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SteelerNation
09-26-2007, 05:42 PM
Once loyal employees, Whisenhunt and Grimm would love to knock off players they used to coach
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Post-Gazette photo illustration
From left: Ken Whisenhunt, Mike Tomlin, Russ Grimm.Three of the four finalists for the Steelers' head coaching job early this year will stand on the field Sunday in Arizona.

There will be Ken Whisenhunt, who took the Cardinals' offer rather than wait for the Steelers to go through a more protracted interview process.

There will be Cardinals assistant head coach and line coach Russ Grimm, who thought he had the Steelers' job only to learn a day later he did not.

And there will be Mike Tomlin, who is tied with Bill Cowher as the only Steelers' rookie coach to win his first three games.

As Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger acknowledged Sunday, it should make for an interesting week.

"It's going to be a great game, I think," defensive end Brett Keisel said. "Arizona is going to come at us with everything they have. Whis wants to win that game, I think, more than getting to the Super Bowl and winning it. I know they're all excited to play us."

Whisenhunt was the Steelers' offensive coordinator the past three seasons under Bill Cowher, and their tight ends coach for three seasons before that. Grimm, a native of Scottdale in Westmoreland County who played at Pitt, was the Steelers' offensive line coach since 2001 and promoted to assistant head coach in '04 in part to help him get a head coaching job.

As it became more evident that '06 would be Cowher's last season, Whisenhunt and Grimm quickly became prime candidates, if not the candidates to succeed him. Whisenhunt even opted out of the Atlanta Falcons search for a coach when he told them he wanted to wait for the Steelers' decision.

He changed his mind after interviewing with Arizona and accepted its offer.

The Steelers choice then came down to Grimm and Tomlin, a young outsider seen as a long shot. Grimm thought he had the job on Jan. 20, and there were published reports that both Grimm and Tomlin would be the new head coach. Tomlin was given the job Jan 21 and introduced as the new coach at a news conference Jan. 22.

Team president Art Rooney II acknowledged that "leaks," including those from the NFL office, led to confusion and that there might have been a misunderstanding on Grimm's part.

"I think it's fair to say Russ was close," Rooney said in January. "We gave serious consideration to giving Russ the job and he merited it. That's why we made him a finalist."

It's fair to say Grimm would like nothing better than for the Cardinals to beat the Steelers Sunday.

Keisel joked about it when he said the Steelers would "get ready to go down and smack Russ around."

"It's going to be cool, I think," Keisel said. "It'll be interesting to go out there and face Whis, who we're used to going against. It'll be nice to see them again."

But neither Grimm nor Whisenhunt will get to play against the Steelers, and it's hard to tell if their passion for this game can be passed to players who weren't emotionally involved. Only three Steelers from last season are on the Cardinals' roster -- special teams player Sean Morey, defensive end Rodney Bailey and center Chukky Okobi, signed by Arizona two weeks ago after the six-year veteran was released by the Steelers before the opener. They also have tight end Tim Euhus, who spent the first week last season on the Steelers' roster.

The Cardinals have played well despite a 1-2 record. Each of their two losses came in the closing minute on the road, in their opener at San Francisco and Sunday at Baltimore. They beat a good Seattle team at home.

Tomlin can become the first Steelers coach to win his first four games. Jim Mora was the last rookie coach to go 4-0 in 2004 with Atlanta. He was fired after the '06 season.

Wally Lemm holds the NFL record by winning the first 10 games he coached. He took over for Lou Rymkus after the Houston Oilers opened 1-3-1 in the 1961 season of the old American Football League. The Oilers won their next 10 games, including the AFL championship against San Diego. Lemm then quit to become head coach of the old St. Louis Cardinals.

Those Cardinals are in Arizona today, and a rivalry with the Steelers, at least for one year, began the day Whisenhunt was hired. It intensified when Grimm was hired after the Steelers spurned him. It picked up in the offseason when Whisenhunt and Roethlisberger disagreed over why the quarterback had a poor 2006. Roethlisberger has since taken some not-so-subtle swipes at the "old" Steelers offense under Whisenhunt vs. the new one under Bruce Arians.

"Obviously they're going to be coming off a hard loss and coming at us with everything they have," Keisel said. "I think it's going to be our biggest test of the year."

BBG7
09-26-2007, 05:48 PM
It should make for an interseting game

Friday133
09-26-2007, 05:48 PM
What is a fude?

StlersGuy
09-26-2007, 06:22 PM
I don't know how it is a rivalry, when well they only play us like what every 4 years

BlitzburghRockCity
09-26-2007, 07:49 PM
What is a fude?

coughcough spellcheck coughcough :lol:

Bring on the cards and bring Whiz and Grimm, those 2 don't know what they are up against in this new Steeler team !

SteelerNation
09-26-2007, 10:16 PM
coughcough spellcheck coughcough :lol:

Bring on the cards and bring Whiz and Grimm, those 2 don't know what they are up against in this new Steeler team !



:cursin: thats what happens when u drink all day :cursin: :lol:

BlitzburghRockCity
09-26-2007, 10:22 PM
I wish I could drink all day...man just think if they'd supply beer in the vending machines at work ! :woot: now THAT would be awesome ! :lol:

oh that's right, the cards game this weekend, sorry.. :reddevil:

black an gold 4 life
09-27-2007, 01:19 AM
I BELIEVE WE R GONNA C SOME OF THE BEST FOOTBALL PITTSBURGH HAS 2 OFFER THIS WEEK THIS GAME IS IMPORTANT 2 BOTH COACHES AN IS AN STATEMENT GAME 4 BOTH COACHES, WITH THAT BEING SAID STEELERS 40-CARDS 10

BBG7
09-27-2007, 01:24 AM
I am excited about this weekend. We need to come out on fire and play with passion and intensity. I think this is going to be our toughest game so far, but Tomlin is not going to let the two guys he beat out for the job beat us!

NOVA STEELERS
09-27-2007, 12:37 PM
I agree that it is going to be a great game and will be the STEELERS toughest contest in this young season........ As long as the STEELERS continue with the game plan and style that has worked this year they will be flying back home with another W in the win colume...........

SteelerNation
09-29-2007, 12:14 AM
Matt you know what ima invent that a vending machine that pops out some nice ice cold budwiser


You want in? lol

floodcitygirl
09-29-2007, 12:46 AM
but Tomlin is not going to let the two guys he beat out for the job beat us!Good point! Let's hope he shows the Rooney's chose right again.

Stairwayto7
09-29-2007, 06:45 AM
2 on 1, and we win!