Keeping it fresh: The 2015 season will be Coach Mike Tomlin's ninth with the Steelers, and with that comes challenges. One of those challenges addressed during the NFL's Annual Owners Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona is how Tomlin keeps things fresh and if change is important.
"I think that each year stands on its own," said Tomlin. "Some years I say similar things that I said the year before. I try to give our team what I deem appropriate and what I believe they need for preparation and ultimately play. One of the things I have realized over the years, you probably get tired of saying it before they get tired of hearing it. I don't worry too much about keeping it fresh from that perspective. If it's good, it works."
While Tomlin said he isn't resistant to change, he doesn't like to do so just for the sake of changing.
"When I change, I like to change with a purpose," said Tomlin. "So we analyze all that we do. We kind of forecast what we need to do moving forward. And we make decisions appropriately. A lot of things affect how you do what it is that you do or what it is that you do. I try to have a hardcore plan but remain light on my feet in order to do appropriate things from that standpoint."
Porter's impact:** Former Steelers linebacker Joey Porter went from defensive assistant to outside linebackers coach this offseason and for good reason. Porter has had a big impact on the team's young linebackers in a short time, and is adjusting well to being a part of the coaching ranks.
"I think he's a young coach that's discovering his voice as a coach and working hard every day to grow in that area," said Tomlin. "He doesn't care too much about his vast playing experience. He realizes that he's in a new space now and I just respect that mindset from him. He's trying to be the very best coach that he can be. Along the way his playing experience lends itself to his new task. He's done a nice job working with our guys, particularly the outside linebackers this year."
On the radar: Signing DeAngelo Williams wasn't something that was just out of the blue for the Steelers. This is a player that Tomlin was familiar with. Tomlin once coached at the University of Memphis, where Williams played, and has followed him since then.
"I'd say he's been on my radar for over a decade," said Tomlin. "I just have a great deal of respect for what he's been able to do in the game as a college player and as a professional. I'm excited about having him. I think his experience lends itself to our team makeup because we have a guy of the caliber of Le'Veon Bell, and DeAngelo has expressed his excitement about coming alongside Le'Veon and working with him and even helping him grow and develop as a player and a man. DeAngelo has some experience in that area and I think that's an intrinsic value in that."