the previous 38 seasons. It remains to be determined what those traits are as Tomlin approaches his first real game as coach Sunday in Cleveland.
But as the reserved Noll and flamboyant Cowher showed, there is no patent on the correct way to coach a winner over the long haul in the NFL.
"Between the two, they were completely different," said former assistant coach Dick Hoak, the only man to work for Noll and Cowher in their first seasons on the job. "But there are different ways to do the job and get the job done. It's not all just one way."
Noll, at 37, took over a team that had never won a playoff game and had gone through three coaches and a combined 18-50-3 record in the previous five seasons. He famously told his first group of players at an early meeting that most of them were not good enough to play for him, and they proved him right by starting out 1-13.
Cowher, at 35, took over a team after Noll's retirement with a wealth of good young talent that had underachieved the previous season when they went 7-9. He thought they could win immediately and they did by going 11-5 and getting a bye in the first week of the playoffs.
It is a similar situation to the team .
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