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Thread: Tomlin says Steelers about ready to go

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    Default Tomlin says Steelers about ready to go

    Tomlin says Steelers about ready to go
    February 05, 2011
    Herald Standard

    DALLAS (AP) - Mike Tomlin stood stone-faced behind the Lombardi Trophy as a few dozen cameras fired away.

    "Smile, Mike!" one photographer yelled out.

    "Nah," the Pittsburgh Steelers coach said without a hint of a grin on another cold, snowy Friday in Big D.

    He eventually cracked a smile, but this is serious stuff for Tomlin as the Steelers go for the seventh Super Bowl title in franchise history Sunday against the Green Bay Packers.

    "We're putting the finishing touches, of course, on our plan here," Tomlin said in a sparsely attended final media session that lasted barely five minutes. "It's been a good week, but of course, like the Green Bay Packers, I'm sure we're all getting a little antsy and getting ready to play."

    Tomlin will keep an eye on his guys during the next few days to make sure they remain even-keeled with so much at stake.

    But what about the 38-year-old coach who could be hoisting that trophy for the second time in his four seasons?

    "I'm a robot," Tomlin said. "I'm just going to ride the wave."

    And it could carry him to a special place among NFL coaches. He would become only the 13th coach in league history to win multiple rings.

    "It's awesome, it really is," Tomlin said of the opportunity. "It's humbling, it's inspiring, it motivates you. It's all those things. I think fortunately for us, we have what you can't buy, which is legacy - which is unbelievable standard and expectation and all those great things."

    The Steelers had their final full practice at TCU later Friday, and Tomlin said the players would have some free time at night to spend with family and friends. They'll have a "dress rehearsal" Saturday in their last practice, going through what Tomlin called "a mock game" before the Super Bowl at Cowboys Stadium.

    Tomlin said rookie Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, dealing with a high left ankle sprain, will be out for the Super Bowl. Doug Legursky will make his first start at center in Pouncey's place.

    Pouncey, who didn't practice all week, was injured early in the Steelers' 24-19 victory over the New York Jets in the AFC championship game nearly two weeks ago.

    The Dallas-Fort Worth area has been hit by several inches of snow and subfreezing temperatures since the Steelers arrived, but Tomlin said it hasn't bothered the team.

    "We're kind of used to inclement weather," Tomlin said. "At least from my perspective, it hasn't changed how we've worked at all."

    In a few days, Tomlin could be back in chilly Pittsburgh with another Super Bowl trophy - and smiling.

    "It's the pinnacle," he said of being a champion. "Thirty-two teams start this journey with the same intentions. So, of course, you're overcome with emotions. Great feelings of satisfaction, but also humility because you realize that there are probably a lot of people that are deserving, to be quite honest with you."
    "You only have one life, and you will not get out alive. Make the most of your time and have no regrets." - Me.

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    Default Re: Tomlin says Steelers about ready to go

    February 5 2011

    Mike Tomlin Is Super Enough to Push Steelers Past Packers

    By Terence Moore

    ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Pittsburgh Steelers will win Super Bowl XLV on Sunday for so many reasons, but among the biggest is that they have Mike Tomlin, and the Green Bay Packers don't.

    Tomlin is a miracle.

    Oh, and he can coach.

    With eyes glowing, Steelers nose tackle Chris Hoke said of his franchise's new Chuck Noll and Bill Cowher, "He knows how to push buttons. He knows how to get us going. He has a certain message for us every week, and he pounds that message in every day."

    There were those moments two seasons ago, for instance, when Tomlin kept spurring the Steelers to a world championship during just his second year on the job. It began with Ben Roethlisberger, especially after the Steelers reached the ultimate game. Since quarterback play is the key to winning Super Bowls, Tomlin knew he had to make Big Ben as potent mentally as he already was physically.

    So Tomlin got an index card, and he wrote "Terry Bradshaw 4" and "Joe Montana 4" to signify the number of Super Bowl rings those quarterbacks own. And Tomlin added, "Where do you fit in that group?" before he placed the card in Roethlisberger's locker.

    Final score: Arizona Cardinals 23, Steelers 27.

    Roethlisberger was as courageous as Bradshaw and as clutch as Montana near the end by leading the Steelers 88 yards before firing the clinching touchdown pass in the final seconds.

    We're back to Tomlin, with Roethlisberger glowing and saying, "He's a player's coach, and you know he's a good motivator, but he doesn't try to give you that 'Win one for the Gipper' type of speech. He knows how to let us motivate ourselves and be professionals."

    It's everything about Tomlin that makes him significant. It's his eyes that are intimidating yet comforting. It's his voice that makes you want to grab a pair of shoulder pads and slam into something. It's his mannerisms that say he is confident in his ability but not overly cocky.

    It's his ability to channel his mentor more often than not.

    We're talking about Tony Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts icon of a coach, who was the same with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where Tomlin was all eyes and ears as Dungy's secondary coach.

    "I am very conscious of coach Dungy's influence in terms of how I do my job," said Tomlin, who is black, as is Dungy, who became the first black coach ever to win a Super Bowl before he retired in 2009. "He is a servant leader. He tries to lead through service, and I do the same. I learned that from him in providing the men what they need to be great."

    Great. Remember that word.

    Mike McCarthy isn't bad, by the way. He's efficient, and he's respected, and he's got a voice with the intensity of Lombardi, which works for any NFL coach, but definitely for one with the Packers.

    It's just that, at 38, and with a chance to grab a second world championship after only four years running the Steelers, and given his ability to inspire those around him without even opening his mouth ("Oh, so much swagger. So much swagger," said Steelers offensive guard Chris Kemoeatu), Tomlin already is good heading for great.

    This actually makes no sense.

    Steelers veteran wide receiver Hines Ward shook his head with a four-year-old memory, then said, "The Mike Tomlin pick, it came out of left field. Nobody expected that. We thought we were going to hire within, probably Russ (Grimm, a Steelers assistant coach at the time). That's what a lot players thought. When they named Mike Tomlin, a lot of people really didn't know Mike Tomlin."

    That's because all of those people were normal, and they were using common sense. I mean, who would know much about a 34-year-old guy back then who was just finishing his first year as the defensive coordinator of a Minnesota Vikings team that had several players older than himself? He was with Dungy in Tampa before that, but he mostly spent his early coaching career as a college assistant among the obscure likes of VMI, Memphis and Arkansas State before heading to Cincinnati.

    Only the Rooneys could find sunshine during a coaching search when others were seeing just clouds.

    The Rooneys are the Steelers' legendary owners, and in 1969, they shocked reality by picking the obscure Noll at 37. After three losing seasons that began with a 1-13 finish, he led the Steelers to a dynasty that produced four Super Bowl winners.

    Noll retired after the 1991 season, and along came Cowher at 34, who ended his 15 years in Pittsburgh with eight division titles, six AFC championship game appearances, two Super Bowl trips and a world title.

    Cowher retired after the 2006 season. A bunch of interviews followed, including those with Grimm and Ken Whisenhunt, another Steelers assistant coach at the time who later became head coach of the Cardinals. Then, as Art Rooney II once told me, "After the first time we talked to Mike (Tomlin), we knew we had the guy we wanted."

    This is the same Art Rooney II, whose grandfather, Art, founded the franchise, and whose father, Dan, led the family business until he gave the keys to Art III after becoming the U.S. ambassador to Ireland.

    Art II saw in Tomlin what his father saw in Cowher and what his grandfather saw in Noll.

    Mostly, there is what Tomlin sees in himself.

    "Every day when I go to work, I don't think about things I have to do," Tomlin said. "I think about the things I can do to make my men successful. So I have a servant's mentality in terms of how I approach my job, and I get that from Coach Dungy. I am not consciously trying to do anything of that nature. If I am able to provide a positive example of influence for a young man or a young coach, that's great."

    That word keeps following Tomlin around.


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    Default Re: Tomlin says Steelers about ready to go

    You can't argue with what he has accomplished in his 4 years here. If he can get his second title in 4 years, he has to be recognized as the best coach in the NFL. How he didn't get a single vote for coach is simply astounding because of obstacles he had to overcome when the season started. I would much rather have a two-time Super Bowl winning coach leading our Steelers than the AP Coach of the Year anyway.
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