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Thread: Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

      
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    Default Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

    Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers
    Wednesday, March 10, 2010
    By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


    A phone call from Mike Tomlin helped convince Ryan Clark to re-sign with the Steelers.

    Had he signed a contract with the Miami Dolphins, Ryan Clark said he was going to wear No. 43 for his new team, a salute to his safety partner for the past four years with the Steelers -- Troy Polamalu.

    But, because of a timely and reassuring phone call from Mike Tomlin, Clark can go back to wearing his usual No. 25 jersey for the Steelers. And be glad when he finally gets to see No. 43 -- a rare sight for most of the 2009 season -- back in the Steelers' secondary.

    Hours after signing a four-year, $14 million contract that included a $3 million signing bonus, Clark said Polamalu's absence led to a lot of problems on the Steelers' defense, including those endured by himself and other players in the secondary over a five-game losing streak.

    "Obviously, we've got to have Troy," Clark said. "You can play it down as much as you want, and say the rest of us have to make plays. But Troy being out there gives us a unique look as a defense, gives coach [Dick] LeBeau opportunities to call different things. We definitely need to get him back."

    The Steelers felt much the same way about Clark, especially after he visited with the Dolphins Monday.

    Unarmed with even so much as a contract offer from the Steelers, Clark said he went to Miami intending to agree to a deal with the Dolphins. He was so sure he would sign with them he did not bother scheduling a visit with another National Football League team.

    But, after receiving a contract offer from the Dolphins, Clark said he got a phone call from Tomlin and was told the Steelers were going to fight to keep him. Team president Art Rooney II and negotiator Omar Khan quickly put together a contract, and Clark immediately boarded a flight back to Pittsburgh, in effect, leaving the Dolphins standing at the altar.

    "It was always the situation that I wanted to be here. ... I didn't want to leave," Clark said. "I think when it clicked for me, [when] I was in Miami, starting to talk contract money, and to have coach Tomlin call me and say, we're going to fight for you. To have coach LeBeau call me and say, 'I don't have control over negotiation, but don't let negotiations sour you to the point where you don't understand that we want you here.' That was big for me."

    Clark said he didn't "use" the Dolphins to get a deal done with the Steelers.

    And he said the Steelers' move to sign free-agent safety Will Allen to a three-year, $4.4 million contract earlier Monday had no impact on his decision. Clark said Tomlin told him a couple days earlier the Steelers were going to sign Allen, 27, who played six seasons in Tampa Bay, but not to be his replacement.

    Instead, Allen will replace veteran Tyrone Carter, an unrestricted free agent who is not expected to be re-signed.

    http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10069/1041460-66.stm
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    Default Re: Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

    That's an interesting look into how that all went down.

    Bettis had a deal similar to that once too where he was about to ink with another team and then the Steelers came through with whatever they needed to keep him around.

    Granted Clark is not Jerome, but the same scenario has played out before.

    I guess it should be a lesson to Steeler FA's...

    Never say never, because if the Rooney's really want ya, you will be back.

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    Default Re: Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

    Interesting since Tomlin has proven to be such a great judge of talent in the past.

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    Default Re: Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

    I just hope we have a secondary next season that can play above average coverage.

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    Default Re: Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by kinsar View Post
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    Interesting since Tomlin has proven to be such a great judge of talent in the past.

    Heh. I'm of the same opinion.


    I'll be watching closely to see how Tomlin does going forward, as more and more of Cowher's players leave or retire and the team becomes truly Tomlin's. Cowher, to me, was never a truly great coach. He was a good coach who happened to work for the best organization in pro football. Tomlin, I suspect, is a notch below Cowher, which means his tenure may well be a lot shorter. I'm not quite ready to call my shot just yet, and of course Tomlin gets half a mulligan for having to deal with the Roethlisberger soap opera (and maybe even losing his franchise QB altogether). But I was skeptical of Tomlin when he was hired, and while he's obviously had some success, I remain unconvinced of his ability to rebuild and maintain this team at a high level of performance going forward.


    Mike Tomlin = George Seifert?

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    Default Re: Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by williamjpellas View Post
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    Heh. I'm of the same opinion.


    I'll be watching closely to see how Tomlin does going forward, as more and more of Cowher's players leave or retire and the team becomes truly Tomlin's. Cowher, to me, was never a truly great coach. He was a good coach who happened to work for the best organization in pro football. Tomlin, I suspect, is a notch below Cowher, which means his tenure may well be a lot shorter. I'm not quite ready to call my shot just yet, and of course Tomlin gets half a mulligan for having to deal with the Roethlisberger soap opera (and maybe even losing his franchise QB altogether). But I was skeptical of Tomlin when he was hired, and while he's obviously had some success, I remain unconvinced of his ability to rebuild and maintain this team at a high level of performance going forward.


    Mike Tomlin = George Seifert?
    who do you call agreat coach?

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    Default Re: Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by WYsteel View Post
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    I just hope we have a secondary next season that can play above average coverage.
    Let's hope for:

    1. a healthy secondary
    2. that plays better than last year

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    Default Re: Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

    Quote Originally Posted by rockcr View Post
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    who do you call agreat coach?
    Bill Walsh

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    Default Re: Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

    who do you call agreat coach?


    Chuck Noll. Bill Walsh. Vince Lombardi. Joe Gibbs. Arguably Tom Landry.


    Bill Cowher does not belong on that list. He holds the NFL record for most losses in a conference championship game. He was not a very good X's and O's man, certainly not an innovator. He did win 2 Super Bowls and his teams were, for the most part, consistently in the playoffs. But they were rarely dominant and they often choked.


    Ergo, Cowher was merely a good coach, not a great coach.

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    Default Re: Tomlin critical to Clark re-signing with Steelers

    How did Miami Dolphins lose out on Ryan Clark? It's complicated

    Safety Ryan Clark left South Florida to re-sign with the Pittsburgh Steelers for a four-year contract worth $14 million.
    When a member of the Miami Dolphins' staff delivered Ryan Clark to his hotel following an afternoon visit to the team's facility Sunday, both sides agreed Clark would extend his trip another night to work toward finishing a contract with the former free agent.

    The team needed time to negotiate over the telephone with Clark's agent, Joel Turner, who wasn't in town. Clark also wanted to have a few talks with Turner on his own.

    It was standard procedure: The negotiations had begun, and a preliminary offer was on the table. Clark was scheduled to go to dinner with the defensive backs coaches, and his agent was set to continue talking numbers with the team's negotiators.

    What happened during the following hour, according to team sources that corroborated the events, would result in a strange conclusion that has sent the Dolphins' personnel department back to the drawing boards to find a new starting safety.

    The conclusion, in a nutshell, is quite simple: Clark left South Florida to re-sign with the Steelers for a four-year contract worth $14 million. But that's not the strange part.

    The Dolphins never had an opportunity to give a second offer, the sources said. Instead, while they were still on the phone negotiating with the agent, someone in the building received a text message from a person in Pittsburgh.

    Clark had agreed to terms with the Steelers, the text read. So how did it happen?

    Apparently, Clark made the quick decision based on the Dolphins' inquisitions during the initial negotiating process with his agent -- questions that are often used in any negotiation when trying to leverage a fair price.

    Clark, 30, missed the final half of the 2007 season after his spleen and gall bladder needed to be removed because a sickle-cell trait was aggravated due to high altitude when the Steelers were playing in Denver.

    During his recovery, Clark lost more than 30 pounds because of a serious blood disorder. Last season, he didn't play against Denver so he wouldn't aggravate the injury.

    But when the Dolphins began to express concern to his agent about Clark's health and age during those preliminary negotiations, Clark's agent then took those comments back to the safety.

    The Dolphins still contend they certainly know Clark as a player (they've been scouting him since college), but they also felt it necessary to ask those questions of his agent. It was nothing unusual, sources said.

    The following day, after abruptly leaving South Florida, Clark told a Pittsburgh television station, KDVR, that he didn't like the way Miami handled the negotiations.

    ``They told my agent, `Look, we just don't know this guy. After we evaluate him more out there with us, maybe we'll feel different about it.' But I just figured, if this is how they feel, these things aren't going to change about me overnight,'' Clark said.

    That's where he might have been wrong. Something was about to change overnight. In the case of any negotiations, the first offer is rarely the only offer. This was no different.

    ``The initial offer and the deal he took were almost identical,'' one source said. ``Our first offer wasn't quite as much as his new contract in Pittsburgh. The second offer would have been higher.''

    Had Clark hung around long enough to continue the negotiations (he was scheduled to have dinner Sunday night with the team's defensive backs coaches, but he decided to take Pittsburgh's offer within an hour of leaving the team's facility), the safety stood to earn a deal package worth $2 million more than the one he signed, a source said.

    But the Dolphins must now move on.

    The harsh road bump Clark's hasty departure has caused the team is a tough setback, but the Dolphins have since entered into a regrouping phase for several days, nowreevaluating how to address the safety position.

    The team believes the first stage of free agency has concluded, and it is now in the stages of deciding whether to address the position through free agency or the draft. Miami is weighing all factors -- from a select number of restricted players to a thin, ordinary crop of remaining unrestricted players.

    Those decisions are likely to come to light over the course of the next week.

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