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Old 02-01-2007, 09:54 AM   #1
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Default Why Mike Tomlin? Because he's Mike Tomlin

This is from the most recent issue of STEELERS DIGEST (it's a little lengthy but gives some insight):

It was because he was Mike Tomlin.

The Pittsburgh Steelers didn?t decide on the 16th coach in franchise history because he?s young, or because he?s an African-American and there is that thing called the Rooney Rule. They didn?t pick him because there?s something lacking in Russ Grimm, or because they didn?t want to wait until after Super Bowl XLI for Ron Rivera.

They didn?t pick him because he coached defense, just like Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher before him. They didn?t pick him because Tony Dungy says a lot of good things about him. They didn?t pick him to sell tickets for them. And they certainly didn?t pick him because they were looking for a discount during contract negotiations.

There are reasons why the Steelers have hired just their third coach in the past 39 seasons, and among the most important of those are that they neither care nor react to what others might perceive as the conventional wisdom.

For example, conventional wisdom in this particular case could have led some to believe the team would be most interested in someone who would maintain continuity because of Ben Roethlisberger. As a quarterback with only three seasons of NFL experience, Roethlisberger already has earned the distinction of being the youngest quarterback ever to win a Super Bowl; the player himself has said he really liked the way things were being handled and that his preference was to continue operating in the same way.

For others, conventional wisdom might have taken them down the path that promoting from within is always a bad idea because it?s too difficult for a man to go from assistant coach to head coach with the same group of players, because there is a big dfference between the way an assistant tries to nurture his particular group of guys to the way the head coach always must decide based on what?s good for the whole group.

The Steelers hired Mike Tomlin because of what he believes in both as a football coach and a man, and Tomlin provided little glimpses of himself during the news conference that presented him as their new coach.

He agrees with what the Steelers believe in terms of what it takes to win in the NFL:
?A fundamentalist football team is one that wins by attrition, that is mentally and physically tough. Of course, it is no secret in the National Football League that in order to win you have to stop the run and you have to run the ball effectively. I think to be general, that is what our football team will be about.?

He doesn?t believe he?s always the smartest man in the room:
?Every day I go to work, I live to learn. I?ve been blessed enough to be around some great coaches and great strategists, great leaders of men. I feel like I learned a lot from all of those people, but at the same time I realize that I have to be myself. I am who I am as a coach. I don?t characterize it as a 34-year-old coach, or a 34-year-old coach with experience. I?m a football coach.?

Bill Parcells once groused that if he?s being asked to cook dinner, he wants to be the one to shop for the groceries. Tomlin sees merit in the coaching staff working in harmony with a personnel department head by Director of Football Operations Kevin Colbert:
?I think that our collective vision is going to grow as we continue to work together. Our core beliefs in regards to football are similar. That?s probably why I am here. Some of those things will be addressed over time as we find a comfort zone working with one another.?

He constantly refers to the players as ?men? and he plans on treating them as such:
?I don?t think it will take them long to realize that my goal as a coach is no different than any other coach they have ever had. I think mutual respect is required. I have a job to do from a coaching standpoint, and they have a job to do from a player?s standpoint. My age is my age. I have never had a problem with men. When I broke into the league, I coached John Lynch and John was older than me. I don?t anticipate age being a problem, and really more than anything, I just look forward to getting to know the men and moving forward.?

He has respect for the accomplishments of those who preceded him, and he recognizes the responsibility of continuing the tradition:
?I?m somewhat of a football historian. I just look forward to doing my part and maybe providing a shoulder for those who come after me to stand on.?

Mike Tomlin got this job in spite of his age and relative lack of experience. He got hired even though it could have been less stressful to go with a familiar face. That?s a lot to overcome, and it speaks volumes that he was able to do it, and do it during just a couple of interviews.

?Certainly one of the things that sets Mike apart is his character, his personality,? said team president, Art Rooney II. ?The more we talked with him, the more comfortable we got with him. You just ask yourself whether this is a person who can get up in front of a team and get his message across. We felt good about that.

?Get in a room and spend two or three hours with Mike, and you come away feeling like this is a special person.?

That?s the way Mike Tomlin comes across, whether it be during the interview process with the three people heading up the search ? Dan Rooney, Art Rooney II, and Kevin Colbert ? or during two sessions here with the media.

And that?s why Mike Tomlin is the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers today.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Why Mike Tomlin? Because he's Mike Tomlin

FINALLY... That is a good article... and should have been the gist of the articles written in Pittsburgh about the man!

Too sum up the article:

He was hired because he was the best candidate... NOW EVERYONE SHUT UP ABOUT IT!!

I kinda like that article!!
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why Mike Tomlin? Because he's Mike Tomlin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preacher View Post
He was hired because he was the best candidate... NOW EVERYONE SHUT UP ABOUT IT!!

HEAR, HERE!!
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why Mike Tomlin? Because he's Mike Tomlin

What an awesome read! Thank you for posting it.

This sums it up in a nutshell, I believe...

Quote:
?I don?t think it will take them long to realize that my goal as a coach is no different than any other coach they have ever had. I think mutual respect is required. I have a job to do from a coaching standpoint, and they have a job to do from a player?s standpoint.
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Old 02-01-2007, 12:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why Mike Tomlin? Because he's Mike Tomlin

Quote:
The Steelers hired Mike Tomlin because of what he believes in both as a football coach and a man, and Tomlin provided little glimpses of himself during the news conference that presented him as their new coach.

He agrees with what the Steelers believe in terms of what it takes to win in the NFL:
?A fundamentalist football team is one that wins by attrition, that is mentally and physically tough. Of course, it is no secret in the National Football League that in order to win you have to stop the run and you have to run the ball effectively. I think to be general, that is what our football team will be about.?
....I hope our next draft makes me feel as satisfied as this hiring!!
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Why Mike Tomlin? Because he's Mike Tomlin

That's a pretty good read. I think I need to subscribe to Steelers digest.
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Old 02-01-2007, 09:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Why Mike Tomlin? Because he's Mike Tomlin

I miss the digest. Cool to get a Steeler magazine in the mail. Just something else Steelerish to look forward to.

Last edited by slashsteel; 02-02-2007 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 02-01-2007, 11:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Why Mike Tomlin? Because he's Mike Tomlin

GREAT post, and much obliged for taking the initiative to pass it along.

I'll admit, I was/am very skeptical about the Tomlin hire. I've dismissed that because, quite frankly, the Rooney family has a phenomenal track record with choosing their HCs. But, despite some of my concerns about his staff choices, my confidence has been renewed. You have to respect a guy with the courage to admit that he may not be the smartest person in the room, that he's willing to learn from those surrounding him (be them players, administrators, or coaches), and that he's willing to treat the players, staff, and coaches as co-equals.

This next year may be kinda rocky, but I can't help but shake the impression that this is a very intelligent, classy individual that fits the Steelers mold perfectly. Russ is a great guy himself, and his departure is a significant loss for our organization - all the best to him and Wiz - but I feel like this is the dawn of a new era that we can all be proud of, just as we were/are of the Noll and Cowher tenures.

Best of luck, Coach Tomlin. Seems like we found a great guy to represent our city...

-Deej
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:13 PM   #9
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Default Re: Why Mike Tomlin? Because he's Mike Tomlin

Still a risky hire for a franchise of this magnitude.
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Old 02-04-2007, 05:18 PM   #10
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Default Re: Why Mike Tomlin? Because he's Mike Tomlin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Preacher View Post
FINALLY... That is a good article... and should have been the gist of the articles written in Pittsburgh about the man!

Too sum up the article:

He was hired because he was the best candidate... NOW EVERYONE SHUT UP ABOUT IT!!

I kinda like that article!!
Amen...(finally)

~Polamalufan43

P.S. I've heard people talking trash about him so much that the next time anyone says that he wasn't qualified I'm about to pull a Jack Lambert.
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