Hit the Ground Running

Mike Tomlin may have learned something about coaching hires from Brad Childress. Tomlin, who was hired within a day of his Bucs team being eliminated from the playoffs a year ago, announced his coordinators Monday -- just hours after officially being hired by the Steelers.

When Brad Childress took over the Vikings, he wasted little time in hiring Mike Tomlin as his defensive coordinator – snatching him up within 48 hours of the Buccaneers being eliminated from last year's wild card playoffs. Tomlin seemed to pick up on that cue, announcing within hours of officially being hired that he had decided on his own coordinators.

Tomlin announced Monday that he had opted to keep Dick LeBeau as his defensive coordinator and promoted receivers coach Bruce Arians as his offensive coordinator.

There is no word if the Steelers are going to make an immediate transition from the 3-4 base defense to a 4-3, which is the predicate defense of the Cover-2 system.

TUESDAY NOTES
* The Vikings' search for a new defensive coordinator saw one candidate taken off the list Monday. Steve Spagnuolo, the Eagles linebackers coach and considered a candidate for the open DC position with the Vikings, was named the Giants defensive coordinator Monday.
* The Steelers and Tomlin went through a mini-soap opera Sunday, as several media outlets (including VU) had word that Tomlin was going to be hired as head coach, but a Pittsburgh newspaper had a front page story claiming the team had hired Russ Grimm. Dan Rooney of the Steelers tried to clear the air Monday, saying that any speculation that the team had offered Grimm the job and then rescinded were false. He did add, however, that the Steelers didn't talk contract with Tomlin until Sunday – making their mutual denials of a deal being done Saturday ring true.
* Former Viking Koren Robinson entered an Alford plea Monday in connection with his high-speed felony charge of fleeing police last August on his way back to the Vikings training camp in Mankato. An Alford plea allows someone to acknowledge that evidence in a case could result in a jury reaching a guilty verdict, but doesn't require a person to admit guilt. In exchange for the Alford plea, seven lesser charges related to drunken driving, reckless driving and driving without a license were dismissed. The remaining felony charge carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Robinson is currently set to begin a 90-day jail sentence for a probation violation in Washington stemming from the arrest in Mankato.
* Lane Kiffin, who was a frontrunner to get the head coaching job for the University of Minnesota just last week, was named the Raiders head coach Monday – ending another scenario in which several potential candidates turned down overtures to become the team's new head coach.
* The Bengals have replaced the Vikings as the bad boys of the NFL. Over the weekend, cornerback Johnathon Joseph was arrested on charges of marijuana possession, making him the ninth Bengal to be arrested in the last nine months.
* Former Vikings assistant coach Charlie Baggett, who was the Dolphins wide receivers coach, was fired Monday by new head coach Cam Cameron.

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