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Steelers choose Vikes' Tomlin to succeed Cowher

Posted: Saturday January 20, 2007 1:57PM; Updated: Sunday January 21, 2007 4:00PM
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Under Mike Tomlin, the Vikings ranked No. 1 against the rush this season -- but were tied with the Bengals for last against the pass.
Under Mike Tomlin, the Vikings ranked No. 1 against the rush this season -- but were tied with the Bengals for last against the pass.
Bruce Kluckhohn/US PRESSWIRE
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By Michael Silver, SI.com

Mike Tomlin, defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings, has been chosen as the Pittsburgh Steelers' new head coach, SI.com has learned.

Tomlin, 34, impressed the Steelers during the interview process with his organization skills, intelligence and grasp of the game, according to a source familiar with the coaching search.

He would succeed Bill Cowher, who resigned Jan. 5 after 15 seasons as the Steelers' coach.

Tomlin beat out Russ Grimm, 47, a Steelers assistant for six seasons and their assistant head coach for three, who had been considered the front-runner. The other finalist for the job was Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera.

Before joining the Vikings a year ago, Tomlin had spent five years as a defensive coach with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Before that, he was a college assistant at Cincinnati, Arkansas State, Memphis and Virginia Military Institute.

Tomlin would become only the third Steelers head coach in 38 years and the NFL's sixth African-American head coach.

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