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Something Rotten In the State of Pennsylvania?

Over the course of the weekend, as you know, we had the relatively bizzare story about the Pittsburgh Steelers hiring (former) Vikings' defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin to be their new head coach, replacing Bill Cowher.

Or did they hire Russ Grimm?

Or did they hire them both?

Don't laugh too hard at that last possibility. . .if Pro Football Talk is to be believed, anyway.

As the media continues to try to understand the process that resulted in conflicting reports regarding whether the Steelers would hire Mike Tomlin or Russ Grimm to be the team's next head coach, the hot rumor at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama (where various league types currently are gathered) is that Grimm was indeed offered the job before it went to Tomlin.

As the story goes, the Steelers called Grimm on Saturday and told him not to believe what the media was reporting about Tomlin.  Then, the Steelers and Grimm negotiated a contract, and Grimm was told that he could tell his family that he was the guy, which he did.

But then, as the story goes, Commissioner Roger Goodell got involved and suggested to Steelers chairman Dan Rooney that it would be nice if the Steeler would hire one of the minority candidates, given that the Rooney Rule was named after him.  Rooney relented.

(Click on the link to read the rest of the news flash.)

If there's even a little bit of truth to any of this, then it can all be summed up in one word.


Just. . .wow.

Mike Tomlin is one heck of a football coach, and is quite deserving of a head coaching job at the National Football League level.  But it would be pretty terrible to find out that he's getting his big break under less than legitimate circumstances.

Now, to clarify. . .I am NOT definitely saying that this is what happened.  I can't say one way or the other what happened.  But the events that transpired on Saturday and Sunday were, as PFT suggests, simply too damn bizarre to be ignored.  In nearly 25 years of following the National Football League, I've never seen the amount of confusion over a team's hiring of a head coach that we saw this weekend with Pittsburgh.  First it was Tomlin, then it was Grimm, then it was Tomlin again, then it was nobody. . .and then finally it was Tomlin.

Hopefully PFT will have more on this story as time progresses.