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Insider: Steelers making uncharacteristic moves

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By PFW staff

The following quotes are from NFL scouts, coaches and front-office personnel, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

• "The Steelers won a Super Bowl a year ago and now everyone is (upset) and coaches are getting fired. They were always the model franchise for loyalty. It makes you say, 'Wow, that did not last too long.' I don't know (head coach Mike) Tomlin well, but some of the moves they are making seem strange."

• "The first time Pete (Carroll) was in the NFL, I don't think he realized it's about the players. He made it about the players at USC. The difference between college and the pros is that you're dealing with a different set of rules. In college, you have 85 players on scholarship and more than 100 dressed for practice. You can start 10 freshmen. In the NFL, you can only do so much in practice with (a) 53-(man roster) and you only have seven rounds in the draft. In college, you can have a stud at every position on the field. In the NFL, you can't acquire them — there just aren't enough (good players) to have (one) at every position — and even if you could have them, you can't afford to pay all of them. The GM hire in Seattle will be crucial to Pete's success, and I think he knows that."

• "How can the media keep pumping up (Ravens QB) Joe Flacco when he has thrown for a total of 24 (9, 11, 4) completions in his three playoff wins? It's all defense with them! He's yet to win a game. Ray Rice carries that offense, not Flacco."

• "You don't have to be the smartest guy in the room to be the head coach, but you should be the best listener. It's a very tough job. The first thing you have to look at is whether a guy can deal with the media in a hotbed city like New York or Chicago. You want a guy that is not going to blow up. You see the beer commercials. You know there are guys that do a pretty good job of keeping their cool. I'm not sure I can do it. I was listening to Jimmy Mora yesterday (criticizing the Seahawks on the radio). It's too bad for Jimmy. That is going to kill (his coaching prospects)."

• "The best thing Bill Parcells did in Miami was bring in some good coaches and personnel people from Dallas with him. He brought two front-office guys and a few coaches. Look at where they were at two years ago — (the franchise) was in the dumps. I'll give credit where credit is due. Two years ago, they did not have a quarterback on the roster. Now they have a very good, young one (Chad Henne). They are headed in the right direction. Producing 20 wins in two years is not easy, especially from where they had to come from. The personnel was bad when he got there. (Former Dolphins GM) Randy Mueller had run it into the ground."

• "It's tough to come back from the injury Tom Brady (suffered). You can take away the quarterback from any team, and it's going to be difficult to win. What's unique with Brady and (Peyton) Manning — ­Peyton is just that much better than the next quarterback that (the Colts) would be lost without him, too. He drives their success. Take away No. 18 and the Colts don't make the playoffs."

• "Tampa Bay got better at the end of the season with (head coach Raheem) ­Morris taking over the defense. It really helped. They were overloading the 'A' gaps and getting after it. I'm surprised. I expected it was going to go backward."

• "Andy Reid was not afraid to let Steve Spagnuolo leave for a team within the division (the Giants). Secure people, they will never hold back their employees from taking a better job. But you have a lot of teams in this league who will restrict their employees from bettering themselves — too many. Too many insecure people. I understand it, but I think it's selfish, and it usually creates a lot of resentment on coaching staffs. Trust me, I've been around it."


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