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DIESELMAN
12-06-2007, 06:43 PM
Steeler pride

Tomlin carries on tradition, not afraid of perfect Pats:

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2007/writers/damon_hack/12/06/steelers/p1_tomlin.jpg

A year ago, most of the country had never heard of Mike Tomlin. He was the Vikings' first-year defensive coordinator, someone whose name was easily confused with the Boston Red Sox reliever. In quick order, he elevated the Minnesota's defense from No. 21 in 2005 to No. 8 in 2006, the kind of improvement that turned heads and opened eyes.

On Sunday at Gillette Stadium, Tomlin will introduce himself to a new audience when he brings the Pittsburgh Steelers (9-3) to New England (12-0) and tries to take down a Patriots team that hasn't lost a game since January.

"We're approaching this week like we approach any other week," Tomlin, the Steelers first-year coach, said Wednesday during a conference call. "We have no control over who we play, the schemes they prepare, and things of that nature. We focus on what it is that we do and how we prepare and, ultimately, how we perform."

While Tomlin is playing down the hype of the matchup -- at least publicly -- a Steelers victory on Sunday would lift his rookie season from excellent to other-worldly. It might even elevate him to the front of the pack in the voting for coach of the year.

At the very least, the 35-year-old Tomlin has already earned a place in that conversation. Though he took over a talented team, Tomlin's transition didn't have the malaise and lethargy that visited the San Diego Chargers and Norv Turner early this season.

Coming from a 4-3 defensive background, Tomlin kept Dick LeBeau's 3-4 system intact, blending his own beliefs with the style that has marked Steelers defenses for decades. If anything, the bedrock of the Steelers is the same under Tomlin, who preaches accountability, toughness and physicality.

"It's not only the Steelers' story -- that's the story of this game, the game of football," Tomlin said. "I think that's just the way this game was meant to be played. Most people that are good play the game that way."

Every week, Tomlin compiles a report that tells his players what is lacking and what needs improvement. Though he is not as confrontational as his predecessor, Bill Cowher, Tomlin has his own way of conveying a message, says running back Willie Parker.

"He doesn't sugarcoat anything that isn't up to his caliber or his standard," Parker said during a conference call. "He'll let you know."

While Sunday's game represents Tomlin's first foray against Bill Belichick, the Steelers and Patriots have a recent history almost as rich as Patriots-Colts. In the 2001 and 2004 seasons, New England advanced to the Super Bowl after defeating Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship game. During the '04 season, the Steelers ended New England's 21-game winning streak, a victory memorable for linebacker Joey Porter pounding Tom Brady and forcing him into mistakes.

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2007/writers/damon_hack/12/06/steelers/p1_harrison4.jpg

Porter is gone, but the Steelers have restocked with James Harrison, another pass-rushing, outside linebacker who chases quarterbacks from the blind side.

The Patriots, for their part, have looked tired the last couple of weeks, as if the burden of carrying a perfect record into December is catching up with them. Defensively, the tackling hasn't been as crisp and the pass rush seems a step slow. Even the offense has shown a few bugs, with receivers dropping passes and Brady facing more heat in the pocket than he has all year.

While Belichick would never admit weakness, he gave the players a rare day off from practice Wednesday following three consecutive prime-time games against the Bills, Eagles and Ravens. (Asked if the rest was the result of the night games, Belichick said the Patriots' coaching staff wanted to use the time to sharpen the game plan for Pittsburgh before presenting it to the players.)

Blowout wins have been the story of the Patriots' season, but so have the nail-biting, emotional victories: at Dallas on Oct. 14, at Indianapolis on Nov. 4, vs. Philadelphia on Nov. 25, at Baltimore last Monday.

Now, the Patriots face a Steelers team that has listened all season to people telling them they aren't in New England's class. That still could be the case, but you get the feeling the Steelers are glad they have three hours Sunday to figure it out.

"Their quest to go undefeated is not our story -- that's their story," Tomlin said. "Our story is that we play them this week and we want to beat them because they're on our schedule. We're going to play football this weekend."

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2007/writers/damon_hack/12/06/steelers/index.html

By Damon Hack
Sportswriter SI



["Their quest to go undefeated is not our story -- that's their story," Tomlin said. "Our story is that we play them this week and we want to beat them because they're on our schedule. We're going to play football this weekend."

Tomlin is a Class Act!!! :plus1:

Stlrs4Life
12-06-2007, 06:49 PM
Great read.

SteelerFan87
12-06-2007, 07:32 PM
lol, good article, but I noticed the writer's name: Hack :lol:

I think Belichick came to know what to expect from Cowher. But facing Mike Tomlin is new to him.

And I laughed at the reference to the Boston pitcher. I've heard so many people call him "Timlin". :lol:

TheButt
12-06-2007, 07:48 PM
"Now, the Patriots face a Steelers team that has listened all season to people telling them they aren't in New England's class. "

All godamn year we've been hearing this from every Tom , Dick - and Chris fooking Collinsdork. I cant wait for this game. I hope every one of those *******s is wrong.


Harrison MUST have a game like the one he had against the Rats in order for us to win.

Amen.

BlitzburghRockCity
12-06-2007, 08:06 PM
Real good read. I wouldn't expect anything less from the level headed Tomlin. He knows what it's going to take from the Steelers to beat the Patriots and that's a physical, mistake free football game. If we play to our potential we can beat anyone in the league. This should be an awesome game !

SteelCityPride08
12-06-2007, 08:07 PM
We ended the Patriot's streak before, maybe we'll do it again.:cope:

BlitzburghRockCity
12-06-2007, 08:43 PM
Regardless of it we beat them now or not we could very well see them again in the playoffs. At this point we just need to focus on taking care of the football and playing our type of game and leave it all on the field. If we can do that I like our chances this weekend.

DIESELMAN
12-06-2007, 08:55 PM
If we play to our potential we can beat anyone in the league.

Thats the key right there, we need to start a run this sunday, beat the Patsies and run out the rest of our schedule, go into the playoffs on a big time roll. The Patsies are getting wore down and their age is showing more and more as each week goes by. It was nice for their D when they were blowing teams out but now that teams are hangin with them, its keeping their D on the field longer, they can't hang with that. Thats another key to winning sunday, keep their D on the field, sustain long drives and make em hurt towards the end of the game.

BlacknGold Bleeder
12-06-2007, 08:58 PM
CLASS ACT !!! :tt02: I am so glad that the Rooneys had the vision to hire him!

kgreen
12-06-2007, 09:50 PM
Tomlin is a Class Act!!! :plus1:

Yes all this talking is nice and all, but he still needs to show me he can win a big game. I haven't seen it............yet.

DIESELMAN
12-06-2007, 09:56 PM
Yes all this talking is nice and all, but he still needs to show me he can win a big game. I haven't seen it............yet.

Its coming up.....:cope::cope::cope::cope::cope:

kgreen
12-06-2007, 09:57 PM
Its coming up.....:cope::cope::cope::cope::cope:

I hope your right.........

SteelersWoman
12-07-2007, 04:46 AM
...he still needs to show me he can win a big game....


He needs the help of the team to do it.

AZ_Steeler
12-07-2007, 11:09 AM
A game like this could really start to separate Tomlin form Cowher... of course the ultimate test will be the AFCCG :D

Tomlin is one cool cat... he takes everything in stride and never looks to be rattled, concerned or bothered by anything. I think the confidence that he exudes is absorbed by this Steelers team and it really shows on the field!

P4E*
12-09-2007, 08:35 AM
Be afraid pittsburgh,be very afraid..here come the pats baby:cope::cope:

DIESELMAN
12-09-2007, 09:09 AM
Be afraid pittsburgh,be very afraid..here come the pats baby:cope::cope:
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl::rofl: :rofl:

kgreen
12-09-2007, 12:17 PM
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl::rofl: :rofl:

:lol:I know right? :lol:P4E* just leave:hilarious::hilarious:

BlitzburghRockCity
12-09-2007, 01:28 PM
This is the biggest game of Tomlin's young career so let's hope he's got the team ready. The players seem ready from an emotional standpoint now let's see if they are ready from a gameplan and execution standpoint.