There’s a new sheriff in town Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has made it known through the media that his training camps are not going to be pleasant and his players better be ready for a grueling 5 weeks. Tomlin announced his schedule today and the highlight of his training camp schedule, is he will hold 15 two-a-days which has been rare under Bill Cowher. Last season Bill Cowher took it easy on his squad following the Super Bowl. I’m sure Hines Ward and Alan Faneca are not going to be happy about having to go thru 15 two-a-days. Take your pick: Over/Under 3 days: Ward or Faneca sit out a two-a-day due to a injury.
Can anyone imagine Russ Grimm being the coach right now. This team would have 5 two-a-days at the most and half the team would be at the local tavern by 6 in the evening. Following the Super Bowl, the Steelers had a country club vibe about them. Sort of reminded me of the Penguins in the mid 90’s. That will not happen with Tomlin at the helm. The blame for the Steelers becoming a country club last season goes on the shoulders of Bill Cowher. Cowher was a coaches coach at the beginning of his career but as time went on he became a players coach which is the worst thing a coach can do. Cowher had some great years but it was time for a change and the Tomlin era is just around the corner. 12 days untill training camp.
Payne to Replace McClatchy?
The Pirates have been very mum on their search for Kevin McClatchy’s replacement. It is unknown whether Bob Nutting will hire a legitimate baseball guy but how can they get any worse than McClatchy. A topic that has been up for discussion this week, what is Kevin McClatchy’s legacy? He doesn’t have a legacy in my book. How can anything positive come from the eleven years he was with the team. Yes he did save the team at the eleventh hour but don’t give me that non sense, know one else was going to keep the team in Pittsburgh. As for McClatchy delivering Pittsburgh a state of the art stadium. PNC PArk is more of the taxpayers park than Kevin McClatchys.
Two names that have popped up as possible replacements for Kevin McClatchy are two Western Pennsylvania natives, Ulice Payne and Chuck Greenberg. Ulice Payne is a native of Donara who was the Brewers CEO from 2002-2003. An highly successful businessman was forced out of the Brewers organization, Ulice was openly critical of the Brewers payroll situation in 03 which continued its slide south to the $30 Million or less range. The Brewers had the lowest payroll at the time. Ulice was apparently unhappy with the teams payroll because he felt lowering the payroll gives less back to the city of Milwaukee. If anyone remembers, when construction on Miller Park began in the mid 90’s, the Brewers verbally promised that the team would field a competitive team within three years. Doesn’t that ring a bell bucco fans. I may be mistaken but didn’t the Pirates make the same promise? I’ve talked to a few media figures who cover the Pirates and they say Payne is a long shot. He has business ventures overseas and seems content at where he is. The obstacle for the Pirates is their 35 million dollar payroll. Kind of hard to bring the best guy when the owner won’t spend a dime. Despite the low payroll Bob Nutting is saying all the right things at the moment. Sources close to organization believe Nutting will spend money on the right players. He shelled out 16 million to Burnitz, Randa and Hernandez and got nothing in return. Time will tell.
The other possible candidate to pop up this week has been Chuck Greenberg. Mark Madden brought his name up yesterday on his radio show. Greenberg is a highly successful attorney who has become a baseball mogul. Greenberg has helped clients like Mario Lemieux and former Cleveland Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar buy professional sports franchises The guy has been through everything. I’ve known Mr. Greenberg and his family since a very young age and Greenberg would be a great choice for an ownership who needs serious help to field a winning team. Greenberg was a key component in the negotiations for a new arena and played a vital part in finalizing the deal when the deal appeared to in jeapordy. Payne and Greenberg are two great candidates but both are longshots due to the fact that neither are interested at the moment.
The Penguins and Michel Therrien are close to an 2 year extension with a club option for a 3rd. An Announcement is expected within days.
Colby Armstrong rumors: Ray Shero is not a big fan of Colby Armstrong but Mark Maddens remark about Ray Shero saying Colby is a f’ing minor league is completely false. A source revealed to me Shero would never say something like that in the open and Madden is completely off base. I enjoy Maddens show and listen to it anytime i can but that remark needed to be kept to himself. What good does it really do.