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BlitzburghRockCity
09-09-2007, 01:17 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07252/815890-66.stm


Bill Cowher talked to Mike Tomlin just once since he succeeded him.

"Do it your way," Tomlin said, recalling the only guidance given him by his predecessor as Steelers coach. "I'm sure he received the same advice from Chuck Noll.''

Today, in Cleveland, where Noll was born and where he played in the NFL, and where Cowher landed his first coaching job, Mike Tomlin makes his debut as the third Steelers coach in 39 years.

He will start building his reputation as a coach for real today, but he has already earned his status in the locker room. There, what began as skepticism among veteran players has developed into a clear-cut relationship: He's the boss, and they do what they're told.

"There's no doubt," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "Everyone knows he's the boss, and everyone's ready to be led by him."

Tomlin established his authority immediately and has consistently applied it, the players say. It may have been Noll's team for 23 years, then Cowher's for 15, but for the past seven months, it has belonged to Mike Tomlin and he's done it his way.

It's not autocratic, not repressive, not draconian. Tomlin has grasped control of the baton and wielded it in a way that's commanded respect from his players and all those around him.

"In the first couple days here, he set the tone and let you know who's running the show,'' defensive end Aaron Smith said. "He's a stern, honest, down-to-earth guy. He's not above coming and talking to you about something off the wall. But then when it's time to work, it's time to work. He's a fair guy, too, I think."

They still can have their fun, even with the head coach, but there's also a separation Tomlin has established in their workday. Once they take the field, it's all work and no play. Practice, under Tomlin, is no day at the beach. There's even a sign to remind them all as they leave their comfy, carpeted, climate-controlled locker room: "Take the Field.''

"It means when you go out those doors, that's it, we're all business,'' Smith said. "You see the sign every day when we walk out the door ..."

There's a reason for it that the players understand.

"He's like the rest of us," Smith said. "We all want to win, we want to improve on what we did last year. I think we're on the right track."

The right track, the only track for a football coach is victory. There are as many different approaches to coaching as there are coaching jobs, but there's just one bottom line: Win and you're in, lose and you go the way of Bill Austin. He was the fourth Steelers coach in the past 42 years, and he was shown the door after his three teams went a combined 11-28-3.

But Austin's is not the legacy Tomlin wants to follow or continue. Noll's teams won 209 games, including four Super Bowls. Cowher's teams won 161 games, including one Super Bowl. Now that's the right track.

"I've made a conscious effort not to worry about it or compare what we're trying to do to the past,'' Tomlin said. "We can't duplicate it and we're not even going to try. I've just got a vision of what we need to do to move forward and the guys have done a nice job accepting that, to move forward."

And Tomlin is the guy driving the bus.

"You respect him,'' said Hines Ward, one of four team captains who will wear the hockey-like 'C' on their jerseys for the first time in franchise history today. "He's a straight-shooter, it is what it is, what's on tape is on tape. He's not going to take excuses. He'll mention it, but he won't call you out; it's more constructive criticism: 'Let's make sure this doesn't happen again,' and you move on, you grow.

"We're men. He treats everyone like a man. he's not going to belittle anybody, but he's going to call it like he sees it.''

The players from Super Bowl MVP Ward on down had to prove themselves to a new coach. Some, like Ward, did. Others, like Max Starks, lost their starting jobs.

"He wasn't going on past history, what you did, but what you do on tape,'' Ward said. "That's how the makeup of this team is, 53 men who did what coach Tomlin wanted them to do on tape."

Today, they unveil for real this latest version of the Steelers coach and his team. His philosophy, the way he treats players, the way he talks to the public, how he holds himself along the sideline all will be documented from here on out. But only one thing will matter: His record.

"Most people get a coaching opportunity because there is lack of success or a long-term period of lack of success," Tomlin said this week. "This is a unique opportunity and unique circumstance. I'm grateful to have it."

This is an exciting and nerve racking time for us Steeler fans. We're not used to changing coaches very often. For many Steeler fans Cowher is the only coach they've ever really known; with Noll being just a legend that they've heard about. Im excited to see how the attitude of the team is this year on the field as much as Im excited to see the new schemes.

Tomlin's day has arrived, he's the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers and now it's time to make his mark and see what he can do.

BlitzburghNation
09-09-2007, 01:22 AM
Nice read TG ,,,,,,,,,,,,, :bigthumb:

Only 12 hrs 35 minutes and 27 seconds until Mr. Tomlin gets his 1st win :tt02:

Black@Gold Forever32
09-09-2007, 01:34 AM
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/07252/815890-66.stm


This is an exciting and nerve racking time for us Steeler fans. We're not used to changing coaches very often. For many Steeler fans Cowher is the only coach they've ever really known; with Noll being just a legend that they've heard about. Im excited to see how the attitude of the team is this year on the field as much as Im excited to see the new schemes.

Tomlin's day has arrived, he's the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers and now it's time to make his mark and see what he can do.

I'm one of those Steelers fans that only knows Bill Cowher as HC...I remember Coach Noll's last few years........But I wanted change since I thought it was time for a change....I thought the Rooneys should have made a change after the 2001 AFC title game loss to the Pats...lol So I welcomed the Mike Tomlin era from the jump.....But its weird not having Cowher on the sideline...lol But I think Coach Tomlin is a great choice and I'm very excited about this new direction....

BlitzburghRockCity
09-09-2007, 01:37 AM
The biggest thing for me, other than obviously not seeing Cowher there will be the non-emotional Mike Tomlin vs the fire and brimstone BC on the sidelines. Im sure Mike will show his style of emotion so it's not like he'll never get into the game but still it will be a far cry from what we're used to seeing.

It was time for a change, yes there is no doubt in mind about that, but it will still be weird for awhile :lol:

BlackGold4vr
09-09-2007, 02:07 AM
I believe these players have come to respect coach Tomlin and will work hard to stay out of his dog house. Like the article talks about, after they hit the field he is a no nonsense guy and demands player accountability. These guys know that this is not coach Cowher who played to his favorites. If a player has a horrible game he could easily find his back-up taking his job. No jobs are safe except maybe the punters, kickers and long snappers (only because they have no back-ups). I see the players responding to this coach. Excited to see the team in action.

:helmet:

SteelerNation
09-09-2007, 02:29 AM
I for one welcome this change if mike has a 10-6 season and no playoffs i wont bitch its more then most new coaches have done and by far a milestone to what the browns have done:hail: lets just hope that mike lives up to hype...

Come on KICK OFF

SteelersWoman
09-09-2007, 03:06 AM
11 hours to go!!! Great article TG

BB2W
09-09-2007, 10:40 AM
I knew the players would come around and beleive in him as a coach... just like all of us have. It didn't take me long. I knew who he was, but I never heard him speak unitl the press conference that announced him as head coach. The more I hear him speak or the more quotes I read from him... the more I like him.

Hopefully we win games... bottom line, like the article.

digdug
09-09-2007, 11:49 AM
MT is someone who instills confidence in people. I had not heard of him before the announcement of him becoming coach. Since then, I have done my research and to a player, coach, or front office person that he has coached around - everyone believes in him to make the Steelers a better football TEAM than we could have been otherwise.

The accountability and no nonsense approach is one that the team needed - some players were resting on their laurels (no names) - but with this new approach it seems that another level of intensity has been brought back - one that the team lacked under the last year of BC.

Here's to MT's first win being the first win over the Stains - and to a lot more in the future!!

:towelwave:

AZ_Steeler
09-09-2007, 08:07 PM
that's one hell of a way to chime in your new era...thumping your divisional rival on their home field!!! Welcome to Pittsburgh Coach Tomlin!

:cope: