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Tomlin takes over & drafting a legend

January 22, 2007
Mike Tomlin hired

Mike Tomlin became the 16th head coach in Steelers history on this day in 2007, succeeding Bill Cowher, and becoming only the third head coach since 1969.

On January 22, 2007 Mike Tomlin was hired to take over for Bill Cowher. Take a look at some photos from that day.

"Mike's core values are a good match for our organization," said Steelers' President Art Rooney II during Tomlin's introductory press conference. "Mike wants to play the kind of football that has been the kind of football that the Pittsburgh Steelers have played and he will bring that approach to our team and I think he will play the kind of football that Steelers fans have come to appreciate through the years."

Tomlin, who is now in his ninth season with the team, was honored to join the Steelers and showed his respect for the organization immediately.

"It is a great honor to be a part of the most storied franchise in all of professional sports," said Tomlin during the same press conference. "We are coming to grips with what that means, but we are having fun. We intend to make no bold predictions about what we are going to do. What we are going to do is promise to have a first-class blue collar work ethic in how we approach our business."

January 22, 2006
AFC Championship Game
Steelers 34, Denver Broncos 17
Invesco Field at Mile High

For the third straight week the underdog Steelers had to hit the road for what they knew was going to be a tough test against the AFC's No. 2 seed Denver Broncos in the conference's championship game, with a trip to Super Bowl XL hanging in the balance.

Getting off to an early lead was something the Steelers knew was paramount, and they did just that. Both teams exchanged field goals in the first half, but the Steelers scored three second quarter touchdowns, including a 12-yard reception by Cedrick Wilson, three-yard run by Jerome Bettis and 17-yard grab by Hines Ward from Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers went into the locker room at halftime up 24-3, and it was a lead the Broncos couldn't overcome.

Roethlisberger, in just his second season, completed 21 passes for 275 yards and two touchdown passes, performing with the poise of a seasoned veteran.

When you get around Ben, he's much more mature than his age would indicate," said Coach Bill Cowher postgame. "He's very much in control. He's a great competitor. He's got a great feel for the game and a lot of self‑confidence, and so this kid has been successful all of his life.  I don't think he knows what not having success is. We'll keep riding his coattails and hopefully there will be more to come."

The Broncos scored two second half touchdowns, but the Steelers closed the door on any comeback attempt when Roethlisberger scored on a four-yard run for the 34-17 win and a trip to the Super Bowl.


Check out photos of Steelers' Hall of Famer John Henry Johnson

January 22, 1953**
John Henry Johnson selected in NFL Draft

John Henry Johnson was the Steelers second pick in the 1953 NFL Draft, but instead of joining the Steelers immediately, he went to the Canadian Football League. Johnson returned to the NFL after one year, but went to San Francisco and then Detroit. He eventually made his way back to the Steelers via a trade in 1960 and spent his most productive six seasons in the black and gold. Johnson was the first Steelers running back to rush for over 1,000 yards when he had 1,141 in 1962. Johnson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1987.

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