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Thread: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

      
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    Default Steelers are Tomlin's team now


    When Mike Tomlin was hired by the Pittsburgh Steelers to replace Bill Cowher following the 2006 season, he inherited a team with a dominating defense and a franchise Quarterback that was one year removed from winning it's fifth Super Bowl title and became just the third person to be named the head coach of the Steelers since 1970. Tomlin's first season saw the Steelers return to the post season before losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars, a loss that was attributed to the team being worn out because of how hard the team was worked during the year beginning with a training camp that was a lot more physical than the players had become accustomed to. Heading into his second season, Tomlin made adjustments to his Camp schedule to help preserve his players health and availability throughout the season, and thus, Camp Cupcake kicked off a 2008 season that saw the Steelers play the toughest schedule in the last 25 years and finish it by bringing the franchise's 6th Lombardi Trophy back to Pittsburgh.

    Soon after the Steelers win over Arizona in Super Bowl XLIII, some fans began saying that Mike Tomlin, the youngest head coach to win a Super Bowl, didn't really deserve much credit for the teams sixth Championship because he won it with Bill Cowher's players. While it is true that he won the Super Bowl with Cowher's players, it was only his second year, he still had to show up and coach. To discredit what Tomlin did is to forget that Cowher, A, didn't repeat or even make the playoffs in 2006 and B, only won one title with his players, Tomlin still had to guide that roster to the title. To judge Tomlin's merits as a head coach, it is only fair to see how he holds up as the roster gets filled with more of his own draft picks as Cowher's players retire or get released. Let's compare the starting lineups both of the Steelers Super Bowl Teams under Tomlin to see how much turnover took place between Super Bowl XLIII and Super Bowl XLV.


    Starting Lineup for Super Bowl XLIII:
    2008 12-4 QB Roethlisberger OFFENSIVE LINE DEFENSIVE LINE LINEBACKERS SECONDARY SPECIAL TEAMS
    RB W. Parker LT Starks LDE A. Smith LOLB Woodley LCB Taylor K Reed
    WR H. Ward LG Kemoeatu NT C. Hampton LILB Farrior RCB McFadden P Berger
    WR S. Holmes C Hartwig RDE B. Keisel RILB Foote SS Polamalu PR Holmes
    TE H. Miller RG Stapleton ROLB Harrison FS Clark KR Russell
    TE M. Spaeth RT Colon


    Starting Lineup for Super Bowl XLV
    YEAR RECORD SKILL POSITION OFFENSIVE LINE DEFENSIVE LINE LINEBACKERS SECONDARY SPECIAL TEAMS
    2010 12-4 QB Roethlisberger LT Scott LDE Hood LOLB Woodley LCB McFadden K Reed
    RB Mendenhall LG Kemoeatu NT Hampton LILB Farrior RCB Taylor P Kapinos
    WR Wallace C Legursky RDE Keisel RILB Timmons SS Polamalu PR Brown
    WR Ward RG Foster ROLB Harrison FS Clark KR Sanders
    TE Miller RT Adams
    TE Spaeth


    The starting lineup of the Super Bowl XLIII was predominately made up of Cowher's players, with only 4 players, Timmons, Woodley, Berger and Russell being brought in by Tomlin, but by Super Bowl XLV, the number of Tomlin players who started in that game, including special teams, had jumped to ten. The Steelers lost Super Bowl XLV, could those people who said Tomlin won because of Cowher's players be right? There are only 11 Cowher players left on the 53 man roster, and with the very real possibility of 3 of them not being back next year this is definitely Tomlin's team, and his future success is going to be based on his ability to draft.

    In Tomlin's first three drafts, he and Kevin Colbert drafted 24 players and only six of them remain on the roster as of today, with the very real possibility that two of them are probably not going to be back next year leaving only four left from the first three drafts. Half of those players are his first two picks, LaMarr Woodley and Lawerence Timmons, while the other two are Ziggy Hood and Keenan Lewis. That kind of a performance is simply unacceptable when the draft is the way you choose to go about building your team. In Tomlin's last three drafts, he's had more success if you base it on players left on the roster. In those drafts he has selected 26 players with 19 of those players still on the roster including 13 out of the 16 players picked in the '11-'12 drafts.

    Tomlin is no longer riding Bill Cowher's coattails, he was left a roster that was stacked with talent because Cowher was good at drafting and signing young undrafted talent and that helped get Tomlin off to a good start, but those players are mostly gone now. This is now Tomlin's team and he is going to have to draft better and more efficiently to get this team back on track. He can't afford to have the kind of failures he had his first three years of the draft. The other thing that he has to have success in is getting contributions from players drafted in rounds 4 through 7 where he has, overall, been terrible. These are the rounds where Super Bowl teams are built and other than Antonio Brown, he has gotten nothing out of the late rounds.

    In addition to improving his performance in the draft, Mike Tomlin needs to improve his in game decision making and adjustments based on the talent he has on the field. This is your team Coach Tomlin, you have to know your talent and trust it. When it is fourth and one, you don't attempt a 53 yard field goal when your kicker's range is 50-51 yards or when you ran the ball down the field at 4.4 yards a carry that half. You either go for it at that point or punt. By missing that field goal, you put Cincinnati an extra 7 yards closer to field goal range. Also please, no more fake field goals when you're lining up inside the five. Oh, when your quarterback has cracked ribs and can't throw the ball, you have to pull him out. This is your team Coach Tomlin, but if you keep doing things like this, it may not be your team for too long.
    Last edited by Steelreign; Jan-03-2013 at 02:13 PM.
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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Very good write up Steelreign. A lot of things that I have been thinking for a while. The drafting has been horrendous. It needs to improve or the talent coming in won't be able to keep up with the talent leaving, and the team will fall apart. He needs to take control and act like he is in charge. I know you covered all this already.

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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Quote Originally Posted by Indiana Pittsburgh Fan View Post
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    Very good write up Steelreign. A lot of things that I have been thinking for a while. The drafting has been horrendous. It needs to improve or the talent coming in won't be able to keep up with the talent leaving, and the team will fall apart. He needs to take control and act like he is in charge. I know you covered all this already.

    I wish I knew how to write like you bloggers. It truly is a great talent.
    Thanks a lot, I appreciate that. You should give it a shot if it's something you'd like to do
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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    Thanks a lot, I appreciate that. You should give it a shot if it's something you'd like to do
    After I commented that I felt like giving it a stab, so I've been working on a Haley vs Arians piece for about an hour, though I think it will have to wait until tomorrow.

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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Quote Originally Posted by Indiana Pittsburgh Fan View Post
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    After I commented that I felt like giving it a stab, so I've been working on a Haley vs Arians piece for about an hour, though I think it will have to wait until tomorrow.
    I look forward to it.
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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Its funny though Ben was drafted by Cowher, I have always argued Ben wasn't Ben until after Cowher left. This being no slight on Ben and Cowher or no praise for Ben and Tomlin.

    For his first three years, Ben was viewed as the "Game Manager". Though in 2004 and 2005 numerous comeback victories were achieved when Ben went no huddle and slung the ball all over the field. I Remember there was a feeling that is Ben threw for 300 yards the Steelers probably wouldn't win. I know that seems like a million years ago, but it was a sentiment in the media at that time.

    After Cowher left and Tomlin and Arians became OC the Gunslinger Ben emerged. The Ben who led the Steelers to Super Bowl XLIII win and many great moments and conversely, the Ben who sometimes left you scratching you head, and thinking, "what the heck was he thinking".

    So I always add an asterisk to Ben being "Cowher's player". Technically he was, but he was a very different type of player almost another player all together.
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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Quote Originally Posted by bdeff View Post
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    Its funny though Ben was drafted by Cowher, I have always argued Ben wasn't Ben until after Cowher left. This being no slight on Ben and Cowher or no praise for Ben and Tomlin.

    For his first three years, Ben was viewed as the "Game Manager". Though in 2004 and 2005 numerous comeback victories were achieved when Ben went no huddle and slung the ball all over the field. I Remember there was a feeling that is Ben threw for 300 yards the Steelers probably wouldn't win. I know that seems like a million years ago, but it was a sentiment in the media at that time.

    After Cowher left and Tomlin and Arians became OC the Gunslinger Ben emerged. The Ben who led the Steelers to Super Bowl XLIII win and many great moments and conversely, the Ben who sometimes left you scratching you head, and thinking, "what the heck was he thinking".

    So I always add an asterisk to Ben being "Cowher's player". Technically he was, but he was a very different type of player almost another player all together.
    That's a good point, Cowher never really had trust in Ben enough to be more than a game manager. I remember on the CBS pregame show, they were
    Discussing a big game that Ben had and Boomer looked at Cowher and said "That's what you get when you trust your quarterback Bill" as he was smiling.

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    Default Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    And let us not forget that brainiac Bill didn't want Ben.....he wanted an OL.

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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Ben was drafted by Cowher but wasnt trusted to throw the ball for him. I remeber thinking at the time that it was smart for several reasons.

    1. Rookies make mistakes

    2. Jerome Bettis

    3. The lack of a quarterback on the team in its previous 9999 years, leads to not knowing how to use a quarterback when you get one.

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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Quote Originally Posted by bdeff View Post
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    Its funny though Ben was drafted by Cowher, I have always argued Ben wasn't Ben until after Cowher left. This being no slight on Ben and Cowher or no praise for Ben and Tomlin.

    For his first three years, Ben was viewed as the "Game Manager". Though in 2004 and 2005 numerous comeback victories were achieved when Ben went no huddle and slung the ball all over the field. I Remember there was a feeling that is Ben threw for 300 yards the Steelers probably wouldn't win. I know that seems like a million years ago, but it was a sentiment in the media at that time.

    After Cowher left and Tomlin and Arians became OC the Gunslinger Ben emerged. The Ben who led the Steelers to Super Bowl XLIII win and many great moments and conversely, the Ben who sometimes left you scratching you head, and thinking, "what the heck was he thinking".

    So I always add an asterisk to Ben being "Cowher's player". Technically he was, but he was a very different type of player almost another player all together.
    The thing with Ben and Cowher though, is that Ben pushed the Steelers over the top. thats a good reaosn why they finally reached the SB in 2005. Wasnt going to happen with Maddox or Stewart

    Arians "unleashed" Ben the passer, but the Offense was never quite as efficient. not that I want them to go back to running the ball again and such, just that, I think that Ben was developed "properly" with Cowher and Whiz whether Ben wants to admit it or not. They protected him from carrying the team on his shoulder and recognized that there was enough winner in him as a game manager. Cowher was already taking off the training wheels in 2006. Ben attempted 469 passes in 2006. Only twice in Arians 5 years as OC did Ben surpass that number, so I think there was a steady progression in Ben's development over the years and by the time Tomlin and Arians came, Ben had already transitioned into a passing QB.

    What tomlin and Arians failed to do gfor 5 years was continue to develop his game and back him more efficient and well rounded. This is what Todd Haley was doing this year. Ben's 26 TD's to just 8 INT's is a mark he's never come close to in his career. Prior to his injury, Ben had career highs in Completion Percentage and 2nd best Passer Rating. Ben was becoming dangerous underneath to go with his deep game and was getting sacked and hit a lot less. Soemthing that should've been developed as part of his game in 2007 when Tom Brady and Drew Brees and then later when Aaron Rogers were developing a similar game
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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    I forgot to mention Reign... I was checking out the SB XLIII game day graphic and the lineup at Football Reference and Timmons wasn't the starter, Larry Foote was the starter.

    It's sort of amazing how the Offensive turnover has included everyone but Ben, Heath and Starks (who they keep trying to get rid of every year) and Defensively, it's largely Cowher guys outside of the CB, Woodley, Timmons (now), Hood (due to Smith's retirement)
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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    I forgot to mention Reign... I was checking out the SB XLIII game day graphic and the lineup at Football Reference and Timmons wasn't the starter, Larry Foote was the starter.

    It's sort of amazing how the Offensive turnover has included everyone but Ben, Heath and Starks (who they keep trying to get rid of every year) and Defensively, it's largely Cowher guys outside of the CB, Woodley, Timmons (now), Hood (due to Smith's retirement)
    Thanks, fixed it. Seems like the plan was to ride the guys on defense as far as the guys could carry them, when in fact, in a system as involved as LeBeau's it's important the young guys get reps other than the mental reps from lack of practice and game reps.

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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Quote Originally Posted by Steelreign View Post
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    That's a good point, Cowher never really had trust in Ben enough to be more than a game manager. I remember on the CBS pregame show, they were
    Discussing a big game that Ben had and Boomer looked at Cowher and said "That's what you get when you trust your quarterback Bill" as he was smiling.
    Let us not forget that Bradshaw was labeled a dumb QB. Tough position to play in Pittsburgh.

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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    Let us not forget that Bradshaw was labeled a dumb QB. Tough position to play in Pittsburgh.
    Yes he was. He was vilified by the fans.

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    Default Re: Steelers are Tomlin's team now

    It's going to be interesting to see what kind of decision Tomlin makes when Haley gets the Cardinals Head Coaching job. I just hope he does a thorough job of naming a replacement and doesn't make a rash decision.

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