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Old 07-25-2007, 05:06 AM   #1
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Default Crunch time comes early with Tomlin

By Mike Prisuta
Wednesday, July 25, 2007

In the event you're concerned about tone-setting head coach Mike Tomlin working the Steelers too hard this summer, consider the response of Troy Polamalu to the first morning contact at St. Vincent College in anyone's recent memory.
Upon the conclusion of a two-hour morning session Tuesday that included a "backs-on-'backers" drill and a 9-on-7 running game segment, the Steelers' $15 Million Man decided he still had some work to do.

So Polamalu scurried up the hillside awhile.

Then he decided to crab his way up the slope sideways.

After that it was time to hit a blocking sled.

By now even the ballboys had left the practice field.

Polamalu next attacked a blocking sled designed to occupy three linemen at a time, hitting and rolling and repeating as necessary.

Eventually, the sprinkler system kicked on, but Polamalu kept at it.

After finally climbing the steps to the locker room, he still had enough left to sign an autograph for a toddler.

Clearly, Polamalu's maniacal routine hasn't changed.

For the rest of the Steelers, it's a whole new ballgame.

The aforementioned "backs-on-'backers" is a Bill Cowher-era carryover, "but we usually only did it a handful of times," fullback Dan Kreider said.

This time, running backs hit linebackers one-on-one 33 times.

Call it an early wake-up call.

"I ain't been hittin' in the a.m. since college," linebacker Larry Foote said.

Cornerback Deshea Townsend, a 10-year veteran, hadn't, either.

Kreider said he hadn't since "spring ball in college."

Welcome to Camp Tomlin, where two-a-days will sometimes mean twice the contact.

Some of Tomlin's two-a-days will feature shortened, special teams-attention morning workouts.

Others are designed to test mental and physical limits through hitting, but even those will include a dose of kicking game preparation.

Yesterday morning's featured the punt team "gunners" working on downing the football before it crosses the goal line.

They were working with volleyballs, but Townsend said they got the point.

"You never want to think a guy knows something that you didn't go over with him," he said.

Whatever it was that was in store for the Steelers yesterday afternoon wound up being washed away by the rain.

Tomlin may have been a little irritated that his second practice in command had to be staged on an indoor basketball court, but the Steelers' veterans probably weren't complaining.

"I have confidence in this team, the guys here, as far as working hard and staying after it, but the fights, they'll come," Kreider predicted. "It's going to get heated.

"We need this type of stuff. Now, whether we need this much, we'll find out."

Any day now, weather permitting.
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Old 07-25-2007, 04:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: Crunch time comes early with Tomlin

I have confidence in this team, the guys here, as far as working hard and staying after it, but the fights, they'll come," Kreider predicted. "It's going to get heated.
YES!!!!!! That is when you know you are putting full emotional investment into what your doing...
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