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Old 05-15-2006, 06:51 PM   #1
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Default Cowher keeps close eye on his team's attitude.....

PITTSBURGH ---The linebacker running sprints at the Pittsburgh Steelers' minicamp looked a little old and slow.

"Yeah, he's average at best, maybe below average," All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu said Monday. "I don't expect him to come to our next camp."

Coach Bill Cowher's assessment was equally blunt.

"An old guy trying to stay young," Cowher said. "His best years are behind him."

Turns out Cowher is no less harsh judging himself than he is his own players.

Cowher livened up the final day of the three-day minicamp by running sprints with his players -- all of them. Not only did Cowher line up with the linebackers -- he played five years in the NFL at that position -- but also with the running backs, receivers and linemen.

The 49-year-old Cowher couldn't quite keep up with the speed guys, but certainly didn't look out of place with the linemen. He easily beat some of them during the 50-yard runs, including Pro Bowl defensive lineman Casey Hampton.

Maybe that was more of a reflection on some players not quite being in game-day shape than it was on Cowher's speed.

"There's some people I've discussed weights with -- I'd better not get into specifics -- but there are a few people who know where they need to be and aren't there yet," Cowher said.

Several players joked with Cowher as he ran. It was an unusual sight for new safety Ryan Clark, who certainly never saw 65-year-old coach Joe Gibbs run with his players last season with the Redskins.

"That's pretty cool, right?" Clark said. "I liked that. That's one thing about this team, it's a close-knit group, so to see your coach go out there, that adds fun and entertainment to the practices."

Cowher can only hope that the Steelers aren't having too much fun since winning the Super Bowl. He hasn't seen any signs of complacency or overconfidence, but stressed again at a team meeting that the players can't get so overwhelmed by what happened three months ago that it affects the preparation for the upcoming season.

"There's a lot of things you've got to be careful to not get caught up in," he said. "Like I said to the team, we've got less than 11 weeks before we go to camp. You can't forget the foundation that was built a year ago, and part of that process is the commitment, dedication and sacrifice you've got to make these next 11 weeks.

"I like our mind-set, and again a lot is going to have to do with how we handle the challenges that come before us and recreating that chemistry, not only on the field but in the locker room. I do like where they're at, and as long as we stay grounded and don't take ourselves too seriously, I'm sure we'll be fine."

Still, Cowher doesn't like where first-round draft pick Santonio Holmes will be during the three weeks of voluntary coaching sessions that run through early June -- and that's away from Pittsburgh.

Because of an NCAA-NFL rule, Holmes cannot work out again with the Steelers until his college class graduates in mid-June. That means the Steelers won't see Holmes in uniform again until training camp starts in July.

Holmes' speed was evident during the minicamp, and he caught a long touchdown pass thrown by Charlie Batch on a fly pattern during Monday's single practice.

"I think there will be a little bit of a setback from his progression of learning because of the fact he won't be here for the next month," Cowher said. "But as long as he gets to camp on time, I like to think he'll be able to pick things up and compete for playing time."

If there's one area the Steelers have upgraded in the offseason, it's their speed at wide receiver after adding Holmes and third-round pick Willie Reid of Florida State.

"I think we've got more speed now at wide receiver than we've ever had," Cowher said.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service
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Old 05-15-2006, 06:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Cowher keeps close eye on his team's attitude.....

What people are forgetting is that 1st round draft picks are almost automatic camp holdouts. If we can get Holmes signed before training camp starts, we will still be ahead of the curve.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:12 PM   #3
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Default Re: Cowher keeps close eye on his team's attitude.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suitanim
What people are forgetting is that 1st round draft picks are almost automatic camp holdouts. If we can get Holmes signed before training camp starts, we will still be ahead of the curve.
Wasn't Miller signed in time of the start of camp last year? Ben was a two day holdout. So I don't expect Holmes to miss much of training camp.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:34 PM   #4
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Default Re: Cowher keeps close eye on his team's attitude.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIESELMAN
Cowher livened up the final day of the three-day minicamp by running sprints with his players -- all of them.
I bet that's something you'll never see Mike Holmgren doing.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:39 PM   #5
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Default Re: Cowher keeps close eye on his team's attitude.....

I'm talking about 1st round picks in general. We are lucky in one regard that we usually pick at the end of the round...the teams at the top suffer the most.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: Cowher keeps close eye on his team's attitude.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattsMe
I bet that's something you'll never see Mike Holmgren doing.
True Dat - Rumor has it he got winded just wheeling that cart full of money into the locker room for his boys to look at right before the big game
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: Cowher keeps close eye on his team's attitude.....

pretty cool article, has me even more excited for camp
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Cowher keeps close eye on his team's attitude.....

I heard Cowher did a 6.7 in the 50 (yards). Not too swift.
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: Cowher keeps close eye on his team's attitude.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattsMe
I bet that's something you'll never see Mike Holmgren doing.
Hell, put Mike down at the goalline, stick a buffet table at the 40, and he may set a new team record...
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:08 AM   #10
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Default Re: Cowher keeps close eye on his team's attitude.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suitanim
Hell, put Mike down at the goalline, stick a buffet table at the 40, and he may set a new team record...
Thats funny, but also sad that its true!


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