Super Bowl XLV: Tomlin's reputation could soar | The Columbus Dispatch
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#1 Feb 2, 2011
I think people are slow to crown Tomlin as a genius because they perceive that the Steelers have a system that breeds success.
Tomlin is an outstanding coach, but it's hard to ignore the fact that he was a defensive coach throughout his career and he coached a Tampa 2 style of defense, but Pittsburgh runs their same-as-it-ever-was 3-4 and it's headed up by LeBeau.
Credit goes to Tomlin for having the wisdom and humility to keep LeBeau on staff and resist the urge to meddle, but a lot of people think that this decision came from Rooney and Tomlin might have gotten the job because he was willing to let Rooney dictate a lot of decisions head coaches normally make.
Pittsburgh's strength has been its defense and that is considered LeBeau's domain. On the other side of the ball the Steelers have seen some significat changes but it's hard to judge them when the defense really sets the tone for every game. If LeBeau retires and Tomlin is able to sustain success, he'll get a lot more credit, but right now people are think he's the product of a very successful system, rather than the mastermind who created the system.
#2 Feb 2, 2011
This is an outstanding post, thoughtful and articulate.
I do think the opinion of "a lot of people" (not necessarily espoused by you, I understand) that the Rooneys are constantly pulling Tomlin's puppet-strings is utter nonsense. The Rooneys don't operate that way. The most they're going to interfere is by making a general request (such as last year's "we need to be able to run the ball better"). Other than that, their philosophy has always been to hire well then get out of the way.
TKG, I hope you're going to stick around. Hop on over to the "Tomlin Knows What the Steelers Need" thread to talk to other serious-minded fans.
#3 Feb 2, 2011
I think it's interesting that Noll and Cowher both stepped down amidst some friction with the Rooney family. I'm not saying there were major conflicts, but Noll was butting heads with the family over personnel issues and Cowher craved more of a hand in the management of the front office.
Tomlin's strings aren't being pulled at all, but I think the reason he's there is because he's willing to listen to the Rooneys and embrace the Pittsburgh way of doing things rather than impose his way on Pittsburgh.
To be fair, I think that requires a special skill. It's hard to command the respect of the players and the assistant coaches without making wholesale changes. Tomlin managed to do that and he deserves a lot of credit, but that's a testiment to his diplomatic skills. If he wins this game with that decimated offensive line, he'll definitely pick up a little more credit.
#4 Feb 2, 2011
TKG, I would be more than happy to trade the Brown family to Pittsburgh for the Rooney family. In fact, I'd be willing throw Marvin Lewis in for Tomlin. How a small market club keeps winning every year and yet the Bengals do virtually nothing is amazing. You pretty much have to try to suck as much as the Bengals.
#5 Feb 2, 2011
The Super Bowl trophy will go to a team north of the Mason-Dixon line.
Bet the farm on it.
#6 Feb 2, 2011
Tomlin is nothing more than a "token" NFL coach.
#7 Feb 2, 2011
I don't know how you guys are keeping your collective chin up over there. Palmer did the right thing by asking for a trade--maybe it will wake them up a little. I doubt it. The Bengals and the Raiders and the Cowboys won't be good organizations until the day the Brown family and Al Davis and Jerry Jones are organizing a developmental league in hell.
#8 Feb 2, 2011
This is well put, again. I think it's a really collaborative organization, with the Rooneys, Tomlin and Colbert all on the same page.
#9 Feb 2, 2011
I don't like the connotation. Tomlin was a rising star in the coaching ranks and the Rooneys took a chance on him about 3 years early. I think it's paid off because the players respnd to him.
I think that Jim Caldwell probably fits your description a little better, although I think that his status has more to do with maintaining continutity with Dungy's legacy than it did with color.
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