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Old 12-16-2008, 08:58 AM   #1
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Default Players respond to Tomlin

Bires on the beat: Players respond to Tomlin
By Mike Bires
Times Sports Staff
Published: Tuesday, December 16, 2008 12:07 AM EST

It’s unlikely that Mike Tomlin will get any Coach of the Year votes. But that doesn’t detract from the terrific job he’s doing coaching the Steelers.

The leading candidate for the NFL’s top coach award is Miami’s Tony Sparano, a rookie who’s guided the Dolphins to nine wins so far after they went 1-15 last year.

Still, Tomlin’s role in the Steelers’ winning a second straight AFC North title can’t be overstated.

Yes, he could be a high-rolling gambler as he showed several weeks ago when starting the game in Washington with an unsuccessful onsides kick. He gambled again two weeks ago against Dallas by passing up a chip-shot field goal in favor of trying to score on fourth-and-1.

The run against the Cowboys was stuffed, but the Steelers still overcame a 13-3 deficit and won. The Steelers also overcame the failed onsides kick and beat the Redskins.

The bottom line is that Tomlin does things that show his confidence in the players he coaches. And the players appreciate it and respond to it.

Last Thursday, Tomlin made quite an impression with the way he handled Willie Parker’s complaints about the Steelers’ running philosophy. Tomlin ripped into Parker, but he did so eloquently. He came across so well.

And what did Tomlin do to Parker before Sunday’s game in Baltimore?

He named “Fast Willie” an honorary co-captain for the day.

Tomlin is excellent at turning a negative into a positive.

* Speaking about turning something negative into something positive, how about Santonio Holmes’ performance in the 13-9 win over the Ravens?

Until he caught the game-winning TD pass, Holmes was the game’s biggest goat.

He dropped a third-down pass in the first quarter that would have given the Steelers a first down.

He fumbled away the ball at the Steelers’ 16-yard line in the third quarter that put the Ravens in position to kick a field goal.

Later in the third quarter, Holmes muffed a punt that, fortunately for him, was recovered by the Steelers.

Holmes finished the game with three catches for 21 yards.

* At mid-season, I wrote that Holmes was the Steelers’ most disappointing player after eight games. I still think he’s underachieving. I wonder if he’ll ever be the player the Steelers thought he’d be when they picked him in the first round of the 2006 draft.

* Speaking of Holmes’ fumble, thank goodness that Max Starks knows how to tackle.

When safety Ed Reed scooped up the loose ball at the 21 and started running, it looked like he might score a defensive TD for the fourth time this year. Just last week, Reed returned a fumble 22 yards for a score.

But just when it looked like Reed would score again and put the Ravens up 13-3, Starks latched on and stopped him from scoring.

Come to think of it, Starks’ tackle may have been the key play of the game.

* For a guy who may have had a bounty on his head, Hines Ward was spectacular against the Ravens with eight catches for 107 yards. He needs just 136 yards in the last two games to reach 1,000 receiving yards for the first time since 2004.

http://www.timesonline.com/articles/...8505941728.txt

Last edited by lamberts-lost-tooth; 12-16-2008 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: Players respond to Tomlin

Good stuff, LLT!

I like the way this TEAM plays, this is a TEAM game and Tomlin has got these guys together playing at an extremely high level.

At this juncture, I see a huge difference in this TEAM and the Cohwer coached teams. I don't think you can underestimate Tomlins cool presence on the sidelines.
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Players respond to Tomlin

MT is growing on me. I like his passion for the game and our team. You can make the argument that he has impacted the defense somewhat - Tampa 2 / zone blitz. And the players do respond to him.

The offense really bothers me. Its all been said here and elsewhere so I won't rehash. This falls under the broad heading "HC responsibility".
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: Players respond to Tomlin

Oh boy, this should get the Tomlin-haters fired up.

(Those that haven't already bought Cardinals jerseys, of course)
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Players respond to Tomlin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer View Post
Oh boy, this should get the Tomlin-haters fired up.
Nah. I'm a newbee. Not trying to stir things up. I am tired of watching our talent and opportunities squandered by stupid O schemes and "coaching". Again, enough has been said. And we're 11-3. How bad could the O be?

I think MT is a very good young defense oriented coach with a brilliant future. Who knows - he could become the youngest coach to win a SB. And then any suggestion that anything is lacking would be laughed off the board.

I keep hoping he's sandbagging. You know, get into the playoffs with our suffocating D and a shaky O then sucker punch the field with brilliant O schemes and execution. One can hope.

Dixon sees the field.
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Old 12-16-2008, 09:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: Players respond to Tomlin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer View Post
Oh boy, this should get the Tomlin-haters fired up.

(Those that haven't already bought Cardinals jerseys, of course)
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:35 AM   #7
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Default Re: Players respond to Tomlin

are there actually Tomlin haters on any Steelers board?

What was it he said to get the job, oh yeah, something like

"The more Violent team usually wins"

Not agressive, not passionate, not loudest or even smartest. No...Violent!

He had me at "Violent"

of coarse I have issues, but still...he had me locked up with that one word. Lets Be More Violent then the other guy. HECK YEAH!
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:46 AM   #8
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Default Re: Players respond to Tomlin

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Originally Posted by Dino 5 Rings View Post
are there actually Tomlin haters on any Steelers board?

Oh absolutely, my theory is they are mostly leftover Kordell apologists.
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:46 AM   #9
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Default Re: Players respond to Tomlin

I just don't like the possibility of becoming a 4-3. It isn't likely to happen soon but I love everything about the 3-4. It seems more effective in every way when the roster is adjusted to it. Hell, when the 3-4 was new the Steelers still found a way to dominate with it!
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Old 12-16-2008, 11:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Players respond to Tomlin

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dino 5 Rings View Post
are there actually Tomlin haters on any Steelers board?

What was it he said to get the job, oh yeah, something like

"The more Violent team usually wins"

Not agressive, not passionate, not loudest or even smartest. No...Violent!

He had me at "Violent"

of coarse I have issues, but still...he had me locked up with that one word. Lets Be More Violent then the other guy. HECK YEAH!
I'm sure there are, but they are about as few and far between as Detroit Lions wins these days. There were a LOT more when he was first hired and plenty more after they lost to Jax in the playoffs last year. There are those who can't let Cowher go and criticize him because he doesn't spray spit everywhere, or those who felt Whiz or Grimm should have gotten the job. But the man has more than proven himself, and I think he is going to be a great head coach with hopefully multiple rings.
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