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"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Steelers Update.

AP: Grimm emerges as front-runner for Steelers' coaching job
Pittsburgh - Assistant head coach Russ Grimm has emerged as the front-runner for the Pittsburgh Steelers' coaching job, a search that was narrowed to three finalists Monday after offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt left for Arizona.

The Steelers identified Grimm, a Pittsburgh assistant for six years, and defensive coordinators Mike Tomlin of the Minnesota Vikings and Ron Rivera of the Chicago Bears as the finalists. Georgia Tech coach Chan Gailey is no longer being considered.

Grimm and Whisenhunt were believed to be the Steelers' top choices to replace Bill Cowher since the search began Jan. 5, but Whisenhunt will be introduced Tuesday as the Cardinals' coach. He accepted the job Sunday, apparently without the Steelers making a counteroffer to keep him.

Also Tuesday, Tomlin will be interviewed by Pittsburgh for a second time. Grimm's second interview will be Wednesday, while Rivera cannot speak to the Steelers again until the Bears are eliminated from the playoffs.

"We are pleased with the progress of our search to date," Steelers president Art Rooney II said Monday in a statement issued by the team. "We now will move into the second interview phase and we are confident that each of the candidates on our short list will be excellent head coaches in the NFL. It is our task to determine which one is the best candidate for the Pittsburgh Steelers at this point in time.

"Our time frame remains as it was in the beginning," he added. "We will conclude the search when we have found the best coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers."

Since Cowher resigned after 15 seasons, the Steelers have been determined not to rush into hiring a new coach. They have had two coaches in 38 years -- and both were Super Bowl winners -- and they didn't want to hastily fill what traditionally is the most stable coaching job in pro sports.

That diligence may have cost them Whisenhunt, who was widely considered around the NFL to be Cowher's heir apparent.

Grimm also interviewed with the Cardinals but, unlike Whisenhunt, did not get a second interview. The Steelers also received permission to meet with Houston Texans assistant head coach Mike Sherman, the other finalist in Arizona, but never scheduled an interview with him.

Tomlin had an excellent interview with the Steelers last week and, like Cowher was in 1992, is an on-the-rise candidate despite being only 34 and having minimal experience as an NFL coordinator. Tomlin took over the Vikings' defense this season.

Gailey, the Steelers' offensive coordinator in 1996 and `97 and Dallas' head coach for two seasons, was recommended to Rooney by Cowher. However, they didn't bring him back for a second interview after meeting with him Saturday in Pittsburgh.

Hiring Grimm would provide the Steelers continuity from one coaching regime to another and would allow them to keep most of their assistant coaches. All are under contract for next season, but a coach hired from outside the organization would likely want to choose his own staff.

Even if Grimm takes over, Whisenhunt's departure is expected to create some changes in the Steelers' offense.

Whisenhunt may take quarterbacks coach Mark Whipple with him as offensive coordinator, meaning the two coaches who have most closely worked with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger the last three seasons would be gone.

Such a move would clear the way for receivers coach Bruce Arians to become the offensive coordinator, but the former Temple coach did not work daily with Roethlisberger as Whipple and Whisenhunt did.

During an ESPN appearance Sunday, Roethlisberger said he hoped an offensive coach would replace Cowher.

"We just want a winner to come in, someone that's going to command all of our respect," he said.

The 47-year-old Grimm, a Pittsburgh-area native and former Pitt star, would appear to meet that criteria. A three-time Super Bowl winner as a Redskins offensive lineman, Grimm is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and has clearly had the respect of the Steelers' players in his six seasons as an assistant with them.
He was a Redskins assistant from 1992-2000.

Grimm has been the offensive line coach since joining the Steelers, and was given the title of assistant head coach three years ago after he was a finalist for the Bears' job.

While Grimm weighed about 275 pounds as a star lineman in the NFL, he does have a link to Roethlisberger. Grimm was a quarterback and linebacker at Southmoreland High School before being switched to the offensive line by former Pitt coach Jackie Sherrill.

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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