Saturday, January 20, 2007

musical chairs: new Steelers coach.

Vikes D-coordinator Mike Tomlin is moving on to Pittsburgh, significant not only in the football sense (he's a defensive coach in an organization mostly known for offense) but also because he's the first black head coach hired by the owner for whom the minority hiring and interview rule is named after.

Outside of the race issue, the more interesting impact is on the Steelers defense, as ESPN's analysts believe Tomlin will want to come in and go to a 4-3 from the current 3-4, and never mind the threat of their QB coach leaving to join their former O-coordinator in Arizona. Tomlin has lucked out -- he's got a very secure job, as the Rooneys don't like getting rid of coaches, but their last two have given them no reasons to make changes (Noll's 4 championships; Coach Buzzcut's one ring plus numerous playoff apperances.) Steeler fans hope Tomlin will be able to make sure Big Ben plays like a champion again rather than just drink like one.

Update, 1/21 - Per Deadspin, the Pittsburgh papers are claiming Steeler O-line coach (and walrus in training) Russ Grimm is the hire, contradicting all national sports outposts. My personal rooting interest goes to Tomlin -- I'm out of walrus and FUPA jokes after using them on four coaches. The Omar Epps gags are better.

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