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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin on Bucs coach Raheem Morris: "I imagine he'll be better in 2010'



Mike Tomlin won a Super Bowl in his second year as the head coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The expectations might not be as lofty for Bucs coach Raheem Morris, Tomlin's protege, who struggled to a 3-13 record in his first season at the helm in Tampa Bay. 

But Tomlin says he expects Morris to benefit from the experience he gained as a first-time head coach and be better for it in 2010.

"I'm really not aware of how he handled it, because I didn't watch,'' Tomlin said. "I was aware of the outcome of games and I know that he was probably dissatisfied with that. But I really didn't stay up to speed with how he handled those things. He's capable. I've been around him enough to know that. I think that's why the Glazers hired and I trust he handled it appropriately.

"It's like when we were talking about the second-year player. It's a lap around the track. There are no elements of the journey that you're not familiar with. I think the first year, you've got a vision of the journey. You've got a vision of the plan. After your first year, you've got tangible evidence as to why it works and why it doesn't. That information can be quality information for you if you're sharp. He is sharp, so I imagine he'll be better in 2010.''

Broncos coach Josh McDaniels certainly had more success in his first season at Denver. But a 6-0 start quickly evaporated into an 8-8 record. McDaniels says he can commiserate with Morris on learning from mistakes in your first year as an NFL head coach.

"I spoke with Raheem last night, actually. You know, it's the first year and that's what we were both talking about,'' McDaniels said. "I think you know a lot more now than you did at this time last year about the team that you have -- about your players, about your staff, about the process you want to go through, about some of the things that you wouldn't do again and about some of the things you did and definitely want to do again. Raheem went through some changes with his staff. We obviously had some changes with our staff as well. I can tell in his words that he feels more comfortable with what he's doing, with who's there around him, with what he knows about the team and everything else. 

"You have to come out with a certain philosophy and a certain belief and that's what we tried to do in that first year. Everything didn't go perfectly. But to be able to put that out there and then be able to adjust it as you need to adjust it. I know my team better. I know my players better. I know the way they're going to react. I know my staff better. And those are the things that will allow my staff and my players to make those adjustments a lot quicker.''

But Colts coach Jim Caldwell, who led the Colts to a Super Bowl in his first season as an NFL head coach, said you can never feel comfortable.

"I'm not certain it's more comfortable. I don't think I'm ever going to be comfortable,'' Caldwell said. "If you start getting comfortable, that's when you have a problem around the corner.

"Obviously, you kind of know what to anticipate. The great thing about it, even before my opportunity to run it last year, I had a pretty good sense of it. Tony (Dungy) had given me a chance to do a lot of things in preparation for the upcoming year. But every year is's certainly not any easier. But it's fun.''

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 26, 2010 3:57pm]


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