View Full Version : Steelers' Tomlin earns unexpected respect

09-30-2007, 05:59 AM

By John Harris (jharris@tribweb.com)
Sunday, September 30, 2007

What is it about Steelers coach Mike Tomlin? Even some of the players he fires have good things to say about him.

Tomlin didn't release center Chukky Okobi on Sept. 1. "Release" and "cut" are words popularized by sports writers and fans.
Tomlin fired Okobi, plain and simple. Took money out of his pocket, food off his table.
Here's what Okobi had to say last week about Tomlin, the man who delivered his pink slip:

"I've got no qualms at all with coach Tomlin. I've got a lot of respect for him. He's going to have a lot of success. We will always have a good relationship, I think. On a personal level, I got to know him maybe a little bit better than other people did. Maybe that's why when I (left) we did have as lengthy a conversation as we did."

Facing Tomlin and his former Steelers teammates today as a member of the Arizona Cardinals will be three-plus hours of mixed emotions for Okobi, the only player let go by Tomlin who entered training camp as a potential starter.

"I had worked so hard to be the guy in that position, playing center for Pittsburgh. It's not like playing any other position. There's a longstanding tradition there. I know all about it, especially being a local guy," said Okobi, who was raised in Pittsburgh and started seven games in six seasons with the Steelers.
Telling a player he's no longer a member of the team is never easy. Okobi said Tomlin gained his respect when he explained his decision in detail....

09-30-2007, 10:59 AM
That's cool.

09-30-2007, 12:44 PM
I can only imagine that Okobi's feelings will be mixed today. Business is business but when you're born and bred in Pittsburgh and have had the opportunity to be a part of that team and history....???? Tough position.

black an gold 4 life
09-30-2007, 01:30 PM
well it is what it is lol lol

09-30-2007, 04:07 PM
If we win today he'll get the respect as the Head Coach of the first Steeler team to go 4-0 since the Dynasty era of the 70's.

10-01-2007, 01:13 PM
Watching Tomlin before the game he has a lot of respect from a lot of people. He even stood at midfield for about 10 minutes waiting on Whisenhunt to come and say "Hey"... for a while I thought Whiz was going to dis him but eventually found his way to midfield and the two coaches embraced!

Tomlin is a class act and gives everyone respect... you can just see it!

10-01-2007, 01:21 PM
he is class, I like him, and how he shows respect