Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: His way, Tomlin looking to leave mark

          
   
   
    Bookmark and Share
  1. #1
    Tailgate Coordinator
    Stlrs4Life's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Bedford, Pa.
    Posts
    3,956

    Post His way, Tomlin looking to leave mark

    Just in case his head gets a little too big, either from becoming only the third Steelers head coach in the past 38 years or perhaps by doing so by the tender age of 34, Mike Tomlin knows that there are still people in Pittsburgh who need proof that he's ready take over one of sports' most hallowed jobs -- including some in his own house.

    "My kids are totally and utterly unimpressed," said Tomlin, who has since turned 35 and is the second-youngest head coach in the NFL. "I was getting ready to go to a function (this summer) and my five-year-old was flipping through the channels, and when my face came on the screen from one of my press conferences, he went straight past Dad and onto the Cartoon Network.

    "Never even paused. You gotta love that."

    Such ambivalence, of course, is not shared by the remainder of Steelers Nation. The hiring of Tomlin, having spent only one season as an NFL defensive coordinator, was an upset to be sure. He went head to head for the job, vacated by Bill Cowher after a 15-year run, against popular Cowher assistants, Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm, who were believed to be the favorites for the position.

    But throughout the interview process, team chairman Dan Rooney, president Art Rooney II and the rest of the Steelers' decision-makers kept coming back to Tomlin. They continued looking hard at a young, intense guy whom they believed would end up being a head coach elsewhere within a year if they didn't hire him. They loved Tomlin's fire.

    They were blown away by his interviews. To a man, every person they spoke to about Tomlin absolutely raved about him.

    "It was a surprise when he was picked," CB Ike Taylor said. "Everyone was like, 'Where did that come from?' But we knew the Rooneys knew what they were doing, so we had faith it was a good decision."

    Cowher was 34 when he got the job. He had limited coordinator experience, too. So the idea of hiring Tomlin wasn't against what team officials like to call The Steelers' Way.

    It just sent a message that things would be changing in 2007.

    "Transition is never easy," Tomlin said soon after getting the job. "It's good to be a little uncomfortable."

    "I think there was a need for change," said a former Steeler who is on another team's roster this season. "Not that (Cowher) had lost the team. I just think guys got a little too comfortable. We all did.

    "We had just won the Super Bowl. You didn't notice it at first, but when we started out the way we did (2-6 to open the season), it was pretty obvious."

    Rumors of 2006 being Cowher's final season percolated from the moment the team hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Combined with Ben Roethlisberger's season-long trials -- the bike accident followed by the appendectomy followed by the concussion -- it led to a bittersweet exit, even with a promising 6-2 finish and an 8-8 mark.

    Tomlin, not surprising to those who know him, approached his interview with vigor. He knew he'd have to go above and beyond to make the Steelers pass over two known quantities in Whisenhunt, believed to be Cowher's preference, and Grimm, who outwardly appeared to be a good fit in a blue-collar city. Of course, it didn't hurt that the founder of the so-called "Rooney Rule," which requires teams to interview a minority candidate for vacant head-coaching jobs, was named after the Steelers' owner.

    "All I knew when I went in there to talk was that I had a shot," said Tomlin. "That's all I wanted."

    And he was used to beating out the more-seasoned competition. At 27, Tomlin was coaching the secondary at the University of Cincinnati, only two years after switching to defense from being a receivers coach at Arkansas State. He was in Cleveland recruiting in early 2001 when he made a quick call to the Bearcats' football office to check messages. There was one: Then-Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy had called wanting to interview Tomlin for the vacant secondary coach job.

    "I was like, 'Yeah, whatever," Tomlin said. "That's what buddies do when you are out recruiting, they play jokes on you. I told our secretary to hold onto the phone number and that I would check back at the end of the day.

    "But then I called back, and Coach Dungy had called again. I got the number, and it was 813 (area code). I said, 'Man, that's Tampa, Florida.'"

    It was, in fact, Dungy calling, and Tomlin flew down to Tampa to be the ninth -- and final -- interviewee for the job. It was no contest. Monte Kiffin, the team's longtime defensive coordinator, said the room came alive during the interview. Lions head coach Rod Marinelli, the Bucs' DL coach at the time, said he knew Tomlin was the choice right away. Bucs FS John Lynch, who sat in on the interviews and was six months older than Tomlin, told anyone who would listen that Tomlin should be the pick. He was.

    "When I got the (Bucs') job, I knew they had interviewed eight other reputable position coaches who I had a great deal of respect for, guys who were my peers in college football that were doing big things at big BCS schools.

    "I learned a lot about the process and about not worrying about the competition from that experience. So my perspective going into (the Steelers' interview) was a little different."

    In his time with Dungy, Tomlin also gained the proper perspective of how to run a team on an everyday basis.

    "He was the same guy every day," Tomlin said. "Regardless of circumstance, he never rode the emotional roller coaster and made sure his team never did. The confidence he had in his players and the coaches, the men who helped execute the plans he laid out, it showed. It permeated throughout the organization."

    Tomlin's calling card, like Dungy's, is defense. Despite playing wideout at William & Mary (where he was teammates with FS Darren Sharper, whom he coached in Minnesota last season), Tomlin said he always was attracted to the urgency of defense.

    "You can avoid bad offensive situations," Tomlin explained. "You can throw the ball out of bounds, you can live to play another down. But I just love the urgency of being on the defensive side of the ball -- every time the ball is snapped, you have to make something happen."

    Despite leading the Vikings to a great turnaround on defense last season (from 21st in '05 to eighth in '06, including No. 1 vs. the run), one of Tomlin's first moves was retaining longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the famed architect of the fire-zone defense and a popular figure in Pittsburgh. The combination of LeBeau, a 3-4 proponent, and Tomlin, a disciple of the Tampa-2 scheme embodied by Dungy, Kiffin, Marinelli, Lovie Smith and others, has Steelers fans both curious and anxious to see what concoctions the two can brew up. ...........................





    http://insider.espn.go.com/nfl/insid...ory?id=2988142

    I'm A "Champion"

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Originally from Johnstown, PA...now trapped in Bungleland
    Posts
    5,042

    Coach Tomlin

    Tomlin looking to leave mark (Source: ESPN)
    Just in case his head gets a little too big, either from becoming only the third Steelers head coach in the past 38 years or perhaps by doing so by the tender age of 34, Mike Tomlin knows that there are still people in Pittsburgh who need proof that he's ready take over one of sports' most hallowed jobs -- including some in his own house.

    "My kids are totally and utterly unimpressed," said Tomlin, who has since turned 35 and is the second-youngest head coach in the NFL. "I was getting ready to go to a function (this summer) and my five-year-old was flipping through the channels, and when my face came on the screen from one of my press conferences, he went straight past Dad and onto the Cartoon Network.

    "Never even paused. You gotta love that."

    Such ambivalence, of course, is not shared by the remainder of Steelers Nation. The hiring of Tomlin, having spent only one season as an NFL defensive coordinator, was an upset to be sure. He went head to head for the job, vacated by Bill Cowher after a 15-year run, against popular Cowher assistants, Ken Whisenhunt and Russ Grimm, who were believed to be the favorites for the position.

    But throughout the interview process, team chairman Dan Rooney, president Art Rooney II and the rest of the Steelers' decision-makers kept coming back to Tomlin. They continued looking hard at a young, intense guy whom they believed would end up being a head coach elsewhere within a year if they didn't hire him. They loved Tomlin's fire.

    They were blown away by his interviews. To a man, every person they spoke to about Tomlin absolutely raved about him.

    "It was a surprise when he was picked," CB Ike Taylor said. "Everyone was like, 'Where did that come from?' But we knew the Rooneys knew what they were doing, so we had faith it was a good decision."

    Cowher was 34 when he got the job. He had limited coordinator experience, too. So the idea of hiring Tomlin wasn't against what team officials like to call The Steelers' Way.

    It just sent a message that things would be changing in 2007.

    "Transition is never easy," Tomlin said soon after getting the job. "It's good to be a little uncomfortable."

    "I think there was a need for change," said a former Steeler who is on another team's roster this season. "Not that (Cowher) had lost the team. I just think guys got a little too comfortable. We all did.

    "We had just won the Super Bowl. You didn't notice it at first, but when we started out the way we did (2-6 to open the season), it was pretty obvious."

    Rumors of 2006 being Cowher's final season percolated from the moment the team hoisted the Lombardi Trophy. Combined with Ben Roethlisberger's season-long trials -- the bike accident followed by the appendectomy followed by the concussion -- it led to a bittersweet exit, even with a promising 6-2 finish and an 8-8 mark.

    Tomlin, not surprising to those who know him, approached his interview with vigor. He knew he'd have to go above and beyond to make the Steelers pass over two known quantities in Whisenhunt, believed to be Cowher's preference, and Grimm, who outwardly appeared to be a good fit in a blue-collar city. Of course, it didn't hurt that the founder of the so-called "Rooney Rule," which requires teams to interview a minority candidate for vacant head-coaching jobs, was named after the Steelers' owner.

    "All I knew when I went in there to talk was that I had a shot," said Tomlin. "That's all I wanted."

    And he was used to beating out the more-seasoned competition. At 27, Tomlin was coaching the secondary at the University of Cincinnati, only two years after switching to defense from being a receivers coach at Arkansas State. He was in Cleveland recruiting in early 2001 when he made a quick call to the Bearcats' football office to check messages. There was one: Then-Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy had called wanting to interview Tomlin for the vacant secondary coach job.

    "I was like, 'Yeah, whatever," Tomlin said. "That's what buddies do when you are out recruiting, they play jokes on you. I told our secretary to hold onto the phone number and that I would check back at the end of the day.

    "But then I called back, and Coach Dungy had called again. I got the number, and it was 813 (area code). I said, 'Man, that's Tampa, Florida.'"

    It was, in fact, Dungy calling, and Tomlin flew down to Tampa to be the ninth -- and final -- interviewee for the job. It was no contest. Monte Kiffin, the team's longtime defensive coordinator, said the room came alive during the interview. Lions head coach Rod Marinelli, the Bucs' DL coach at the time, said he knew Tomlin was the choice right away. Bucs FS John Lynch, who sat in on the interviews and was six months older than Tomlin, told anyone who would listen that Tomlin should be the pick. He was.

    "When I got the (Bucs') job, I knew they had interviewed eight other reputable position coaches who I had a great deal of respect for, guys who were my peers in college football that were doing big things at big BCS schools.

    "I learned a lot about the process and about not worrying about the competition from that experience. So my perspective going into (the Steelers' interview) was a little different."

    In his time with Dungy, Tomlin also gained the proper perspective of how to run a team on an everyday basis.

    "He was the same guy every day," Tomlin said. "Regardless of circumstance, he never rode the emotional roller coaster and made sure his team never did. The confidence he had in his players and the coaches, the men who helped execute the plans he laid out, it showed. It permeated throughout the organization."

    Tomlin's calling card, like Dungy's, is defense. Despite playing wideout at William & Mary (where he was teammates with FS Darren Sharper, whom he coached in Minnesota last season), Tomlin said he always was attracted to the urgency of defense.

    "You can avoid bad offensive situations," Tomlin explained. "You can throw the ball out of bounds, you can live to play another down. But I just love the urgency of being on the defensive side of the ball -- every time the ball is snapped, you have to make something happen."

    Despite leading the Vikings to a great turnaround on defense last season (from 21st in '05 to eighth in '06, including No. 1 vs. the run), one of Tomlin's first moves was retaining longtime defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, the famed architect of the fire-zone defense and a popular figure in Pittsburgh. The combination of LeBeau, a 3-4 proponent, and Tomlin, a disciple of the Tampa-2 scheme embodied by Dungy, Kiffin, Marinelli, Lovie Smith and others, has Steelers fans both curious and anxious to see what concoctions the two can brew up.

    Tomlin says he's willing to defer to the master, LeBeau, whose most intriguing machination has been to put 285-pound DE Brett Keisel into an Adalius Thomas-like role, moving him all over the field.

    "He is Dick LeBeau, are you kidding me?" Tomlin says with a laugh. "It was comfortable for me (letting LeBeau run the defense). I went to work every day for five years with Monte Kiffin. They are different people, but they are very similar in that they are very passionate in what they do, they are great with people and they know the game."

    And to those who know the game, the outward perspective of the Steelers' organization casts a great irony. Cowher was seen as the gruff, ****-and-vinegar coach who embodied everything about Steelers football and the tough city that embraces it. But Tomlin, the new kid on the block, often is seen as the slick, fast riser and a beneficiary of young coaching hires league-wide.

    Tomlin's early media sessions and reports from previous co-workers and players also revealed that he was well-liked, even by players such as current Redskins CB Fred Smoot, who was benched by Tomlin last season when he was the Vikings' defensive coordinator.

    But the difference in styles between the two coaches, so far, has been diametrical in part. Cowher, sources say, had taken it easier on his veteran club in recent years, especially during training camp, when he rarely practiced at full speed twice in a day.

    Tomlin, however, indelibly established the theme of his first training camp (the Steelers were the first team to report) when he scheduled 15 two-a-day practices, including one draconian 11-day stretch that included 21 full-pad sessions. Other than throwing his team an occasional bone, Tomlin has yet to veer from his original design of molding, as he said, "a tough, battle-hardened team.

    "I am not trying to make any statements, I am not trying to set any tones. I am really approaching this as I have every job I have had: To put ourselves in a position to be our very best. There is no underlying theme. There's no message. We're just trying to be the best team we can be, and (practicing hard) is just one way for me to try to achieve that."

    The early reports on Tomlin have been positive, but not every veteran has bought into the system 100 percent. And there were players, especially some of the offensive leaders, who were less than thrilled that neither Whisenhunt nor Grimm got the job.

    "Honestly, that didn't bother me at all," Tomlin said. "If these guys didn't want (Whisenhunt or Grimm) to get the job, I would think something was wrong." But Tomlin's first big challenge as coach was to diffuse the ugly and public displeasure of All-Pro OLG Alan Faneca, who aired out complaints about his contract in the wake of a flurry of enormous contracts being handed out in free agency to offensive guards that many, including Faneca, had deemed as lesser talents. With one year left on his deal, Faneca threatened a holdout until a new contract was done and proclaimed this to be his final year as a Steeler, challenging Tomlin's control of the team before the team took a snap of significance.

    The two men handled their business privately, with Tomlin imploring his player to separate his displeasure with his deal and his professionalism as a player. Faneca, reluctantly, said he'd report to camp.

    "It's not a team issue, so we're not making it a team issue," Tomlin said, via telephone before camp. "It's an issue for Alan. I understand that. But the reality is that I have to coach this team, he has to play left guard, and that's all that matters."

    Observers have watched the relationship between Tomlin and Roethlisberger, which is starting better than the QB's relationship with Cowher ended. Roethlisberger spoke often this summer about how the elder Cowher never much related to him, especially during his hellish '06 season, and raved about his new coach, saying that he and Tomlin "would be rookies together."

    Tomlin, it appears, can relate to Roethlisberger's competitiveness, which was on display in the first practice of training camp when the QB endeared himself to his coach and teammates by running 110 yards 14 times -- a conditioning drill Roethlisberger was excused from by participating in 44 offseason practices or workouts.

    "He has the desire to be great," Tomlin said of his quarterback. "He takes his work personally, as I think you should. He's kind of a football junkie, too, like I am."

    One player who has embraced the Tomlin era to date has been Taylor, who fell hard following a tremendous season in 2005 to a nightmarish one in '06. One of the first players Tomlin spoke with after getting the job was Taylor, whom he promised would get a fresh start.

    "First of all, he came and spoke to me like a man," Taylor said. "I appreciated that. He talked about his expectations for me and that I needed to let (last season) go. That was what I needed. I feel like a new man now."

    When asked if Cowher did not handle him or his struggles properly, Taylor said no. "Different coaches have different ways of communicating, that's what I'll say. But this is Mike Tomlin's team now -- he's the head coach, no question."

    For good or bad, though, the shadow of Cowher, a likely Hall of Famer, still looms over a team that won a Super Bowl 18 months ago. And as a reminder for what Tomlin is representing as Steelers coach, training-camp practices at St. Vincent College are held on Chuck Noll Field.

    It's part of the spectre of coaching in this city, so whether everyone inside or outside the organization is on board or not, Tomlin is embracing his new situation. He's believed to be the first Steelers head coach to live in the city limits since the 1950s. He has opened doors with players who felt shut out. But Tomlin also is doing things his way.

    "It's the only way I know how," he said.

    And while it's all daunting enough, Tomlin knows he's working for as patient an owner as there is in the game. Knowing that, worrying about impressing people -- impatient fans, disgruntled veterans, his five-year-old -- is best left for someone else.

  3. #3
    StlersGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Westerville, OH now but from Mount Lebanon, PA
    Posts
    7,863
    My Mood
    patriots-hater

    My Social Networks

    Follow StlersGuy On Twitter Add StlersGuy on Facebook Add StlersGuy on Google+ Visit StlersGuy's Youtube Channel
    I am liking what I am reading about our new coach.

  4. #4
    Snake Champion steelersgal86's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    painesville, ohio
    Posts
    14,757
    My Mood
    Smokin
    Very good article!! I cannot wait for him to get his first regular season win...against the clowns


    Thanks for the sig Flea

  5. #5
    Tha BEER Guy, Beer HEERRE
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    IN YOUR PC
    Posts
    1,620
    I have read both of these and have some faith and feel good but still not sure on the guy. We will see how it fairs after week 4 what kind of coach he is.

  6. #6
    Da Film Crew Mike Tomlin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    923
    I think he'll be the next great steelers coach.
    C:\Documents and Settings\Owner.NASHA\My Documents\My Pictures\steelers-logan%20large.jpg

  7. #7
    StlersGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Westerville, OH now but from Mount Lebanon, PA
    Posts
    7,863
    My Mood
    patriots-hater

    My Social Networks

    Follow StlersGuy On Twitter Add StlersGuy on Facebook Add StlersGuy on Google+ Visit StlersGuy's Youtube Channel
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Tomlin View Post
    I think he'll be the next great steelers coach.
    wait you mean we have had a coach before that was not great

    I thought all Steeler coaches where great

  8. #8
    Waterboy
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Steelx View Post
    I have read both of these and have some faith and feel good but still not sure on the guy. We will see how it fairs after week 4 what kind of coach he is.
    I agree. Give the gent some time in the NFL. Then we'll see if we go like this.... or like this....

    Stepping back into the shadows...
    The Agent

  9. #9
    BlacknGold Bleeder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    da Burgh
    Posts
    5,384
    Quote Originally Posted by Steelx View Post
    ..... We will see how it fairs after week 4 what kind of coach he is.
    Boy that's a short leash only 4 weeks !!




    BITE ME ICS!...Woodsonsgirl

  10. #10
    Starter
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Stationed in GTMO(Cuba)
    Posts
    1,530
    The time we see a bad coach is when the Rooneys dont own the steelers anymore At least I hope so, but They havent had a bad coach in as long as most people can remember, so I think its okay to expect good things

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Mike Tomlin vs. Cam Cameron
    By DIESELMAN in forum Steelers Talk
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 07-21-2007, 10:09 PM
  2. Tomlin deflects controversy with easy manner
    By SteelersWoman in forum Steelers Talk
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-20-2007, 10:30 PM
  3. Tomlin embraces new role as All Pro Dad
    By SteelerNation in forum Steelers Talk
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 05-19-2007, 04:07 AM
  4. Chatting with Mike Tomlin....
    By DIESELMAN in forum Steelers Talk
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 02-13-2007, 04:40 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •