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Thread: Good Read on Tomlin

  1. #1
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    Good Read on Tomlin



    As Steelers coaches gathered at Seven Springs Mountain Resort to celebrate their Super Bowl win in February 2009, the mood was festive.

    There was a sense of relief and accomplishment. Two years after being hired, Mike Tomlin, at 36, was the youngest head coach to win the Super Bowl, fulfilling a promise he made to his mother, Julia Copeland, that he wouldn't wait long to lift the Lombardi Trophy.

    “He said right away, ‘It's Super Bowl or bust,' and he believed in what he was preaching,” said Terry Hammons, an Upper St. Clair native and one of Tomlin's closest friends.

    The arrow, as Tomlin loves to say, was pointing up.

    After going 60-28 in Tomlin's first five seasons, the arrow suddenly shifted directions. The Steelers are coming off successive 8-8 records as they open their eighth training camp under Tomlin on Friday at St. Vincent College near Latrobe.

    Think the pressure isn't on Tomlin? The Steelers haven't had three consecutive non-winning seasons since 1969-71, Chuck Noll's first three seasons.

    It's made him mad, center Maurkice Pouncey said of the .500 seasons. “It has (angered) all of us.”

    Offseason practices were highlighted by plenty of scrimmaging and three fights.

    “They filled some holes, and Mike believes he's got a team that can play the way he wants to play,” said Hammons, Tomlin's former college teammate. “They've got balance. … They can start to beat teams up again. They can go back to playing old-school Steelers football (and) impose their will on you.

    “Mike's pumped up, excited.”

    While the Steelers won six of their final eight games last season and were a missed Kansas City field goal away from the playoffs, Tomlin hasn't forgotten that 0-4 start, the franchise's first in 45 years.

    Tomlin's response to losing — do something about it and in a hurry — has been the same since he was a 69-pound defensive lineman at age 8 in Newport News, Va.

    Ultra-competitive, he kept playing even though he had grown to only 103 pounds as a ninth-grader. He didn't get many offers out of Denbigh High despite adding 70 pounds there, so he landed at nearby William & Mary.

    In between delivering pizzas in a beat-up car to earn spending money, Tomlin made 101 catches for 2,046 yards, 20 touchdowns and a school-record 20.2 yards per catch. He was scouted by the Cleveland Browns but not signed.

    His mother wanted him to attend law school, but Dan Quinn, a former William & Mary assistant, helped get Tomlin a full-time assistant coaching job at Virginia Military Institute on the staff of the late Bill Stewart. Stewart later coached West Virginia.

    “There was no doubt that you knew this guy was really on the rise,” said Quinn, now the defensive coordinator of the Super Bowl-winning Seattle Seahawks. “Mike was the captain of the team, and you knew he had ‘it.' I saw how he led the team and how people gravitated to him.”

    Jobs gravitated to Tomlin, too, at Arkansas State, Memphis and Cincinnati before he landed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2001 at age 29. He won a Super Bowl in his second season there, which soon would become a pattern.

    “I remember thinking to myself, ‘This guy is going to be a head coach,' ” said Heath Farwell, a Vikings linebacker when Tomlin was hired as the Minnesota defensive coordinator in 2006. “When he got that interview in Pittsburgh (in 2007), I said right away, ‘He's the guy.' ”

    In 2012, the Steelers signed Tomlin to a three-year extension that runs through 2016, paying him about $6 million per year. Although NFL coaches' contract figures are not as accessible as players', Tomlin's salary reportedly ranks in the top 10 among head coaches.

    What's funny, Hammons said, is that Tomlin, a sociology major, never talked in college about being a coach.

    “We were grinding through school, playing ball, having a good time,” said Hammons, who turned out to be the lawyer Tomlin's mom wanted him to be. “We weren't thinking 20, 30 years down the road. It never crossed my mind. We didn't talk about any coaching of any sort.”

    Tomlin's coaching style hasn't changed through the years. He is as likely to engage a rookie free agent in a conversation as he is star safety Troy Polamalu. He takes the pulse of his locker room daily rather than entrusting his assistants to do so.

    “He's a very hungry coach. He never settles,” said Lawrence Timmons, an inside linebacker who was Tomlin's first draft pick in 2007. “Just like Tony Dungy. He's a straight-up dude, a straight-up guy.”

    Tomlin differs from Dungy, one of his mentors, in that he isn't as media friendly. He sat down in the offseason to be interviewed for this story. But during the season, he holds only one pregame news conference each week. Every other NFL head coach — even the dour Bill Belichick of the New England Patriots — has at least three and often four.

    When he does speak before the media, Tomlin is measured in his comments.

    “He and Pete Carroll (the media-friendly Seahawks coach) are polar opposites,” Hammons said. “I get a kick out of it when I watch (Tomlin's) news conferences because he's different than I know him. Gosh, he's so serious. But he knows how the media works, how they're hanging on every word and how they can make more out of it (than there is).”

    Away from the cameras, Hammons said, Tomlin is more engaging and less guarded, with an unmistakable sense of humor.

    If a friend receives a phone message in the name of Sam Trautman, a fictitious colonel in the Rambo movies, he'll know it was Tomlin calling.

    “He loves to bust your chops,” Hammons said.

    As much as Tomlin dislikes the 24/7/365 media attention, he unwillingly got plenty of it last season.

    During what was a moment of bravado by a one-time player or pure carelessness, Tomlin inched onto the playing field and slightly interfered with Jacoby Jones on a kickoff return in Baltimore.

    It's still debated whether Tomlin — who was fined $100,000 by the NFL — acted intentionally.

    However, Solomon Wilcots, an analyst for the NFL Network and CBS, said, “That thing didn't even scratch the paint. … He commands respect around the league. He's a leader from a league perspective (being on the competition committee). He's one of the custodians of this league.”

    At 42, Tomlin remains young by NFL coaching standards and seemingly has another 20 years of coaching ahead. Outside of Pittsburgh, the Steelers are viewed as NFL nirvana because they have had only three head coaches in 45 years.

    “I don't assume that,” Tomlin said of the supposed job security.

    Still, Hammons is certain Tomlin wants to coach the Steelers for the long term.

    “I wouldn't want to say anything to (influence) his next contract talks with the Rooneys,” Hammons said. “But he's a happy guy in Pittsburgh. He would love for his sons and daughter to go through school in Pittsburgh. He's talked about that. He's a Pittsburgh guy. He's all in with Western Pennsylvania.”

    Off the field, much of Tomlin's spare time is dedicated to watching his children play sports.

    “His kids are so immersed in sports,” Hammons said. “He'll call and say, ‘Hey, man, I'm in Lebo!' He loves that stuff, being in all those towns I told him about when we were in college.”

    This is the longest Tomlin has lived anywhere since Newport News. He, wife Kiya, a former college gymnast and a successful fashion designer, sons Michael Dean (14 this year), Mason (12) and daughter Harlyn Quinn (8} long ago fell in love with Pittsburgh, having purchased a 9,200-square-foot home in Shadyside for $1.8 million in 2007, according to Allegheny County records.

    “We've been blessed to work in a place that we can call home, that has embraced us, and we embrace it,” Tomlin said. “It's cool. (The kids) are Pitt Panther guys in terms of basketball. They're Penguin guys in regards to hockey, and (during baseball season) Andrew McCutchen is their favorite athlete.”

    Tomlin won't talk about how long he wants to coach but laughs when asked about having three ex-head coaches (Dick LeBeau, Mike Munchak and Todd Haley) on his staff.

    “Hopefully (when the season ends), I'm not one of them,” he said.


    http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/...#ixzz37yV4JzES

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    I like hearing his new, humble tone. He has never been a jack -ss, like Rex Ryan or someone. But I think the last two years knocked him down a few pegs and he is ready for work and not resting on his laurels, and that is a good thing.

    Tomlin won't talk about how long he wants to coach but laughs when asked about having three ex-head coaches (Dick LeBeau, Mike Munchak and Todd Haley) on his staff.

    “Hopefully (when the season ends), I'm not one of them,” he said.

  3. #3
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    Steelers coach Mike Tomlin: Job security isn't a given

    July 20, 2014

    When the Pittsburgh Steelers roll into Latrobe, Pa., for Friday's start of training camp, coach Mike Tomlin will be among the nervous participants.

    Despite winning a Super Bowl, despite going 60-28 in his first five seasons, Tomlin knows 2014 will begin with pressure. Pressure to win; pressure to improve on last season's 8-8 disappointment, the second consecutive .500 campaign for a team accustomed to winning.



    Job security is meaningless in the NFL. "I don't assume that," he told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

    Remember, the Steelers haven't won a playoff game since 2010. Their 0-4 finish last season was the franchise's first in 45 years. That harkens back to the years in which the Steelers were laughingstocks, before the Steel Curtain and four NFL titles.

    Friends told the Tribune-Review that Tomlin, now 42, is excited and energized for training camp.

    One chore in training camp will be to sort out a running camp. Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrett Blount and Dri Archer are looking for touches. Tomlin told NFL.com recently his ball carriers must show their worth during camp and exhibitions.

    "I'm excited about letting these guys sort themselves out from a division of labor standpoint," Tomlin said. "I know that they're all committed to being a significant component to what we do."

    There will be other decisions as well, but the Steelers have the material to contend for a playoff berth and challenge in the AFC North. There's no real concern ahead of camp for Tomlin's job security, and his contract runs through 2016. The Steelers don't switch coaches every time the wind changes direction.

    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/stor...-running-backs

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    One chore in training camp will be to sort out a running camp. Le'Veon Bell, LeGarrett Blount and Dri Archer are looking for touches. Tomlin told NFL.com recently his ball carriers must show their worth during camp and exhibitions.
    I don't fancy they idea of running these guys into the ground in camp. Bodies only have so many reps before stuff starts wearing down. Too many full effort rushes are a waste. They need more of a cruise control mode. He already wore this team into a nub his first year.

  5. #5
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    "Tomlin won't talk about how long he wants to coach but laughs when asked about having three ex-head coaches (Dick LeBeau, Mike Munchak and Todd Haley) on his staff.
    "

    Perhaps overlooked, we have some incredible coaching credentials on our side this year.
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  6. #6
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    Just think, in years past, how much fun the old "overpaid janitor" crew would have had with the "He's one of the custodians of this league" quote.

  7. #7
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    Steelers’ Tomlin not your average bear

    By PaVaSteeler on Aug 5 2014



    Nobody said training camp was a pic-a-nic basket, right Boo Boo? Sorry, but Tomlin's condescending description of a normal training camp injury to Ryan Shazier, the Steelers’ number one draft pick forces me to keep reverting back to that children's cartoon theme.

    I think this is the year Tomlin determines his legacy, as I've said in the past, but his disdain for reporters is now quite proven. It's one thing to downplay the feeding frenzy at a training camp press conference when every reporter is asking about an injury to the Steelers' first round draft pick, but it's another to be so disdainful of both the player and the fans who have every right to be concerned. After all, this is the Steelers we're talking about; remember, the team that seemingly year after year is that one-injured player away from having a great season?

    Remember when star safety Troy Polamalu missed most of the 2012 season with a calf injury and the Steelers' defense was never really the same? Remember when a much lesser star in Larry Foote ruptured his bicep in the first game of the 2013 season and the Steelers' defense (even with Polamalu) was never really the same? Or the loss of Maurkice Pouncey as a result of an ill-aimed cut block by David DeCastro?

    So why is it that when the first player the Steelers drafted in 2014, a linebacker who was selected because he was (take your pick) the 15th Best Player Available out of the whole draft, or a much needed talent to fill the hole left by a retired James Farrior, an aging Larry Foote and an unproven Sean Spence, and all of Steeler Nation held its collective breath awaiting word on Ryan Shazier's condition, Head Coach Mike Tomlin characterized the injury in such a patronizing manner? I just hope that what is behind the "boo boo" comment, is not a dig at Shazier himself - we all remember how effective Tomlin's "one trick pony" gibe worked with Mike Wallace, as well as his "dog house" method of motivation for running backs...

    I like Mike Tomlin. I get it that he has a rare and powerful personality that beguiles people into believing in him, and which enables him to get the most out of his coaches and players;

    I get it that Tomlin seems to present himself like a Yogi of the Hindu definition (a philosophy that advocates striving for liberation from the material world) by his use of his many "Tomlinisms" which can be as inscrutable as any Eastern philosophy, and by holding himself above much of the day-to-day scramblings for informational tidbits performed by every major media personality, and every penny-saver part-time reporter covering the Steelers;

    However (put down your torches and pitchforks Steeler Nation), he doesn't walk on water, so his "too cool for skool" attitude has no place on a team coming off of two straight 8-8 playoff-less seasons.

    Tomlin claims to grasp the importance of Steeler Nation to the team, but when he appears to treat the reporters whose jobs it is to be Steeler Nation's only source of information about what the Nation holds so dear in such a demeaning manner, a media group whose job it is to probe and inspect the most minute detail of every aspect of the Steelers organization because we, Steeler Nation, demand it - well, it feels like he's patting us all on the head and telling us to "never you mind, go back to watching your cartoons and let the grownups handle this".

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...rs-mike-tomlin

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hawaiiansteel View Post
    Steelers’ Tomlin not your average bear

    By PaVaSteeler on Aug 5 2014



    Nobody said training camp was a pic-a-nic basket, right Boo Boo? Sorry, but Tomlin's condescending description of a normal training camp injury to Ryan Shazier, the Steelers’ number one draft pick forces me to keep reverting back to that children's cartoon theme.

    I think this is the year Tomlin determines his legacy, as I've said in the past, but his disdain for reporters is now quite proven. It's one thing to downplay the feeding frenzy at a training camp press conference when every reporter is asking about an injury to the Steelers' first round draft pick, but it's another to be so disdainful of both the player and the fans who have every right to be concerned. After all, this is the Steelers we're talking about; remember, the team that seemingly year after year is that one-injured player away from having a great season?

    Remember when star safety Troy Polamalu missed most of the 2012 season with a calf injury and the Steelers' defense was never really the same? Remember when a much lesser star in Larry Foote ruptured his bicep in the first game of the 2013 season and the Steelers' defense (even with Polamalu) was never really the same? Or the loss of Maurkice Pouncey as a result of an ill-aimed cut block by David DeCastro?

    So why is it that when the first player the Steelers drafted in 2014, a linebacker who was selected because he was (take your pick) the 15th Best Player Available out of the whole draft, or a much needed talent to fill the hole left by a retired James Farrior, an aging Larry Foote and an unproven Sean Spence, and all of Steeler Nation held its collective breath awaiting word on Ryan Shazier's condition, Head Coach Mike Tomlin characterized the injury in such a patronizing manner? I just hope that what is behind the "boo boo" comment, is not a dig at Shazier himself - we all remember how effective Tomlin's "one trick pony" gibe worked with Mike Wallace, as well as his "dog house" method of motivation for running backs...

    I like Mike Tomlin. I get it that he has a rare and powerful personality that beguiles people into believing in him, and which enables him to get the most out of his coaches and players;

    I get it that Tomlin seems to present himself like a Yogi of the Hindu definition (a philosophy that advocates striving for liberation from the material world) by his use of his many "Tomlinisms" which can be as inscrutable as any Eastern philosophy, and by holding himself above much of the day-to-day scramblings for informational tidbits performed by every major media personality, and every penny-saver part-time reporter covering the Steelers;

    However (put down your torches and pitchforks Steeler Nation), he doesn't walk on water, so his "too cool for skool" attitude has no place on a team coming off of two straight 8-8 playoff-less seasons.

    Tomlin claims to grasp the importance of Steeler Nation to the team, but when he appears to treat the reporters whose jobs it is to be Steeler Nation's only source of information about what the Nation holds so dear in such a demeaning manner, a media group whose job it is to probe and inspect the most minute detail of every aspect of the Steelers organization because we, Steeler Nation, demand it - well, it feels like he's patting us all on the head and telling us to "never you mind, go back to watching your cartoons and let the grownups handle this".

    http://www.behindthesteelcurtain.com...rs-mike-tomlin

    I thought Tomlin was getting fired because of under performing?????????
    Playing Fantasy Football does not qualify you to be the in the front office or on the coaching staff of the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are professionals and you are not!

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