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Old 06-14-2007, 12:44 PM   #1
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Default offseason update by vic carrucci

nothing really new, just a few opinions weve heard before. but this is starting to bug me. its pretty much the concensus that tomlin has all the makings of a good coach who is capable of having an immediate impact in the nfl but he is being handicapped because he is taking over an excellent team, with rich tradition, that wasnt in desperate need of a coaching change, rather than a piss poor team that really had nothing going for it. http://nfl.com/news/story/10224668

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(June 13, 2007) -- This is what I like about the Pittsburgh Steelers' offseason moves: They complemented the strong suit of new coach Mike Tomlin by using their top two draft picks on highly athletic and versatile linebackers -- Lawrence Timmons, from Florida State, and LaMarr Woodley, from Michigan.

Tomlin is a defensive mastermind who likes to mix and match alignments and move people around within his front seven. Timmons is perfect for such a role. He excels at rushing the passer from the 3-4, long the Steelers' base defense and still the one that incumbent coordinator Dick LeBeau knows best. Tomlin's favorite scheme is the 4-3 Tampa Two Zone, and he likely will incorporate at least some elements of it into the existing 3-4 while striving to keep opponents off-balance with a variety of looks. Woodley was a 4-3 end in college, making him an ideal pick because he could be plugged into different fronts as an outside linebacker or with his hand down.

The Steelers addressed their lack of depth at running back, which is a larger issue than ever considering that Verron Haynes is recovering from knee surgery, by acquiring Kevan Barlow after he was released by the New York Jets.

The team addressed their punting problems of the past two seasons by trading up in the fourth round to select Daniel Sepulveda, who averaged 46.5 yards at Baylor last year.



This is what concerns me: Tomlin has the knowledge and the energy to make a fairly quick impact as a head coach in the NFL. Still, he is replacing an institution in Bill Cowher, whose long record of success would be hard for any successor to duplicate. Cowher also was a larger-than-life figure, and most of the players on the team haven't dealt with another coach. Tomlin faces a significant challenge establishing his own identity.

Veteran offensive guard Alan Faneca has been very public with his displeasure over the Steelers' refusal to meet his contract demands. He is a highly respected member of the team and a primary leader. Will the fact Faneca has been so outspoken about not wanting to be part of the franchise any longer and is on the record as saying 2007 would be his final season in a Steeler uniform create any sort of distraction? Will he become a divisive force rather than the heart-and-soul player who had a key role in the Steelers' Super Bowl victory two years ago? That is the last thing Tomlin needs while implementing a new program.

Joey Porter, who was released and signed with the Miami Dolphins, will be missed as a linebacker. But he might be missed even more as a fiery leader who usually managed to get the rest of the defense to perform at a higher level. James Harrison, who had been a backup, will compete with Timmons for Porter's vacant starting spot. Yet is either capable of providing that emotional spark that Porter could?
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Old 06-14-2007, 01:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: offseason update by vic carrucci

Well, it can be argued either way, but I do agree that it would be more difficult taking over a successful team and leading it over a poor team. With a poor team the expectations are not so high, however with the Steelers (as we all know) the expectations are very high. I think the media dwells on this because the future looks very bright for the Steelers and they have nothing else to dwell on. We have upgraded our Def talent this draft, have a solid running game, improved our ST, solid at WR . . . the only ?'s are going to be the Oline (which I think will be fine) and corners. So far in his short tenure, he has handled everything pretty well, even the whole Faneca ordeal. As long as we make the playoffs at least by his second season (I am hoping for this season though) all this talk about "establishing his identity" crap will go away.
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Old 06-14-2007, 02:39 PM   #3
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Default Re: offseason update by vic carrucci

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Still, he is replacing an institution in Bill Cowher, whose long record of success would be hard for any successor to duplicate. Cowher also was a larger-than-life figure, and most of the players on the team haven't dealt with another coach. Tomlin faces a significant challenge establishing his own identity.
I don't view Tomlin as a replacement for anyone. While it cannot be argued that a coach who has been with a team for 15 seasons is a bit of a legend, Tomlin is the new face of the Pittsburgh Steelers and will set his own standards, principles and identity, which I believe he has already begun doing. Change can sometimes be good and I have no doubt whatsoever that the Rooneys' selection of Mike Tomlin is going to turn out to be a huge positive, not only for the team, but for the organization as a whole.
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: offseason update by vic carrucci

Aw, these guys just have to cover their butts. They don't want to commit one way or the other, because they don't want to look stupid, so there are all kind of "could be's" and "maybe not's" in all this stuff. That way if the Steelers finish 8-8 again, they can say they told us so, but if the Steelers win the Super Bowl, they can also say that all the pieces they told us about fell into place.
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Old 06-14-2007, 04:08 PM   #5
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Default Re: offseason update by vic carrucci

Tomln is taking over an excellent team that had to deal with a lame duck retiring coach, a QB who smashed his face in the previous offseason, and a complacent coaching staff.

I'm getting really tired of that "fiery leadership" crap about Porter. The Steelers certainly didn't play (or coach for that matter) with any fire last year. See the Baltimore slaughters, the many turnovers, and the undisciplined play.
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