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Old 06-15-2007, 12:07 AM   #1
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Default Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

By Mike Prisuta
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Friday, June 15, 2007

When the final organized team activity session ended Thursday, the Steelers were able to take it easy.

The respite will last until July 23 when training camp begins at St. Vincent College.

Coach Mike Tomlin warned that his team had better report to camp prepared to work.

"I told the group it's going to be extremely tough," Tomlin said yesterday before watching his players disperse. "I'm not apologizing for that. I'm going to put that challenge out there to them. I'm looking forward to training camp."

The players can look forward to an increased emphasis on two-a-day practices, "probably a little heavier than they're used to," Tomlin said.

"It'll give them something to whine about."

The OTAs and the two minicamps the team conducted this offseason were exercises in "multi-tasking," Tomlin said. The goals were to implement a foundation on offense, defense and special teams, emphasize "situational football" (third down, red zone, etc.) while creating "artificial adversity". The goal is to learn how players approach their jobs and glean insight as to "who they are."

The proceedings at St. Vincent will be about winning jobs.

The current depth chart features Chukky Okobi as the starting center, Ike Taylor and Deshea Townsend starting at cornerback and Ryan Clark lining up as the starting free safety.

But the current depth chart, Tomlin emphasized, is "in pencil."

"People want to establish depth charts at this time of year, so be it," Tomlin said. "They change. There are known position battles that will be talked about, but there are also unknown position battles that are going to develop because we're going to go into this thing with no preconceived notions. No jobs are secure. This is not a security business. They gotta play and perform."

The known battles include Okobi and free-agent addition Sean Mahan vying to become Jeff Hartings' replacement at center, Kendall Simmons attempting to hold off Chris Kemoeatu at right guard, Clark and second-year pro Anthony Smith fighting it out at free safety, and the threesome of Taylor, Townsend and Bryant McFadden competing for two starting spots at corner.

There will be potentially less-publicized competition at other positions such as right tackle, where second-year pro Willie Colon is pushing incumbent Max Starks.

"Absolutely, but Willie's pushing a lot of people," Tomlin said. "Willie's been one of the guys we've moved around quite a bit because we want to put him in position to get to that top five and get in where he fits in, if he's capable. Willie's played some guard. Willie's played some tackle. Willie's even tried center.

"Willie's going to push a lot of people."

The regular-season opener is Sept. 9 in Cleveland. The depth chart, presumably, will be in ink by then.

Until then, Tomlin is prepared to let competition dictate all that must be resolved before he leads his first NFL team onto the field against the Browns.

"I kinda like uncertainty at this time of the year," he said. "These guys are in the business of responding to challenges and answering questions. That's kinda the underlying theme that's involved in football."

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_512704.html
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:47 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

I like this,because Cowher's depth charts were always set in stone,unless an injury popped up.With Cowher,certain guys were gauranteed thier job and didn't have to fight for it.

Competition is good for the team,it makes everyone better.
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Old 06-15-2007, 12:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

Damn, this all sounds so exciting. Tomlin seems to know what he's doing and I completely trust him. I've never wanted for training camp to come faster, Tomlin is choosing the best of the best for the team.

"It'll give them something to whine about."
interesting...
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Old 06-15-2007, 01:07 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

Quote:
"I kinda like uncertainty at this time of the year," he said. "These guys are in the business of responding to challenges and answering questions. That's kinda the underlying theme that's involved in football."
i almost wanted the rooneys to write a blank check to cowher because i got accustomed to the comfort and security of this time of year. its obvious cowher did too.

cowher never seemed to "like" or embrace, or thrive off of the uncertainty. we have alot more youngsters waiting in the wings than we have "cowher's (guys) veterans". it seems tomlin is better for the collective majority rather than the selected few.
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Old 06-15-2007, 03:20 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

It sounds like they better be in shape for camp.
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Old 06-15-2007, 08:37 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

Sounds like the preseason games are going to be worth watching for the competition - no more of the set up last Augsut where the starters played about 2 series a game
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Old 06-15-2007, 10:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

I cant wait for camp now. Coach T is going to make those boy cry for their mommy's by the time he is done with them ..lol..
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:04 AM   #8
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Default Re: Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

It sounds like it is definitely going to be a demanding training camp. Something the players haven't had in a few years. I think it will be good for the players as individual starters and for the team as a cohesive unit!

1 month, 1 week, and it all starts.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

Nice article, although it'll probably be the last one like it for awhile. This span between now and camp is going to be booooooooooooooooooooooooorrrrringggg.


I do hope by the end of camp that mcfadden and smith > townsend and clark, but for this year atleast, I don't think it'll make much of a difference either way. youth/upside/athleticism or experience/technique/smarts ... pick your poison.

The only real important thing is getting Ben back on track. I don't really see any of these other position battles having too much impact regardless of who wins the job. However, Ben HASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS to play at that elite level again. Time to take off the training wheels, so to speak, and let the guy sling it around a few times.

So far it seems like all is well on the western front. Sure wish timmons could see a bit of action but I def. don't want him to risk chance of further injury. Hopefully everyone will be healthy by the time camp starts.
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Old 06-15-2007, 11:55 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tomlin warns team to be ready for tough camp

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Originally Posted by paw-n-maul-u View Post


The only real important thing is getting Ben back on track. I don't really see any of these other position battles having too much impact regardless of who wins the job. However, Ben HASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS to play at that elite level again. Time to take off the training wheels, so to speak, and let the guy sling it around a few times.
i agree with you on that one. its time to see if he really does have an arm like he displaced in the denver game in 06. by the way, i love your comment about taking off the training wheels off..lol
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