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Old 02-10-2007, 05:24 AM   #1
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Default Busy Tomlin meets players, studies video

Busy Tomlin meets players, studies video
Saturday, February 10, 2007

By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The Steelers picked up a head coach when they hired Mike Tomlin, and the Penguins gained another young fan.

Tomlin, 34, finished his third full week on the job yesterday and, while much of that time was taken up meeting with his players and evaluating them on video, he has been impressed with the play of the local hockey club during his early tenure.

"I think it's exciting," said Tomlin, who has attended two Penguins games "The games I've been to they've completely gotten after people, they've dominated. They have young, exciting players."

He developed a fondness for hockey when he was secondary coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the NHL's Tampa Bay Lightning was winning the Stanley Cup in 2004.

"I developed an appreciation for the rotation of men the way they rotate lines and change personnel," Tomlin said yesterday. "It's something you're unaware of unless you go, how choreographed it is. And the short burst of speed and adrenaline is incredible."

Tomlin's days since his Jan. 21 hiring have been filled with meetings, player and scheme evaluations, hiring coaches and house hunting. He still is fielding congratulatory phone calls and making some of his own, including the one he dialed Tuesday to his first NFL boss, Tony Dungy.

"He was on his way to Disney World, literally," Tomlin said. "I said what are you doing? He said I'm going to Disney World."

Dungy and halfback Dominic Rhodes were on their way to Orlando, Fla., for a parade and commercials after the Indianapolis Colts won the Super Bowl. Tomlin was on the Buccaneers' staff when they won the Super Bowl after the 2002 season, Dungy's first as Colts head coach.

"We talked about it," Tomlin said of the experience. "I told him it's probably one of the few things professionally that's better than even you imagine. He agreed with that. It's one of the first things he said: It's a high, and he hasn't come down yet."

Tomlin will try to get his Steelers back to that feeling, back to the game they won last February, and he already has talked to more than half his new players individually about what he expects from them.

"I think it's important that I sit down with them and let them know my expectations, my vision," Tomlin said. "How I see them fitting in, from the standpoint of how we're going to conduct ourselves.

"I make a conscious effort not to prejudge anybody. I'll judge these men individually based on the experiences I share with them, not necessarily what's gone on in the past or what people tell me. I think that's the fair thing to do, and I expressed that to each one of them I visited with."

His expectations of his players' conduct?

"I just want a blue-collar, professional atmosphere that represents the Steelers of the National Football League in a positive light on and off the field."

Tomlin is overseeing the writing of new playbooks on offense and defense. He will open his offseason program for the players March 19, when they will formally begin lifting weights and attending meetings; also the quarterbacks will begin throwing. Before that, the entire staff will attend the Indianapolis combine workouts that start Feb. 22 and prepare for free agency that begins in March.

The Steelers were presented with a fifth preseason game; they will play the New Orleans Saints Aug. 5 in the Hall of Fame at Canton, Ohio. The extra game and extra week of training camp -- they can report as early as 15 days before the first preseason game -- could work to Tomlin's advantage.

"I'm a football junky; I'll take all they'll give me," Tomlin said. "It will [help] if you're smart. It's an added opportunity to evaluate people and get to know people. At the same time, you have to be thoughtful what you do so you don't leave your legs in training camp."

Tomlin said he has found the city and its people to be "great," in his short time here, and he gets a kick out of fans recognizing him when he's out.

"You embrace that. That's part of what being a Steeler is about. That's what your vision of it is from the outside in and the expectations that go with it. That's cool."

NOTES -- The Steelers signed a quarterback and hired their final assistant coach. Bryan Randall, who played at Virginia Tech, becomes the fourth quarterback on the team's roster. He spent time on the practice squads of the Atlanta Falcons in 2005 and the Buccaneers in 2006. Also, Tomlin hired Harold Goodwin to serve on his staff as assistant line coach and quality control coach on offense. Goodwin, 33, was fired this week as the assistant offensive line coach with the Chicago Bears, where he worked the past three seasons.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07041/761052-66.stm
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Old 02-10-2007, 10:46 AM   #2
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Default Re: Busy Tomlin meets players, studies video

At the same time, you have to be thoughtful what you do so you don't leave your legs in training camp."

When I heard that he was a very good motivational coach. It crossed my mind that he could very well burn out the players. But the guy sure seems to have his head on straight. I like what I am reading from him.
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Busy Tomlin meets players, studies video

The jury is still out on Coach Tomlin as far as I'm concerned. I have to think that any major hire made by Mr. Rooney is a worthy one, though some of Tomlin's own hirings I don't entirely understand (granted, probably because I'm the typical armchair quarterback).

But this guy has said all the right things, thus far. As a fan, I really do appreciate the fact that he seems to have a genuine interest in the city and a respect for the fans. He seems like a very real, down-to-earth guy that wants to prove himself. (And I agree, the extra pre-season game might be a blessing, as it'll afford an additional opportunity to sync the team...just pray there are no injuries, as always.)

Best of luck to Coach Tomlin and the rest of the team...can't wait to pull out my jersey & Terrible Towel next year...#6 in '07!

-Deej
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Old 02-11-2007, 06:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: Busy Tomlin meets players, studies video

I trust the Rooneys... it will be a very exciting season in 2007....we have high hopes, and we need to not compare BC and Coach Tomlin and what he did for this storied franchise.....

We can talk about it all spring and summer..... but lets give it a rest...

Coach Tomlin will be a GREAT coach for us....

The Rooneys choose him.
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Old 02-11-2007, 06:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Busy Tomlin meets players, studies video

Quote:
though some of Tomlin's own hirings I don't entirely understand
Shoot a few of them right here. We'll discuss some of the positves and negatives. Which ones concern you?
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Busy Tomlin meets players, studies video

Here are 3 questionable hires:

1. Special teams coach was fired by Rams

2. Assistant line coach was fired by Bears

3. QB coach fired by Jax and has two proteges he has "developed" - Akili Smith & Leftwich


I have no clue on how the Tomlin hire will turn out but for someone who was hired based on a rule that was intended to avoid the recycling of coaches he certainly sees something in those 3 hires their 3 former employers did not - I suppose the Jags, Rams, and Bears all may be wrong and Tomlin may be right, but maybe not.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:32 PM   #7
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Default Re: Busy Tomlin meets players, studies video

Well Bears QB's were only sacked 24 times this year. Plus the Bears were a good running team this year. Kind of a strange firing if you ask me about their assistant Oline coach being fired.

As for Ken Anderson and him not developing QB's. I don't think any coach could turn Akili Smith into a good QB. That dude was terrible. As for Mr. Leftwich, he hasn't been terrible. His thing is staying healthy and the Jags also didn't have the best WR's to help their QB out. So I'm willing to cut Anderson some slack.

As for the special teams coach. That was a strange hire no matter how you look at it.lol
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Busy Tomlin meets players, studies video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
Here are 3 questionable hires:

1. Special teams coach was fired by Rams

2. Assistant line coach was fired by Bears

3. QB coach fired by Jax and has two proteges he has "developed" - Akili Smith & Leftwich


I have no clue on how the Tomlin hire will turn out but for someone who was hired based on a rule that was intended to avoid the recycling of coaches he certainly sees something in those 3 hires their 3 former employers did not - I suppose the Jags, Rams, and Bears all may be wrong and Tomlin may be right, but maybe not.
I agree, have the same reservations.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:53 PM   #9
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Default Re: Busy Tomlin meets players, studies video

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
Here are 3 questionable hires:

1. Special teams coach was fired by Rams

2. Assistant line coach was fired by Bears

3. QB coach fired by Jax and has two proteges he has "developed" - Akili Smith & Leftwich


I have no clue on how the Tomlin hire will turn out but for someone who was hired based on a rule that was intended to avoid the recycling of coaches he certainly sees something in those 3 hires their 3 former employers did not - I suppose the Jags, Rams, and Bears all may be wrong and Tomlin may be right, but maybe not.
Sometimes firings happen because personality conflicts or philosophical differences arise between the head coach and his staff. Sometimes the player talent is sub-par (or there is a weak link or two) and they don't (or can't) execute what could very well be an excellent plan. It's not necessarily that the coach himself isn't any good. Remember what Coach Tomlin said as he was assembling the staff, and I'm paraphrasing here, but he said something like "we're looking for good men who happen to be good football coaches." Just as he recently said that he won't prejudge any of his players based on what he may have heard about them or what other people have told him about them (read: Joey Porter), it seems like he also plans to not prejudge any of his staff based on the record they may have had with their previous employer.

Everybody, from the players to the staff, and probably even his administrative staff, will get the chance to prove themselves with a clean slate in Mike Tomlin's eyes. We should all be so lucky to have a boss like that!
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