Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Tomlin passes test

Ed Bouchette has this report on Tomlin getting his luggage back from US Airways.

In it, I see he passes an early test for me:

He also began revealing his plans for the Steelers in 2007 and what he thinks of some of his players. Yesterday, for instance, he publicly committed for the first time to staying with a 3-4 as his base defense next season.

"I know what it does to offenses, I really do," Tomlin said. "It's all about the personnel you have. We have the best 3-4 people in the world, I think. That's what we're going to do."

The more Tomlin looked at the way the Steelers played the 3-4, the more it convinced him to stick with it under coordinator Dick LeBeau rather than try to convert to a 4-3 Tampa 2, the type he coached with the Buccaneers and the Minnesota Vikings.

"To me, I was excited because I came into this league, a mecca, if you will, for the 4-3 defense in the Tampa 2, working with Tony Dungy and Monte Kiffin," Tomlin said. "Now, I'm working every day with what I believe to be the mecca for a 3-4. If you look at my growth development as a coach, man, it doesn't get any better than that. To be around Monte Kiffin and Dick LeBeau, I think you guys will agree with that. It doesn't get any better than that."

Any coach who inherits a team with Casey Hampton and Troy Polamalu and switches to a 4-3 is, to be blunt, an idiot. There are fewer than ten nose tackles in the world capable of making the 3-4 work, and the Steelers have one of the best, if not the best. While Hampton does the work of two men, Polamalu does what he does.

That's how I understand it. Maybe I'm the idiot. No wait--listen to Coach Tomlin. Maybe I'm right about that.

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