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An important history lesson for you TRUE Steelers fans!

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Old 03-19-2007, 07:56 PM   #1
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Default Buying what he?s selling

http://news.steelers.com/article/74405/

The way Bob Ligashesky views it, he has to be a little bit of a salesman to do what he does.

What Ligashesky does is coach special teams in the National Football League, and that's a very unique job description.

The only players with any chance to make an NFL roster have been stars on their high school and college teams, and if not stars, then certainly starters. When those players come to the NFL, they often see themselves as starters-in-waiting at whatever positions they play. Few, if any, come into the NFL aspiring to play special teams.

But the reality is that special teams is an important facet of the game ? the Steelers lost the 2001 AFC Championship Game and a trip to the Super Bowl because of poor special teams play; special teams is critical to young players trying to make an NFL roster; and special teams can be the path to a long and lucrative professional career ? Fred McAfee has played 16 season in the NFL because he always has been a consistent contributor in the kicking game.

"I've been around guys who understand their roles and look to elevate their role on the team through special teams," said Ligashesky. "They know their impact is going to have to be on special teams, and they use that to excel. They know that's how they're going to make the team, and earn their paycheck."

Those are the wise ones, and teams cannot win championships without them. But Ligashesky has been in coaching long enough, and he has coached at both the college and professional levels, to understand that not everyone gets it right away.

"What you have are young players who have been starters on offense or defense on their college teams, and whether they wanted to or not, they haven't played special teams in a long time," said Ligashesky. "Being that they haven't, they don't have as much background in the schemes and techniques that we use. It takes time for them to re-learn those techniques and fit those in with their offensive and defensive game plans and schemes also."

After some years as a graduate assistant at both Wake Forest and Arizona State, Ligashesky was hired at Bowling Green, where he coached linebackers and special teams for nine seasons. He moved to the University of Pittsburgh where he was the special teams coordinator for four years, and then it was on to the NFL -- first with Jacksonville and then with St. Louis ? and he coached special teams at both places.

"I asked to do it. I wanted to. I was interested in knowing more about the game," said Ligashesky about the attraction of special teams. "It was interesting because it was a different phase of the game and an opportunity to coordinate in what really is a game within a game. It was fascinating to me to see how that phase impacted the game, outside of offense and defense."

Ligashesky carries the title of special teams coach, and Amos Jones is the assistant special teams coach. This is new territory for a franchise that was one of the last in the NFL to hire an assistant to handle special teams.

"I try to make sure the players understand that everything we're doing is designed to help our team win," said Ligashesky. "Field position is the most important thing in special teams, and you want to do those things to win the field position to help the team win."

And along the way, he finds he sometimes has to be a bit of a salesman.

"You're always selling special teams, and being a part of it and making that special," said Ligashesky. "You're constantly showing how it has an impact on the game -- on the field, in the meeting room, in the locker room -- you're always selling special teams."

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Old 03-19-2007, 08:10 PM   #2
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Default Re: Buying what he?s selling

43,

Good read. It'll be interesting to see if Tomlin implements the strategy of using starters on ST & its affect.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:03 PM   #3
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Default Re: Buying what he?s selling

Special teams are gonna be great this year.Tomlin's staff is really showing that blue collar ethic. Can't wait for the season.
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Old 03-19-2007, 10:14 PM   #4
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Default Re: Buying what he?s selling

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Duke View Post
Special teams are gonna be great this year.Tomlin's staff is really showing that blue collar ethic. Can't wait for the season.
Duke, agreed! Lot of things still to be determined....but yeah, go Tomlin!
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Old 03-20-2007, 04:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Buying what he?s selling

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Special teams are gonna be great this year.Tomlin's staff is really showing that blue collar ethic. Can't wait for the season.
Being positive is a religion. And I'm a follower. But what exactly has happened since the season ended that made special teams stronger?

Quincey Morgan just got resigned in Denver. Why we let this cat go is a complete mystery to me. He's worth more than ARE(hear me Dan) because dude runs straight up the middle. None of this East West crap...

As great as Cowher is....he is not without missteps.
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:39 AM   #6
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Default Re: Buying what he?s selling

Using starters on special teams can be risky. I know the patsy's do it and it works for them.
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Old 03-20-2007, 07:56 AM   #7
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Default Re: Buying what he?s selling

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Using starters on special teams can be risky. I know the patsy's do it and it works for them.
The grass always seems greener.

The Patriots like to utilise their best players as much as possible, to the extent that they had Richard Seymour (probowl DE) at at FB in goaline situations a couple of years back.

Well, Seymour got injured on one of those goal-line situations and the outcry was huge - 'why are our best guys being used out of position?'.

Whichever way a coach goes he is going to get criticised.

Unless he is lucky.
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Old 03-20-2007, 10:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Buying what he?s selling

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Special teams are gonna be great this year.Tomlin's staff is really showing that blue collar ethic. Can't wait for the season.
I really hope so, they seemed to be a big reason for the turnout of last season.

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Old 03-20-2007, 10:14 PM   #9
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Default Re: Buying what he?s selling

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haiku_Dirtt View Post
Being positive is a religion. And I'm a follower. But what exactly has happened since the season ended that made special teams stronger?

Quincey Morgan just got resigned in Denver. Why we let this cat go is a complete mystery to me. He's worth more than ARE(hear me Dan) because dude runs straight up the middle. None of this East West crap...

As great as Cowher is....he is not without missteps.

Uhhhh, maybe using starters on ST?
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Old 03-22-2007, 01:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: Buying what he?s selling

Noll always did it. Remember Lambert tackling the Dallas guy after the field goal?
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