Huddle up! Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers Morning Huddle 10/9/2013


The Steelers are back in full game-week mode coming off of the bye and are ready to take on the Jets, who are coming off of an upset victory against the Falcons on Monday Night Football. Let’s get right down to business. Here’s what’s being said about your Pittsburgh Steelers around the block.

Tomlin Tuesday

Mike Tomlin was back at the press conference table for his weekly presser to address the injury situation and preview the upcoming Jets game. Obviously noting that the Steelers acquired OT Levi Brown during the off week, the other notable personnel news were that Markus Wheaton is officially out for the Jets game with his broken finger, and Cam Heyward is going to start in place of Ziggy Hood. Tomlin also addressed that Mike Adams has been officially benched as Kelvin Beachum and Levi Brown will now battle for the left tackle position. Another personnel change that rookie Vince Williams will get more of the reps at the inside “buck” linebacker spot over Kion Wilson. Tomlin admitted that the turnovers on both sides of the ball are something the Steelers need to improve in order to turn around their losing ways. You can listen to Tomlin’s full press conference here.

Bad Tomlin vs. Bad Cowher

The constant comparisons between current Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin and former Steelers head coach Bill Cowher are about to heat up in frequency this week as the former coach will join the CBS broadcasting booth to cover the Steelers game against the Jets on Sunday. I find the whole debate exhausting. There are those that don’t like Tomlin and will never like Tomlin and that’s fine but as Anthony Defeo of Behind the Steel Curtain points out, there’s a whole lot of memory loss afflicting Steeler fans when they compare the two coaches. There are those who love to say that Tomlin only won the Super Bowl in 2008 because he had Cowher’s players. Defeo reminds us that Cowher “inherited” players like Neil O’Donnell, Dermontti Dawson, Greg Lloyd, Carnell Lake, and Rod Woodson in 1992 when he became head coach of the Steelers. Many who like to criticize Tomlin’s coaching place Cowher up on a pedestal where he is a magical coaching legend who never would have committed any of the mistakes Tomlin has. I encourage all Steeler fans, no matter what your position on the Tomlin vs. Cowher debate, to read this post with an open mind. Here’s an excerpt:

“See, that’s one of the benefits of getting a little older and remembering a few eras of Steelers football. Today, post-Super Bowl XL, Cowher is the legendary ex-coach of the Steelers who spit fire on the sidelines and always had his guys emotionally charged and ready to take the field of battle. But before Super Bowl XL, Cowher spent many years known as a coach who didn’t always have his teams ready to play postseason games, never made adjustments in the face of adversity, was often out-coached in the playoffs and could never, ever win the big game. In addition to those dubious distinctions, Cowher was also known to play favorites with some veterans, was known as too much of a players coach, and oh yes, he was HORRIBLE at clock management – all three sure sound familiar, don’t they?”

Ryan Clark predicts Steelers playoffs this season

Ryan Clark has always been outspoken. This season, he’s a bit more outspoken considering he’s working a part-time job as an NFL analyst for ESPN during the regular season while juggling the duties of being named team captain for the first time in his career. This week, in comments made to the Trib’s Alan Robinson, Clark decided to make a bold statement regarding the Steelers immediate future. Statistics show that the 0-4 Steelers have only a 1.2% chance of making the postseason, based on the history of the league. Clark says, that means nothing.

“I just believe we can win. That’s just the bottom line. I think we have the people in this room, the coaches (to win.) Also, looking at our schedule, we’re not playing world beaters, we’re not playing gods. We’re playing men.” – Ryan Clark

Um, Ryan, you weren’t playing gods in the first four games either. Just pointing that out. I actually like his optimism. I think it’s a hell of a lot better than going into the locker room Week 5 and saying “Gee, we don’t have a chance out there, I really think they should just trade us all for draft picks!” Although I’m sure there is somewhere in the middle Ryan could have gone instead of predicting a playoff run before winning a single game.

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Tags: Bill Cowher Carnell Lake Featured Greg Lloyd Kelvin Beachum Levi Brown Markus Wheaton Mike Adams Mike Tomlin Pittsburgh Steelers Popular Rod Woodson Ryan Clark Steelers Vince Williams

  • DidusayJenn

    I can admit I like both Cowher and Tomlin better when we’re winning! When we’re losing, nobody likes anybody. Let’s go back to winning!! It’s better :-)

  • Dom DiTolla

    I do have to ask though: “How many of Noll’s players were on Pittsburgh’s Super Bowl XL team?” In addition: “How many years did Mike Tomlin have Neil O’Donnell, Kordell Stewart, Kent Graham, Tommy Maddox, and Mike Tomczak as his primary starting quarterback?”

    • Kimmy

      Fair enough but then you’re comparing the two coaches at different points in time whereas that writer was drawing the comparisons between the two coaches at their lowest points. I don’t get the point by listing those quarterbacks, who except for O’Donnell, were all picked by Cowher. Is that a plus or minus of his head coaching that he had years of crappy quarterbacks?

      • Dom DiTolla

        It’s a plus that Cowher was able to still win games with that cavalcade of ridiculousness. I would hate to see what Tomlin’s record would have been without Roethlisberger at the helm.

        • Craig

          Well and I’m pretty sure that a chunk of those guys were his ‘picks’. Cowher didn’t have control of personnel until late in his tenure. Donahoe ruled with an iron fist as in the 90′s – and by iron fist I mean he drafted like crap.

        • Kimmy

          Good thing we’ll never know lol. I don’t want to bash on Cowher too much because I really do think he was a great coach so while I’m comfortable taking the rap for being the resident Tomlin apologist, I don’t want to dog Cowher so much in the process because I have great admiration for both of them. Just thought it was a piece worth sharing because it highlighted the similarities between the criticisms of both coaches during their losing periods.

          • Dom DiTolla

            Oh no, I totally agree. I just wanted to point out that there is at least some weight behind the argument that Tomlin “won with Cowher’s players.”

  • Todd Williams

    I’d prefer Sean Payton over either one. :/