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Thread: Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

  1. #1
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    Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
    Sunday, July 25, 2010




    The Arizona Cardinals recently rewarded coach Ken Whisenhunt with a four-year contract extension, plus a team option for a fifth year.

    The Minnesota Vikings last season extended their coach, Brad Childress, for three years. The San Diego Chargers did the same six months ago for Norv Turner, extending his contract by three years despite his latest playoff failure.

    Two years ago, the New Orleans Saints gave coach Sean Payton a five-year extension.

    The Steelers didn't follow that pattern. They apparently believe Mike Tomlin "has proven to be one of the top head coaches in the National Football League," as team president Art Rooney II put it Friday, but they have extended his contract by a mere two years.

    The team announced the move Friday. It secures Tomlin through 2012, with a team option for 2013. Financial details were not revealed.

    Without having been privy to the negotiations, it's impossible to know why the extension wasn't longer. Bill Cowher's final extension as Steelers coach was for two years, but his previous two extensions were for three years, both with two years left on his contract. Tomlin had one year, plus an option, left on his deal.

    The two-year extension could be interpreted as a less-than-overwhelming show of faith in Tomlin, whose .646 winning percentage is best in the NFL among those who've coached at least three seasons. He also is one of five active coaches to win a Super Bowl. He has won two division titles in three years. He has a 31-17 record.

    On the other hand, while one of his three seasons ended in a Super Bowl parade, the other two ended in calamity.

    The Wild-Card game against Jacksonville three years ago was a coaching debacle, punctuated by Tomlin's mind-blowing decision to call for a two-point conversion attempt from the 12-yard line ó after a holding penalty ó when his team trailed by only five points with more than 10 minutes left.

    Tomlin followed up with a masterful performance in 2008, navigating his team through a treacherous schedule and becoming the youngest coach in NFL history to win the Super Bowl.

    The title defense was a disaster. Tomlin's false bravado could have provided the voice-over for a Football Follies film on the late-season collapse.

    The quote that shall live in infamy: "We will unleash hell here in December." Tomlin said it before losses to the Raiders and Browns, a package of back-to-back defeats as embarrassing as any in recent Steelers history.

    The playoff miss, combined with an offseason from, well, hell, left many wondering if Rooney would be wise to hold off on a Tomlin extension this summer.

    But maybe the Steelers struck the perfect balance. They rewarded Tomlin's accomplishments ó we'll know by how much when financial terms are revealed ó and avoided yet another potential camp distraction by ending speculation about his future. The extension provides a sense of stability.

    At the same time, the two-year term leaves the distinct impression that Rooney wants to see a larger sampling of Tomlin's work.

    We're all waiting to see how Tomlin handles the storm coming his way, beginning Friday when players report to training camp amid a rash of uncertainty and upset.

    One of the big questions: How will Tomlin handle his quarterback situation? Snaps must be divvied up among Byron Leftwich, Dennis Dixon, Charlie Batch and embattled star Ben Roethlisberger, who is not eligible to play in at least the first four games but will be a larger-than-life camp presence.

    Meanwhile, Tomlin must find the right balance on offense, working with pass-happy coordinator Bruce Arians. The two are under a Rooney mandate to run the ball more effectively, if not more often.

    Last year's horrific kick coverage and cornerback play must be fixed. LaMarr Woodley is unhappy. Willie Colon is gone for the season. Santonio Holmes is gone for good. Dixon's agent is calling for his client to start. The defense is getting old. The competition within the division is daunting (except for Cleveland).

    What we have here is a critical moment in Steelers history, one that cries for a strong leader. I'm betting Tomlin is up to the challenge.

    Storm hits Friday.

    http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 91896.html

  2. #2
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    Re: Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    Starkey is such a hater. Hey Starkey, maybe the Steelers wanted a longer deal but were offering less per year and Tomlin's side said, "How about a shorter deal at those terms?"

    Duh....

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    Re: Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    voice of reason.

    sometimes it can be found, even in the media.

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    Re: Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    Starkey is such a hater. Hey Starkey, maybe the Steelers wanted a longer deal but were offering less per year and Tomlin's side said, "How about a shorter deal at those terms?"

    Duh....

    uranut.

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    Re: Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    ... And maybe, just maybe the organization didn't want to be on the hook for multiple years (also considering the possible lockout) so as to see whether last season was a fluke or future pattern....

    It was good business sense. Either way. Period...

    If he turns out to be good (as alot of us hope), then they can re-sign him... If not, based on the lockout year, they aren't on the hook for much... It's common sense.

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    Re: Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    Quote Originally Posted by ANPSTEEL
    Quote Originally Posted by stlrz d
    Starkey is such a hater. Hey Starkey, maybe the Steelers wanted a longer deal but were offering less per year and Tomlin's side said, "How about a shorter deal at those terms?"

    Duh....

    uranut.
    Why? Because I pointed out something that could be a possibility? That's all Starkey did...except I didn't take the negative view like Starkey always does. And I don't write for a newspaper.

    Other than that I did the same thing...came up with a possible reason for why the deal was done the way it was and for the length it was done for.

    Don't get mad at me just because you're a Tomlin fence sitter and now the post from the fence you're sitting on is wedged somewhere that's not comfortable for you.

    Tomlin's done a fine job here (I have realistic expectations unlike most fans) and I'd be absolutely shocked if he wasn't Steelers HC for at least 10 years.

  7. #7

    Re: Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    I think Starkey was dead on with this article. Regardless of the resolution in the labor situation, I don't think that coaching salaries will change significantly going forward. If the Rooneys were 100% sold on Tomlin, I think they would have made more of an effort to lock him up to a longer term deal. Winning a SB in his second season was a great accomplishment, but Tomlin looked like a dear in the headlights last season. It was the first time he was faced with some real adversity, and he didn't rise to the occasion.

    From a pure business perspective, I'm quite glad that the Rooneys didn't extend Tomlin immediately after the 2008 season. Giving him a long term deal, with his value at its peak, would have been a big mistake, and I'm glad they didn't do so. By the same token, perhaps, as D suggested, Tomlin realized his value was at its lowest, and decided to wait before being locked into a long term deal. While this is possible, I agree with Starkey's position that the Steelers are still evaluating whether they see Tomlin as a long term answer.

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    Re: Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    This is garbage article. Even Cowher typically signed 2 years extensions.
    Fact he did this a couple of times if I recall. This is Steelers way of doing business
    with HC. Nothing new here.

  9. #9

    Re: Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelers>NFL
    This is garbage article. Even Cowher typically signed 2 years extensions.
    Fact he did this a couple of times if I recall. This is Steelers way of doing business
    with HC. Nothing new here.
    Agreed. It's just Starkey trying to rile up those not yet sold on Tomlin.

  10. #10
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    Re: Starkey: Tomlinís deal intriguing

    Didn't Cowher always only get 2-3 extensions and not til right before his contract was up?
    Seemed pretty standard to me.

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