Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II Sets the Record Straight

Timothy KesslerAnalyst IJanuary 18, 2010

Almost as if Mr. Rooney wanted to put an end to all of the speculation surrounding recent team decisions, he broke from the norm and spoke to the press on several key issues.


First he made it clear that he talked to Head Coach Mike Tomlin about wanting to change the team’s offensive philosophy concerning the run, back to what most Steelers fans have grown accustomed to. And they agreed it will be a point of emphasis heading into the 2010 season.


"I think Mike and I certainly agreed coming off the season that we need to run the ball more consistently to get to where we want to get to.  So that's part of the thinking in the offseason: We need to figure out how to get better running the football."


"We have to get back to being able to run the football when we need to run the football."


What does that tell us?


It tells us that the Rooneys' main concern was not to keep their $100 million quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger, happy at all costs. Their concern was, and is, for the welfare and success of the team as a whole.


This also clears up any speculation that the Rooneys told Tomlin to keep Bruce Arians, as Arians' philosophy and style is not best suited for a run-oriented offensive.


In fact, more people thought that the Rooneys may have wanted Tomlin to fire Bruce Arians.


But, despite speculation that the Steelers' front office put pressure on Tomlin to keep or fire their offensive coordinator, Mr. Rooney said he never had any such discussions with Tomlin when they talked about making changes to the coaching staff.


"Mike came in and said he thought we should make some changes, and I certainly agreed with him. I never went to Mike and asked him to consider firing B.A., and that wasn't on his agenda, so that's something that never came up, was never discussed."


It’s certainly nice to know that Art Rooney II has followed in his father’s footsteps and has allowed for that decision to be made by the man with whom they entrusted it, Mike Tomlin, as it should be.


Team president Art Rooney II also made it clear that not only does he trust Tomlin, he is looking to sign him to a new contract.


"I think Mike's going to be our coach for a long period of time," Mr. Rooney told reporters. "That's certainly what we're shooting for, and that's his intention, so we'll deal with it at the appropriate time."


Maybe Art Rooney realized that the accusations going around painted the Steelers ownership and his family in a poor light, and he did not want to take away from the long standing and respected reputation that his father built before him.


So he set the record straight.


I, for one, thank you, Mr. Rooney.