Earlier today Team President Art Rooney II was interviewed by the Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette, the Trib’s Alan Robinson and Bob Labriola, the Editor of Steelers Digest.
These were ARII’s first comments since the season ended more than a week and a half ago.
Despite the team finishing 8-8 for a second consecutive year and missing the playoffs for a second straight campaign, ARII sees the “arrow pointing up” for his Steelers. It’s hard not to agree considering the team finished 6-2 following a 2-6 start but I do have concerns with some comments.
He was not nearly as critical of the defense as I felt he should have been although he did discuss giving up too any big runs and big plays overall. If ARII can “retire” his offensive coordinator following a 12-4 season in 2011 then why can’t Dick LeBeau be questioned after two 8-8 seasons? It sure sounded to me as if LeBeau was getting a pass.
ARII also said that while it is typical to re-do the contracts of their quarterbacks with two years remaining as is the current case with Ben Roethlisberger that the team may wait until after next year. This is a curious decision to me and I’ll keep my thoughts on it quiet as the offseason develops. Perhaps we’ll get some more clarity over that time. My wheels are definitely spinning though.
Other ARII Comments….
- Says he saw growth in relationship between Roethlisberger and Todd Haley and that much of that was due to Ben.
- Says the team will file a protest with the league should any more discipline come from Mike Tomlin’s sideline incident in November. Obviously he is speaking of potential loss of draft picks here.
- Says he was pleased with Mike Tomlin’s handling of the team in the second half of the season.
- Despite possibly delaying an extension for Roethlisberger, he did state that he expects him to remain a Steeler long after 2015.
- Says there will be another scoreboard added to the North End of Heinz Field.
- Believes Mike Tomlin going for the touchdown in Green Bay was the right call despite the Packers nearly winning on the final play.
- Says instant replay takes too long and needs to go the way of the NHL and have a centralized site for review.
- Says that Coach Tomlin has yet to meet with coordinators and assistants so changes are still possible.
- He felt the team deserved to be in the playoffs but does not want to see playoffs expanded as has been discussed this week.
I agree with some of what he had to say especially regarding instant replay, expanding the playoffs and Tomlin’s keeping the team together in the second half of the season but I obviously have concerns over Roethlisberger’s potential contract situation and Tomlin’s decision not to take time off the clock in Green Bay. There is no bigger area of improvement needed for Tomlin than clock management in my opinion.
While I personally think it’s great to have owners who don’t need to be in front of a camera after every game, it would be nice to hear from Art Rooney II a little more often. Then again this is why they own the team and I don’t.
Marc Uhlmann writes for and co-owns www.steelcityblitz.com. Follow him on Twitter @steeldad and follow the website at @SCBlitz. He can be heard Mondays on Trib-Live Radio at 730pm ET talking Steelers and is a blogger for ESPN 970 in Pittsburgh.