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Old 03-25-2007, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Tomlin on Porter's release

Tomlin believes Porter is replaceable

Monday, March 26, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PHOENIX -- No Joey Porter? No problem. The new man in charge has high hopes for the linebackers who will form the backbone of his new defense next season.

"We're going to get great outside linebacker play," Steelers coach Mike Tomlin predicted yesterday.

Some of the Steelers' best players on defense have played outside linebacker in the past generation since the team switched to a 3-4 defense from the old Steel Curtain days.

Players such as Mike Merriweather, Greg Lloyd, Chad Brown, Kevin Greene, Jason Gildon, Porter and others have dominated defensive play in Pittsburgh over two decades.

Tomlin does not see a reason why that should change after the Steelers released Porter, whose 60 sacks rank fourth on their career list.

"Can we identify who's going to be the playmaker at this point? No," Tomlin said. "Are we concerned about that? Really, no. That's the nature of football. Whoever we replace Joey with, the fans and the people who are concerned and have a stake in it will learn to love those guys and appreciate those guys for who they are. I know that's going to be a fact."

They already know the linebacker Tomlin expects to replace Porter.

"I have an idea of what I think James Harrison is capable of and I think it's going to be more than enough," Tomlin said of the Steelers' top backup on the outside the past three seasons.

Harrison, who was on the street when the Steelers signed him before the start of their 2004 training camp only because Clark Haggans had a broken hand, has done well as a backup and during his eight starts.

But can he play every down, every game?

"He'll answer those questions inside the white lines," Tomlin said. "I'm in Minnesota last year and everyone's talking about how miserable our linebacker corps was and how we had no chance to put together a solid defense because of our linebackers. And those guys went out there and played rock-solid football."

Tomlin, on the job for two months, said he loves the speculation surrounding not only who will succeed Porter at outside linebacker but all other debates about his team.

"I love those questions. It provides good talk this time of year, the speculation. It gives people something to worry about, and you appreciate that. You hope they enjoy it, but at the same time the wheels keep turning."

He said he wasn't surprised by the reaction -- some of it negative from his players -- to Porter's release, and the three-time Pro Bowl linebacker's subsequently signing a five-year contract in Miami that included a $12 million signing bonus.

"I've been a part of that since I've been in this league. What chair you sit in doesn't really matter. I've always mentally put myself in the chair that I sit in now.

"I've been part of some unique situations as an assistant coach. I was a part of the Jon Gruden/Keyshawn Johnson situation. I was a part of Warren Sapp leaving in free agency. I was a part of releasing John Lynch and things of that nature.

"It's all a rerun to me, it really is, and the reactions that go with it. Yes, I'm the head coach now but it's nothing I haven't seen before. Change is part of this business, it's going to happen. Sometimes it's going to be more unpleasant than others, but it's the nature of what we do."
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Old 03-26-2007, 12:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tomlin on Porter's release

I think Silverback will be a beast,letting us draft a more pressing need in round 1 unless we can get a stud OLB at pick number 15.
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tomlin on Porter's release

I don't believe releasing Porter will greatly effect the team for the coming season. If it were to effect the team, I believe it would be through the leadership he brought rather than his play on the field. Plus, I think the next OLB to replace him will have to be versatile enough to play DE in a 4-3 if they are going to successfully run a Hybrid D.
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Old 03-26-2007, 05:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tomlin on Porter's release

I think Tomlin knows what he is doing I have not read noting negative on him.I believe we have a great coach for years to come.
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:31 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tomlin on Porter's release

Give Tomlin credit. Even if he is worried, he's putting up a great front and by doing so is solidifying those that don the black and gold both on and off the field.
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Old 03-26-2007, 08:30 AM   #6
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Default Re: Tomlin on Porter's release

For a young guy Tomlin sure acts like he is a season veteran head coach. This guy is mature and knows exactly what to say and when to say it. I really think Tomlin is the right man for the job, now I just hope he can produce the wins
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:27 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tomlin on Porter's release

I don't think the loss of Porter will hurt us at all. I'd much prefer we get a good young passrushing DE and let Harrison play OLB.
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Old 03-26-2007, 01:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tomlin on Porter's release

So far so good, but Tomlin got the job because he gave a knock 'em dead job interview; not surprising he has continued to make a good impression with both national media and, especially, local scribes who clearly were tired of weekly beat downs and glares from Cowher.

But the Rooneys did not stay with Cowher for 15 seasons because he could charm the media and looking the part of a young HC is about as essential to long term success in the job as having neat handwriting.

Let's see how many stories continue to gush about Tomlin's great demeanor if the Steelers start off 2007 the same way they played the first half of the 2006 season.
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Old 03-26-2007, 02:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tomlin on Porter's release

Once again, a great statement. And I completely agree. Porter's release, while shocking and semmingly irreplacable, can be delt with. I really just think it will be a matter of time.

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Old 03-26-2007, 07:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tomlin on Porter's release

Quote:
Originally Posted by Atlanta Dan View Post
So far so good, but Tomlin got the job because he gave a knock 'em dead job interview; not surprising he has continued to make a good impression with both national media and, especially, local scribes who clearly were tired of weekly beat downs and glares from Cowher.

But the Rooneys did not stay with Cowher for 15 seasons because he could charm the media and looking the part of a young HC is about as essential to long term success in the job as having neat handwriting.

Let's see how many stories continue to gush about Tomlin's great demeanor if the Steelers start off 2007 the same way they played the first half of the 2006 season.
AD, we have a good team. Two big question marks for me...will Ben come out 2-6 or 6-2. If we lose Faneca...not that we will, our O-line may struggle. Last two times o-line struggled, 6-10, 8-8. Point being, if O-struggles, there may be little patience. Look at what happened to Maddox when 6-10 was PERCEIVED to be his fault. I hope we don't have our wrath coming down on Tomlin who has inherited this situation.
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