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Old 09-27-2007, 10:14 PM   #1
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Default Tomlin set tone in preseason

Tomlin set Steelers' tone in preseason
By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Thursday, September 27, 2007

Their playbook has changed -- considerably. But in terms of play-to-play intensity, crispness of execution and attention to detail, the 3-0 Steelers aren't much different from their 4-1 preseason version.

From their opening scoring drive on the first series of their first exhibition game under first-year coach Mike Tomlin, the Steelers have performed with playoff-like precision.

They've outscored their first three opponents, 97-26, after outscoring their five preseason opponents, 87-46.

For those who believe exhibition games are meaningless, believe this: The local media wouldn't have treated Tomlin so kindly if the Steelers had finished 1-4 instead.

The Steelers' quick start was important for Tomlin to gain the respect of his players.
"It spoke volumes as far as the preseason. Getting those wins showed that there was a lot of growth on this team," tackle Willie Colon said.

"In the preseason, we had to see what we were going to do. Our goal was to come out early and be run-oriented and take the pressure off Ben (Roethlisberger). Not make him sit back there and have to throw a million times. After we were able to see it in the preseason, we're just doing it in the regular season."

The Steelers aren't playing with more intensity in the regular season; it only seems that way now because the games count.

Other than the coaching staff going deeper in the playbook, the Steelers have maintained the same performance level they established in preseason.

"In the preseason, you're working on a lot of things," nose tackle Chris Hoke said. "You're working on fundamentals. You're working on how to stay focused for 60 minutes.

"You've got to carry that step over into the regular season. When you establish something early, it starts up top. Coach Tomlin does a great job of talking about that.''

Even outside linebacker James Harrison, who's skeptical about the importance of exhibition games, admits the Steelers set the tone in preseason for their stellar play.

"Exhibition games are just that -- exhibitions. Basically, you're practicing against another team, other than practicing against each other," Harrison said. "Preseason is practice for regular-season games. It's a way that we want to try and execute. I guess you could say, yeah, an approach for what we're trying to do now."

Tomlin said the Steelers' quick start can also be attributed to their conditioning, which was a point of emphasis during training camp. In three regular-season games, the Steelers have appeared fresher in the fourth quarter, outscoring their opponents, 30-7.

"I've watched these men work in less-than-ideal conditions, to say the least, in training camp,'' Tomlin said. "This is a highly conditioned football team. We expect to get better as the game goes on. That's kind of been the mindset of ours since we started this thing months back."

Then, as now, every game counts for the Steelers.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pitt.../s_529772.html
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:21 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tomlin set tone in preseason

Quote:
Originally Posted by 83-Steelers-43 View Post

"I've watched these men work in less-than-ideal conditions, to say the least, in training camp,'' Tomlin said. "This is a highly conditioned football team. We expect to get better as the game goes on. That's kind of been the mindset of ours since we started this thing months back."
Because men have the mindset to get better as the game goes on.

I will be stunned when I finally read a Tomlin interview where the reference to men rather than players does not come up at least once.
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Old 09-27-2007, 10:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tomlin set tone in preseason

Savern interviewed Ike tonight (does every Thursday).

He made it clear....

"Tell me where I need to be".

The weather, the roof being open or closed. Doesn't matter to him. The media makes it sound like Latrobe is the North Pole in the months of July and August or that our players never played down south while they were in college.

I'm not stating that playing in the Arizona sun while sporting our black uni's is the most comfortable condition to play ball in, but they make it sound like our "men" are going to melt once they touch the field.
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