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BlitzburghRockCity
06-11-2007, 01:34 AM
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_511965.html


By John Harris
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Monday, June 11, 2007

There's nothing voluntary about the Steelers' voluntary workouts.

Be there -- or else.

Whether they want to be there or not, whether they like it or not, nearly all of the Steelers -- with the exception of veteran guard Alan Faneca -- have been present and accounted for.

A handful of players have missed days because of business and personal reasons or injuries. Big deal.

That's why they call them voluntary workouts. It's the offseason, and the players aren't robots. They do have lives outside of football.

But -- voluntary or not, two-hour time limit or not -- new coach Mike Tomlin wouldn't have scheduled the 14 workouts (officially known as organized team activities) if they weren't important.

Under the guise of the workouts being much ado about nothing, Tomlin has been installing a new offense and tweaking the defense in preparation for training camp.

Nearly 100 percent participation speaks volumes about how the Steelers feel about their new coach.

They don't have to like him, just respect him.

They respect him, all right.

If not respect for their coach, the Steelers understand that by participating they at least present a united front that they care.

Another first-year coach, Wade Phillips of the Dallas Cowboys, is being billed as a player's coach.

Phillips -- who, like Tomlin, has assumed control of a team coming off a subpar season -- said it's OK if his players don't show up for voluntary workouts because he doesn't want to burn them out for the regular season.

Some of the Cowboys have taken Phillips at his word. Starting wide receivers Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn and running back Julius Jones skipped some of the Cowboys' voluntary workouts, just because.

Tomlin said no such thing. He expected all of his players to attend because they wanted to be there. And with the exception of Faneca, they have.

At least Faneca has a legitimate excuse. A six-time Pro Bowl performer entering the final year of his contract with no new deal in sight, he believes his absence is the only way to bring attention to his situation.

Faneca's problem isn't with Tomlin. Management signs the paychecks.

The rest of the Steelers' rank-and-file have fallen in line behind Tomlin, even the ones who wanted former assistant coach Russ Grimm to get the job.

Again, the Steelers don't have to like Tomlin to play for him.

Respect -- or the fear of the unknown -- will suffice.

Even if all of the players haven't bought totally into the Tomlin way, they value their jobs more.

For now that's a big part of it, all these guys don't know how to take Tomlin yet, they haven't had time to figure him out fully like they knew Cowher. Fear of the unknown is a big motivator in any line of work. These guys want to ensure they are pulling their own weight and doing their best to make themselves indespensible in the eyes of Tomlin and the other Coaches. As time goes on the players will figure him out more and get into a comfort zone around him but for the time being, we'll take what we can get if it means we have the team bonding and pulling together.

OneSteelSoldier
06-11-2007, 05:13 AM
I think that Tomlin will be a great coach!!!:tt02:

SteelersWoman
06-12-2007, 12:03 AM
It's probably a combination of our guys wanting to make up for last year, and wanting to show the new coach they're able (and willing) to do their job. And just from the small clips I've seen of Mike during the OTAs, he seems very calm and confident--whether he feels it or not--and I think that "presence" is a good influence on the guys.

BlitzburghRockCity
06-12-2007, 12:11 AM
He's definitely talking the talk so far and from what we've heard he seems to be walking the walk too. Now is the time to build the trust and lay the foundation for a successful season and so far he's doing a pretty good job !

Hburg
06-12-2007, 01:17 AM
Honestly, I can't wait to see Tomlin coach this season. So far everything I've read and seen of him as really impressed me. He has the cool of Chuck Noll, yet the fire of Cowher on gameday. He should earn the respect of the Steelers, Pittsburgh, and the NFL soon enough.

BuFu

BlitzburghRockCity
06-12-2007, 01:26 AM
That's an interesting point..how long will it take for him to earn the respect of the diehard Noll and Cowher fans. I mean when BC got here it took some time for the city and fans to get used to him and warm up to him because all most of them had known was Chuck Noll. Now with Tomlin here one wonders how short of a leash the fans will put on him to win and how quickly they'll warm up to him on gameday.

RckyMtnStlrFan
06-12-2007, 02:00 AM
That's an interesting point..how long will it take for him to earn the respect of the diehard Noll and Cowher fans. I mean when BC got here it took some time for the city and fans to get used to him and warm up to him because all most of them had known was Chuck Noll. Now with Tomlin here one wonders how short of a leash the fans will put on him to win and how quickly they'll warm up to him on gameday.

The fans may put a short leash, but all that matters is the space the Rooneys give him. They have a history of picking the best. Yeah, Cowher should've won more SB's but you have to admit he was a much better coach than most. I still think he was a great coach, but I'm glad he's gone. We, as fans, may call for Tomlins head, but the Rooneys will know if he's worthy to be a Steeler coach and I believe they've already spoken. If we have a poor season everyone will be calling for Tomlins head. In a few years when the team REALLY comes together everyone will love Tomlin. I actually think we will have a good season and Tomlin will be a hit overnight. Just my humble opinion.:tt02:

Stlrs4Life
06-13-2007, 06:59 PM
I believe he will be a good coach. I like what I see so far.

DIESELMAN
06-13-2007, 08:33 PM
Whether these practices are voluntary or not, its a good sign that all the players have shown up. It shows how much winning means to them and it also shows respect to our young coach.