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New Coach Preview - Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin - Pittsburgh Steelers

Résumé Highlights:
1997 - WR/DB Coach, Arkansas State
1999 - DB Coach, Univ. of Cincinnati
2001 - DB Coach, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2006 - Def Coord, Minnesota Vikings
2007 - Head Coach, Pittsburgh Steelers

Impact: Mike Tomlin is all about defense.  That's right, defense!  That's the way the Steelers like it!  And that's the way it was under former coach Bill Cowher so there won't be much change under the new coach.  He needs to see if rookie Lawrence Timmons can really replace Joey Porter and one of his starting cornerbacks was busted for a bar fight in a place called Margarita Mama's, but it's not as though he has a rebuilding job ahead of him.  Expect the same fantasy production from guys like James Farrior, Clark Haggans, and Troy Polamalu on the Pittsburgh defense this year.  The Steelers offense is another thing though.  Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt left for Arizona and Tomlin selected Steelers WR coach Bruce Arians as the new OC.  Arians might be a nice guy, but I don't believe he's a Ken Whisenhunt.  

Fantasy Summary: All the fantasy stars on offense are returning and there's no reason to expect a huge drop-off, but if I had to make a "Card Sharks" decision on the fantasy value of the Steelers offense this year, I'd say "a little lower" based on the loss of Whisenhunt and the addition of new QB coach Ken Anderson.  Anderson may be able to bring Roethlisberger to a higher (and much needed) level, but there was a reason he was booted out of Jacksonville.  The defense should continue to shine, so don't expect much movement either up or down.  It will be a challenge replacing Joey Porter's 55 tackle, seven sack, two interception season but Tomlin should keep the defense operating at the high level fantasy players expect.