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Old 10-19-2007, 04:06 PM   #10
alittlejazzbird
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Default Re: Steelers coach makes Pittsburgh proud..

Our buddy Bill Williamson! He who whined endlessly after the Seahawks lost Super Bowl XL, finally shows some Steeler love!

I found Mr. Williamson expounding further on Tomlin in today's Denver Post:
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Youngster at Steelers' wheel
By Bill Williamson
The Denver Post
Article Last Updated: 10/18/2007 11:03:59 PM MDT

John Lynch was in Honolulu for the Pro Bowl in February 2001 when he received an urgent phone message from Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin. Lynch put his family vacation on hold and immediately returned his coach's call.

"Monte told me he had good news and bad news," Lynch said, laughing at the nearly 7-year-old memory. "He said, 'The good news is, I found you a coach, but the bad news is, he's a year younger than you."'

The precocious coach Kiffin spoke of was Mike Tomlin, who would replace Herman Edwards because Edwards was leaving Tampa to become head coach of the New York Jets. Tomlin turned 29 two months after Kiffin chose him from a pool of 30 candidates.

Lynch was undaunted that he was a 30-year-old safety being directed by a man in his 20s. Tomlin was Lynch's position coach during his three final years in Tampa before Lynch signed with Denver in 2004.

"You just knew that this guy had a real future in the NFL and that he would someday be a head coach," Lynch said of Tomlin, now coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sunday night, Lynch will be a 36-year-old NFL safety looking across Invesco Field at Mile High to see the 35-year-old head coach.

"Mike just took control of the room when he was with his players," Lynch said. "He's young and he looks young, but he has a real presence about him."

Tomlin has been one of the top stories of the young NFL season. The Steelers, who won eight games last season, are 4-1 under Tomlin, who was Minnesota's defensive coordinator last season. Tomlin's hiring - he was chosen over longtime Pittsburgh assistants Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm - raised eyebrows in Pittsburgh and the league.

This is a team Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher had ruled since 1969. And it was bringing in a 35-year-old kid with no head-coaching experience? Lynch knew that patience would be fruitful for the Steelers faithful.

Lynch recalls Tampa Bay coach Jon Gruden asking Tomlin and some of the other assistants to talk to the team for a quarter of the season about a variety of topics during their Super Bowl run in 2002.

"Mike was one of the coaches he picked," Lynch said. "He got in front of the entire team, and he was very commanding and very passionate. I had offensive linemen come up to me and say, 'Wow, that guy is special.' Mike was really destined to be a head coach."
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