Monday, January 22, 2007

Expecting the Unexpected -- UPDATE

Update -- January 22, 2007 (11:30 PST)
WTAE.com will be streaming the Mike Tomlin press conference online.

Update -- January 22, 2007 (8:45 PST)
A press conference is to be held this afternoon at 330PM (EST) to announce the hiring of Mike Tomlin as the new head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Team Pass members can watch the press conference live. At this time none of the media outlets in Pittsburgh (e.g. WTAE-TV, KDKA-TV, KDKA 1020) have indicated whether or not they will stream the press conference on their respective websites.

Original Posting
After a long and distinguished career the head coach resigned.

The head coach's top assistant -- respected by the former coach, players, and the owners alike -- seemed to be a perfect fit to take over. All that was needed was the announcement to make it official, and the Steelers could enjoy some much desired continuity.

Only Joe Greene, Chuck Noll's valued assistant, never received that call. Instead the Rooney family went outside of the organization -- seemingly placing a value on a fresh perspective as much as coaching ability -- to hire a virtually unknown defensive coordinator, Bill Cowher.

With the departure of Ken Whisenhunt to Arizona many are now proclaiming Russ Grimm to be the heir apparent to Bill Cowher -- a trusted, respected assistant seemingly ready to assume the mantel of head coach. But such assumptions ignore the deliberative quality of the interviewing process (according to a statement by Art Rooney II the organization is trying "to determine which one is the best candidate for the Pittsburgh Steelers at this point in time." If Russ Grimm was the obvious choice then why the second round of interviews?), and the prediction here is that by the end of January Mike Tomlin is going to be the new head coach, and first African-American head coach, of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Dan Rooney was the owner who pushed hardest for minority candidates to be included in all head coach searches by all teams, and the guess here is that the Steelers current patriarch is preparing to put some action behind his words.

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