Big Lead Sports Bar

5/17/2007

Tomlin Eats Pasta Alla Ben

SI's Peter King does five pages on Mike Tomlin, and there's some interesting stuff (other than this fantastic photo):


-Tomlin's usual meal at La Tavola Italiana on Mt. Washington is "Pasta Alla Ben", a fusilli-and-sausage dish named after quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
-Since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, only one team allowed fewer than the 985 rushing yards his Vikings defense allowed last year.
-And my personal favorite:
At defensive meetings each day, Tomlin put two pages on the overhead projector. One was the Loaf Chart, which totaled the number of plays on which each of his players had dogged it during the previous practice. Tomlin preached accountability. The other sheet was called the News, which singled out players for mistakes such as jumping offside or dropping an interception or looking half-asleep. "I'm not telling a story," Tomlin would say, "I'm reporting the news."
I first heard about "The News" in that great Joe Starkey piece I mentioned yesterday. I'll take a pause from King's article to let Joe elaborate a bit further on "The News":
"If you're not up to his standards, you're going to be on the news," said backup nose tackle Chris Hoke. "That's what he does, he puts it up there and says, 'The News,' and everyone holds their breath like, 'Here it comes.' You're hoping you're not going to be up there."
[Hines] Ward found himself in the headlines one morning for spiking the ball after a catch. A new NFL rule prohibits spikes except after touchdowns.
"You don't want to end up in the headlines," Ward said, laughing. "He's not calling anyone out, really. It's just the facts. If you loaf on a play, you end up in the news. If you fumble a ball, you end up in the news. If you throw a pick, you end up in the news. He calls it like he sees it."
Going back to King's article, we'll close with a great Tomlin story about Love Boater Fred Smoot:
Eight games into the second year of a six-year, $34 million free-agent contract, Smoot was not playing well: no interceptions and just one pass breakup. Tomlin opened a midweek defensive meeting by saying, "We're going to have a change at cornerback. Cedric Griffin's going to replace Fred Smoot, and if Fred does not come and compete for the job, Cedric's going to be the corner the rest of the year."
Mike Tomlin, you impress me more and more every day. If there's one thing this team needs, it's accountability. These articles will officially re-ignite your Steeler Fever. Camp can't start soon enough.
Read the articles:
Third Man In [Peter King, SI]

2 comments:

Brad said...

At first I thought this whole going-outside-the-house thing to hire the head coach was not the greatest idea, but this culture change is exactly what they needed after last year's mistake/turnoverfest. No one was accountable for anything because of the ring on their finger. Sounds like that's not an issue anymore.

PS: One other glaring omission from the Hot 100 yesterday: Giada De Laurentiis. Anyone who has watched Food Network knows what I am talking about, bellissima.

Laser Rocket Arm said...

I think the Rooneys chose well with Tomlin. Plus the man has outstanding grooming habits--I saw him getting interviewed during the draft and was commending his obviously excellent barber the entire time.

/shallow chick stuff

But Tomlin is obviously kicking ass and taking names ... and putting them on the news.