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DIESELMAN
07-25-2007, 12:50 PM
Clark Haggans, Dan Kreider and Hines Ward talk about the first practice of the Mike Tomlin era.

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CLARK HAGGANS

Pretty physical early, isnít it?

Hey, weíre trying to win, so weíve got to do whatever it takes to win.

Could you contrast it with the last first day?

Weíve got our pads on and weíre out here hitting. Weíve got to establish that foundation, which is Steeler football. Weíre physical, tough, run the ball, play defense and great special teams normally. This is what it takes to get back to that, so weíre up here in Latrobe doing the journey.

Did you usually wear shells in the morning?

Yeah, we used to do shells in the morning and full in the afternoon. New coach, new regime. Everybody was out here with shoulder pads, helmets. Weíre hitting.

Were you surprised?

Iím fine with anything. Football comes in all shapes and sizes. Games happen in all shapes and sizes, as far as momentum, and youíve got to be prepared for whatever happens.

What did you think of Woodley and Timmons?

Theyíve been playing well and theyíll continue to get better.

Was Woodley a surprise today?

Heís anxious and he wants to play and he wants to show the coaches he wants to play.

How difficult is the transition for a D-end?

Itís hard. Heís doing well with it. When you play defensive end, youíre used to always just getting off on the ball. Youíre not trying to really read formations and cover anything. I know that going from that position to linebacker, from college to pro, thereís a whole lot youíve got to soak up in the game, as far as reading and reacting as far as formation recognition and so on and so forth.

Is Woodley ahead of the normal curve at this point?

I donít even know what the curve is. I know heís doing well right now. But has he passed the coachesí expectations? I donít know. Heís doing fine.

Troy got signed. Are you next?

I have no clue. I spoke with Mr. Rooney right before camp started. I just leave that all up to my agent. I want to be here. Weíll see what happens.

Will the high draft picks at your position affect your status?

I have no idea. All I care about right now is trying to get better and winning some football games.

DAN KREIDER

Did offense or defense win?

We started out a little slow, even for myself. I missed on Farrior. I think in the past, when we do this drill with linebackers, weíd get a handful of times and then weíd call it and go to the next period. This time, each player got four or five reps up there. The disadvantage at that pointís with the defense because how many tricks in the bag have you got? You see two or three moves from a guy and by the fourth time you know what youíre going to get, either this move or that move. It goes from advantage defense in the beginning to advantage offense by the end.
Iím claiming victory I think. We finished strong. Even though the last one Najeh got pummeled, but I think overall we won.

Woodley delivered some blows out there didnít he?

Yeah. Heís a big guy. I mean, heís going to be a challenging individual. That first day, guys are just feeling each other out, and Iím sure heís going to get more comfortable as time goes. Hopefully weíll see some good things out of him.

Didnít he rock Najeh?


Yeah, Najeh just got a little high. Heís a bigger back, so youíre getting your hips high and anyone can get run through I guess. Itís part of the game.

Was this practice a tone-setter?

I donít know if itís a tone-setter. Itís a first step. Weíll see how the end of this week finishes up. Sometimes you start strong the first day but by the end of the week everybodyís kind of tired. Itís a matter of whether we can keep this level of play up the whole preseason and keep climbing.

Whatís waiting at the end of the week: hamstring injuries or fights?

Probably both. I have confidence in this team, the guys we have here, as far as working hard and staying after it. But the fights, I think theyíll come. Itís only a matter of time. When youíre banging twice a day on these two-a-days, youíre going to get some heated things going.

When was the last time you hit twice a day?

College.

When was the last time you hit in the morning?

College.

This bucks the perception that Bill Cowher believed in physical camps, doesnít it?

Yeah, itís going to be a more physical camp this year.

Do you like that?

For me, my positionís a physical position. Sometimes by the end of the year you feel a little wore down and beat up, but the one thing at this point in the year, you try to hone in your technique and you need this type of stuff. Now, whether or not we need this much, weíll find out. But itís all in how you embrace it. I take it a practice at a time and try to get better every practice and hopefully itíll pay off in the end.

Did you hear grumbling when the 15 two-a-days were scheduled?

Not too much. Guys are talking about it because itís something different, but guys have a good mentality about it. Training camps are hard regardless. Itís more the grind, more mental, because youíre here for such a long time. Every camp youíre going to work hard. Guys prepare for that.

Have you had any contract talk with the front office?

No. Iíve always taken it a year at a time, so weíll play out this year. You know, they make a lot of references that Iím getting older, so I donít know what that means.

Whoís ďtheyĒ?

Coaches and whatever. And I understand Iím 30 this year. I like to think Iím playing at a high enough level to be a starter in this league and play well, but maybe itís not my decision though.

Are you worried theyíre phasing your position out?

No. In the springtime you just donít know, but I got a chance to talk to Tomlin and we had a good talk about things and he has a desire to have a fullback here. Whether itís me or someone else, who knows? One thing I can say about B.A., he believes in the run game. I wasnít so sure at first because he was a receivers coach and stuff, but heís like, ĎWeíve got to be physical. Weíve got to run the ball.í

So youíre not worried about the tight end/fullback hybrids?

Thatís their decision. I can only take care of what I can do out here. Every opportunity I get Iím going to try and excel at it and do whatever they ask of me and let the chips fall where they may.

Are you still a devastating secret receiving weapon in the flat?

Iím always open. Always. No, but, hey, if they want to toss it out to me, Iíll be willing to catch a couple, but I still know what my role is.

HINES WARD

Will there be comparisons all year between the coachesí ways of doing things?

Yeah, because you had one guy here for so many years. You guys are even accustomed to a certain way. Itís different. Coach Tomlin is Coach Tomlin. Itís not his job to come in here and do the same things Coach Cowher did. He wouldnít be Coach Tomlin if he did that. Heíll do things his own way. We as players got over how we used to do things. During OTAs, it was kind of weird, uncertain. You really didnít know what to expect because it was different. Any time you add something different, youíre going to have a little bit of uncertainty. Now, itís training camp. We had our camp book before we even knew. We knew we were going to have two weeks of two-a-days before we even got here. He said, ĎGo home and prepare yourself because the first two weeks youíve got two-a-days every day with shoulder pads. Is it different than Coach Cowher? Yeah. But heís our coach now. It is what it is.

For guys whoíve done things one way for so many years, is this harder or more exciting?

A little bit of both. Youíre so used to and accustomed to doing it one way, and itís kind of like somebody coming in and changing the whole thing. Thereís a fear of letting go of your old ways because itís worked for so many years and trying a new way, you donít know where itís going to lead you. Thatís where the veteran guys come in. Itís our job as veteran guys to believe in Coach Tomlin and his ways so the younger guys can buy into it too.

Have you sensed a bit of an edge in your coach?

There is. Heís got something to prove. Heís out here for a purpose. There has only been two coaches here the last some-odd years, so thereís going to be a lot of pressure on any coach who comes in. He wants to get out of that mold, that ĎCoach Cowher didnít do it.í Well, Coach Cowherís not here. Heís not here anymore. Weíre doing it the way Coach Tomlinís doing it. He wants to go out and prove to everybody he can be a great coach and he has to set his ways with the team. It is what it is. If you donít like it then get off the ship. Heís a straight-shooter. Heís going to call you out when you have a bad practice, but at the same time heís going to praise you when you have a good one.

How does Ben look this year?

He looks good. As a group overall, we all have to get better. Itís not all on Ben. I mean, heís our quarterback and he gets a lot of blame when things are going bad but he gets a lot of praise when things are going good. Weíre all in it together. We all have to come out and help make his job a little easier, and Ben has to put more trust in his players, his role players, to go out there and make plays. Weíre starting to do that this camp. We looked good today. We didnít have any picks or nothing.

Can you keep up the physical pace you set this morning?

I donít know. Weíll see. He just wanted to see where his players are at physically. OTAs? You donít know what Timmons is going to do. You donít have a feel. Now you put on pads and itís a lot different. Add pads and a little hitting and you can tell a lot about players. And he wants to know what type of players, what type of team. He wants to know whoís going to grind it out, whoís going to tough it out through this whole training camp. I think itís a test to see what type of players he has on his team, because he donít know us. He only knows us from watching us on film, but he donít know us personally and what it takes to be the type of team we need to be. I think these first two weeks are a feeling-out process. He wants to know what real ballplayers he has out here. To me, thatís what I think this whole two weeks of two-a-days is all about. Itís him evaluating his players and seeing what heís got and seeing what weíve got with pads on.

Iíve never been to training camp and said training campís going to be easy. One may be harder than the next. Is this different? Of course itís different. Nobodyís been two straight weeks of two-a-days. But in high school I had two straight (weeks) of three-a-days, so Iíve been through worse.

Jim Wexell
SteelCityInsider.com
25 July 2007


The way camp is being run, it will definitely show everyone's will to put it all in. It is what it is.

AZ_Steeler
07-25-2007, 01:06 PM
This bucks the perception that Bill Cowher believed in physical camps, doesn’t it?

Yeah, it’s going to be a more physical camp this year.

Kind of a cheap shot towards Cowher but actions do speak louder than words!

manofsteel
07-25-2007, 05:08 PM
Im all for the tough camps. Cowher did a fine job the way he did things no knock on him. But I did think at times we were soft. Lets get these guys going youll see they will have more endurance and stamina two a days brings that out in guy

kgreen
07-25-2007, 09:16 PM
Chaz Noll ran tough camps result: 4 Super Bowls.

Cowher ran softer camps result: 1 Super Bowl.

Thougher camps make tougher teams.

DIESELMAN
07-25-2007, 09:26 PM
Chaz Noll ran tough camps result: 4 Super Bowls.

Cowher ran softer camps result: 1 Super Bowl.

Thougher camps make tougher teams.

:bigthumb: You got that right...this is the NFL.....Not For Losers :helmet:

BlitzburghNation
07-25-2007, 09:41 PM
Great read Deez ~~~:bigthumb:

This should be music to our ears :scratch:

One thing I can say about B.A., he believes in the run game. I wasnít so sure at first because he was a receivers coach and stuff, but heís like, ĎWeíve got to be physical. Weíve got to run the ball.í

I know FWP loved hearing this,,,,,,,,:tt02:

BlitzburghRockCity
07-25-2007, 09:59 PM
Kind of a cheap shot towards Cowher but actions do speak louder than words!


I think we'll be seeing that all during camp and all during the season..comparisons made about camp, practice, routines, everything...These guys are going to forget camp Cowher one way or the other :lol: