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Steelers Players Hated Tomlin at First

Jan 20, 2009 – 7:06 AM
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JJ Cooper

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With a Super Bowl appearance in his second season, Mike Tomlin has assured himself a long tenure as Steelers coach. And now that he's safely established, some Steelers players are ready to admit that they weren't sold on their new head coach last year.

For Bill Cowher's reputation for jutting out his mammoth chin and letting a spit-filled tirade fly, he was a players coach. And while Tomlin is usually calm and collected on the sideline (if he's not chest bumping a player after a big play), he actually runs a very tight ship.

When Tomlin came in and took a more disciplinarian approach to coaching, the Steelers veterans reacted very skeptically.
"I think guys ... were kind of cursing it at first because we kind of didn't think he was listening to us. But now I think a lot of these guys realize what he has his hands on, and they respect him for it. It's definitely a totally different story now from when he first got here."
According to Washington, Tomlin is not nearly the softy that Cowher was. While Cowher would sometimes make his decisions based on what the players wanted, Tomlin seems more likely to make decisions based on his own gut instinct, whether the players like it or not.

For a team that slept walked through part of Cowher's final season -- failing to make the playoffs a year after going winning the Super Bowl, maybe that's just what the players needed. Two years in, it's hard to argue with the results.


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