January 22, 2007

Steelers Aren't So Grimm after all: The Steelers hire Mike Tomlin as their new head coach, instead of media darling and heir apparent Russ Grimm.

posted by SummersEve to football at 08:01 AM - 21 comments

Interesting race to be first over the weekend. SI.com had a story saying the Steelers were set to hire Tomlin. The Pittsburgh Tribune Review's Mike Prisuta countered with a story that they'd decided on Russ Grimm. Here's the page for the Grimm story, which is now just blank. The Post Gazette chose the high road and just released a statement from the team. In their defense, The Trib's Scott Brown mentions their mistake in today's story.

posted by SummersEve at 08:08 AM on January 22, 2007

I hope the 4-3 defense doesn't screw up our personnel to much

posted by Debo270 at 08:21 AM on January 22, 2007

I have to admit I am a little surprised by the move, but I support it. I thought for sure they would hire from within with a team not far removed from a Super Bowl. Good to have another young coach. Tomlin is as old as Cowher was when he was hired and a few years younger than Noll was when he was hired. As Debo says I can't imagine Tomlin going away from the Cover-2/Tampa-2, so there are gonna be some changes on defense, not to mention offense with Whisenhunt, et al gone. And with Grimm not getting the job a whole lot of turnover in coaches. I probably shouldn't mention it, but I am proud of the Rooney's for putting their money where their mouths are and hiring a minority coach. No one can question the Rooney Rule when it comes to the Steelers now.

posted by scully at 09:17 AM on January 22, 2007

"No one can question the Rooney Rule when it comes to the Steelers now." Which is exactly why I think Tomlin got the nod. As a Steeler fan, I think the wrong choice was made and would like to have seen the inside man-Grimm-given a chance. But it is all said and done, and they will move on and build the future. Good luck Steelers

posted by oh2rooper at 09:31 AM on January 22, 2007

Yeah, terrapin, that's what I was thinking. The whole point of the Rooney rule is for teams to take a look at candidates that they might not normally consider. Everyone thought the job was going to Grimm or Whisenhut, instead a surprise candidate wins what is probably the best coaching job in the NFL.

posted by bperk at 09:32 AM on January 22, 2007

well as mentioned in another article, 2 of the best steeler defenders wouldn't really have a good home in a 4-3/cover 2 defense. (Hampton and Troy P.) Not to mention they have no ends that can rush.

posted by bdaddy at 09:38 AM on January 22, 2007

The Ronney's have shown over the life of the club that they can pick coaches that will be here for the long run. I hope this continues. I was a little shocked about Russ Grimm being voted off the island. Anyone who has a struggling defense DICK LEBEAU the creator of the zone blitz is about to be out of work..

posted by Debo270 at 09:40 AM on January 22, 2007

New rush end. Harrison front 4 hampton, hoke, smith and harrison. Farrior in the middle porter and foote on the outside. troy- to a new team when his contract expires

posted by Debo270 at 09:42 AM on January 22, 2007

The thing that makes me laugh is that there was plenty of talk that either Grimm or Whisenhunt were the top choices to take over as the Steelers new Head Coach. No one actually working in the Steelers front offices were making these comments so I just took it with a grain of salt. I mean, people can make up their own mind about who "deserves" the nod to become the new coach but just because an individual has been an assistant coach or a offensive/defensive coordinator for an organization for however long, that doesn't make that individual the right choice. Sometimes an organization needs a fresh face and a new scheme in order to create what once was. People need to remember that these aren't the same Steelers that won the Super Bowl just last year as some of the key players are gone and now the Head Coach is gone as well. Sometimes starting over is exactly what a franchise needs and maybe this is the shakeup that brings the Steelers back to their dominant form.

posted by BornIcon at 09:58 AM on January 22, 2007

Two questions. What would Grimm bring that Tomlin doesn't? And why would Polamalu leave when this system relies on safeties? Also, read Tomlin's bio in the P-G and you'll see this hire has nothing to do with race.

posted by SummersEve at 10:09 AM on January 22, 2007

I wanted Grimm, but give Tomlin a chance! I know that when the Steelers hired Coach Cowher there was a lot of grumling-Bill Who? (I was one of the them!) Look at what Coach Cowher did!

posted by steelerchooks at 10:17 AM on January 22, 2007

troy may be out because this system relies on safties being drop back cover guys that play a role in the system. Troy's freewheeling style and strength blitzing will not be seen as a positive in this passive defensive system

posted by Debo270 at 10:27 AM on January 22, 2007

Replacing Cowher in Pittsburgh after so long is going to be difficult for anyone. Tomlin sounds like an interesting choice, though, and I applaud the Steelers brass for going with someone other than the chalk-favorite.

posted by dyams at 11:27 AM on January 22, 2007

"In his first big move as head coach, Tomlin will retain Dick LeBeau as his defensive coordinator, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Monday." - ESPN

posted by scully at 12:27 PM on January 22, 2007

"The Tampa 2 typically consists of 4 linemen, 3 linebackers, 2 cornerbacks, and 2 safeties. The scheme is known for its simple format, speed, and the aggressive mentality of its players. Although it lacks the complexity of other defenses, it instead relies heavily on the attitudes of its players and tremendous team speed. Tampa 2 teams are known as gang tacklers and practice to always run to the ball. It also requires hard hitting secondary to cause turnovers." [via] Sounds perfect for Troy to me.

posted by scully at 12:34 PM on January 22, 2007

New rush end. Harrison Harrison is not big enough to play DE (either height or weight). front 4 hampton, hoke, smith and harrison. All guys that don't fit any 4-3 scheme. Hampton, Hoke, and Smith are all built to absorb blockers and free up the LBs to make plays (what the 3-4 is based on). None of the 3 are the size/stature/athletic ability to play 4-3. And none of those 3 can rush the passer worth a flip. troy- to a new team when his contract expires And great, you just shipped off the best defensive player on the team And why would Polamalu leave when this system relies on safeties? Because it relies on safeties that can cover, and that is not troy's strong point.

posted by bdaddy at 01:01 PM on January 22, 2007

From another perspective, allow me to be the first to say, "So much for the one good thing the Vikings had going for them." We're stuck with a total dry-ball for a head coach, and the offensive coordinator is pretty useless. Tomlin was the only guy on the coaching staff with any presence and any fire in his belly. One more year like this year, and he'd probably have been the Vikings' top guy.

posted by TheQatarian at 01:46 PM on January 22, 2007

Repeat: New coach, Tomlin, to retain Steelers defensive coordinator, Dick LeBeau.

posted by scully at 03:41 PM on January 22, 2007

I was not at all surprised that Grimm wasn't hired. This is the Steelers and they are all about defense. I didn't believe it when they said Grimm was in the running when the other two were defensive coordinators. Wasn't sure which one of the two they were going to choose, but I still would've been surprised if the call went to Grimm. It's too bad for him, maybe he'll get a chance somewhere else. I know it won't be this year, but maybe in the next couple.

posted by hellamarine at 11:11 PM on January 22, 2007

In the midst of all the Black Coaches In The Super Bowl Hype And Hysteria, I'm surprised that more wasn't made out of Tomlin's hiring. I found this in a newspaper story the other day, and thought it made for a nice summation: "The president and CEO of the NAACP, Bruce Gordon, conceded that he didn't even realize Tomlin was black until he saw the coach's picture in the newspaper. 'I said, 'Wow, he's black,' Gordon said. "And the story wasn't about another black coach being named, it was just about another coach being named. In some respects, I look at that as being a best-case scenario.'"

posted by The_Black_Hand at 10:47 AM on January 24, 2007

In the midst of all the Black Coaches In The Super Bowl Hype And Hysteria, I'm surprised that more wasn't made out of Tomlin's hiring. Because the media was too busy reporting on Bill Parcells as if the guy had died and not just retired (again). :)

posted by scully at 08:25 AM on January 26, 2007

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