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fordfixer
01-19-2010, 03:41 AM
Harris: Rooney ruling the Steelers' roost

By John Harris, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 62851.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_662851.html)

Who has the juice, the real power, on the Steelers?

If you thought it was coach Mike Tomlin, think again.

A year after winning Super Bowl XLIII, Tomlin is back where he started when he was hired three years ago: proving himself to team president Art Rooney II.

I naively believed Tomlin's Super Bowl ring in his second season would buy him time if he experienced a campaign such as this one, when the Steelers missed the playoffs -- courtesy of a five-game losing streak during which Tomlin threatened to bench starters and questioned the mental toughness of his players.

Rooney disproved that theory in a revealing interview with the Tribune-Review's Scott Brown. While pleased the Steelers rallied to win their final three games, Rooney II all but ordered Tomlin to change his offensive philosophy and get back to the ground game next season.

"We need to run the ball to be successful," Rooney II said. "Some of our troubles in the red zone can be traced to that, and some of our troubles holding leads can be traced to that."

Is a public reprimand any way to treat the coach who won the franchise's sixth Super Bowl?

It is as if Rooney II believes Tomlin's coaching performance was as ineffective in 2009 as it was outstanding in 2008.

Still, it seems that Tomlin should have built up some coaching equity based on winning the Super Bowl. It isn't like the Steelers decision to switch to a passing game was a failure. After all, the NFL has become a passing league.

However, being able to dial up a dependable running game on demand -- which the Steelers failed to do on a consistent basis -- is a key trait in three of the four remaining playoff teams.

A big reason for the San Diego Chargers' meltdown against the New York Jets in Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game was San Diego's inability to run out the clock while holding a lead. By the same token, the Jets beat San Diego with a strong ground attack despite rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez passing for only 100 yards.

Rooney II said he never asked Tomlin to fire offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, whose pass-first mentality led to Ben Roethlisberger becoming the first 4,000-yard quarterback in franchise history.

Encouraged him, maybe. Suggested it, perhaps.

The Steelers' boss put the spotlight on Tomlin and his franchise quarterback for his team's struggles.

Rooney II was so impressed with Roethlisberger's big season that he promptly called for more running plays in 2010. In fact, Rooney II had some candid comments about Roethlisberger, his $102-million man.

"He's someone I know wants to continue to improve and wants to get better and be considered one of the top quarterbacks in the league," Rooney II said.

I'm sure that quote went over real big in the Roethlisberger household.

If Rooney II is desirous of the offense becoming more run-oriented next season -- he also told the Tribune-Review he wants Roethlisberger to help reduce the Steelers' sack total by getting rid of the ball faster -- why stick with an assistant coach whose teams averaged more passing attempts than carries in five of his six seasons as an NFL coordinator?

Instead of bringing in a new offensive coordinator, Tomlin settled for a new offensive line coach.

Who specializes in running the football.

Agreeing to run the ball more in 2010 adds to Tomlin's legacy as a coach who's reluctant to take charge.

A familiar pattern has emerged with Tomlin, who still hasn't established his own coaching identity with the Steelers.

He arrived as a coach immersed in the 4-3, but the Steelers remain a 3-4 team under defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau.

Tomlin spoke this season about beefing up the passing game, only to have his boss instruct him to run the ball more.

I'm still waiting for the Steelers to announce they've signed Tomlin to a contract extension.

The Steelers traditionally re-sign their coach with two years remaining on his contract. Tomlin has a year left on his original four-year deal and the Steelers hold an option for an additional year.

Surprised the Steelers didn't re-sign Tomlin last offseason following the Super Bowl win?

Me too.

Rooney said the Steelers have every intention of re-signing Tomlin. Let's see if they sign him before the 2010 opener.

Based on how this season ended, I wouldn't be surprised if the Steelers took a wait-and-see approach with Tomlin.

They didn't lock him up this time a year ago when he was the hottest thing going, so why rush now?

Shawn
01-19-2010, 04:24 AM
However, being able to dial up a dependable running game on demand -- which the Steelers failed to do on a consistent basis -- is a key trait in three of the four remaining playoff teams.

Bingo! Someone who gets it.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
01-19-2010, 09:33 AM
There's something vaguely bothersome about the way Rooney did this. Why not have a private conversation with Tomlin and get the very same points across in private? Having it in public is almost like admitting he doesn't have enough cojones to pressure Tomlin to do what he wants unless he's entered his points in the public record first. Or, we've got a budding Jerry Jones on our hands.

Either way, it doesn't give a very flattering picture of RII.

stlrz d
01-19-2010, 09:45 AM
Does anyone know the context in which those statements were made by RII?

I can't imagine he just called a press conference and made those comments. Seems to me someone asked him his opinion, he offered it and now the Pittsburgh media is running with it as if he is sitting atop Mt. Washington issuing decrees from on high.

SanAntonioSteelerFan
01-19-2010, 10:00 AM
Does anyone know the context in which those statements were made by RII?

I can't imagine he just called a press conference and made those comments. Seems to me someone asked him his opinion, he offered it and now the Pittsburgh media is running with it as if he is sitting atop Mt. Washington issuing decrees from on high.

Original article made it sound like it was a sit-down interview with a newspaper reporter.

stlrz d
01-19-2010, 10:03 AM
Does anyone know the context in which those statements were made by RII?

I can't imagine he just called a press conference and made those comments. Seems to me someone asked him his opinion, he offered it and now the Pittsburgh media is running with it as if he is sitting atop Mt. Washington issuing decrees from on high.

Original article made it sound like it was a sit-down interview with a newspaper reporter.

So if that's the case that's exactly what I was getting at then. Someone asked him his opinion, he offered it and the Pittsburgh media - knowing that the fans would freak out - ran with it.

steeler_fan_in_t.o.
01-19-2010, 12:18 PM
[quote="stlrz d":2m7vm9ll]Does anyone know the context in which those statements were made by RII?

I can't imagine he just called a press conference and made those comments. Seems to me someone asked him his opinion, he offered it and now the Pittsburgh media is running with it as if he is sitting atop Mt. Washington issuing decrees from on high.

Original article made it sound like it was a sit-down interview with a newspaper reporter.

So if that's the case that's exactly what I was getting at then. Someone asked him his opinion, he offered it and the Pittsburgh media - knowing that the fans would freak out - ran with it.[/quote:2m7vm9ll]

Not the Pittsburgh media.....John Harris. Every time it seems that a ridiculous article with convoluted thinking and negative innuendos appears, it is from this guy. Follow this line......


Rooney II said he never asked Tomlin to fire offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, whose pass-first mentality led to Ben Roethlisberger becoming the first 4,000-yard quarterback in franchise history.

Encouraged him, maybe. Suggested it, perhaps.

And compare it to this line from the original article.......


Despite speculation that the Steelers' front office put pressure on Tomlin to fire offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Rooney II 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," Rooney II said. "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."

So this Harris guy chooses small tidbits from an article and pushes his agenda.....sneaky and deceptive, but not uncommon. But then he completely contradicts quotes from the original article that he is quoting from. He lied....plain as day. Any article from this guy is not trustworthy, and therefore worthless to discuss.

feltdizz
01-19-2010, 12:44 PM
Sounds like John Harris was told to get some clicks or hit the bricks. It reads like a jounalist who is trying to get fans riled up. Fans are scared Rooney is going to become Jerry Jones because one interview is being reprinted over and over with different slants.

When you miss the playoffs it puts pressure on sports journalist to keep people interested.

ANPSTEEL
01-19-2010, 05:35 PM
[quote=SanAntonioSteelerFan][quote="stlrz d":3dqds0d4]Does anyone know the context in which those statements were made by RII?

I can't imagine he just called a press conference and made those comments. Seems to me someone asked him his opinion, he offered it and now the Pittsburgh media is running with it as if he is sitting atop Mt. Washington issuing decrees from on high.

Original article made it sound like it was a sit-down interview with a newspaper reporter.

So if that's the case that's exactly what I was getting at then. Someone asked him his opinion, he offered it and the Pittsburgh media - knowing that the fans would freak out - ran with it.[/quote:3dqds0d4]

Not the Pittsburgh media.....John Harris. Every time it seems that a ridiculous article with convoluted thinking and negative innuendos appears, it is from this guy. Follow this line......


Rooney II said he never asked Tomlin to fire offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, whose pass-first mentality led to Ben Roethlisberger becoming the first 4,000-yard quarterback in franchise history.

Encouraged him, maybe. Suggested it, perhaps.

And compare it to this line from the original article.......


Despite speculation that the Steelers' front office put pressure on Tomlin to fire offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, Rooney II 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," Rooney II said. "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."

So this Harris guy chooses small tidbits from an article and pushes his agenda.....sneaky and deceptive, but not uncommon. But then he completely contradicts quotes from the original article that he is quoting from. He lied....plain as day. Any article from this guy is not trustworthy, and therefore worthless to discuss.[/quote:3dqds0d4]

I noticed the discrepancies between the original and the Harris article as well-

But in addition to questioning Harris' agenda- I also question Art Jr's thought process in airing these thoughts to the media. I can't see Dan doing this under any circumstances.

These comments indicate that AR II believes:

- The team does not run the ball either consistently enough, nor successfully enough when it does run.

- That Ben is both part of the problem and solution. Recognizing Ben's seeming regression in quick reads.

- That the offensive line scheme, while their performance as a unit improved from last season- still may not be best suited for the physical skills of the players on the team.

- That the defense's short comings are a reflection of two key injuries to Troy and Arron. Along with the seeming unwillingness and/or inability of the staff to draft and coach the young players to be productive in a shorter period of time.

IMO- what this does- is sets the stage for Art II to fire Tomlin and anybody else he deems fit, should the team not perform up to a level he believes it should in 2010. Art has given MT the rope- and it's up to him to determine how the rope is used.

Mister Pittsburgh
01-19-2010, 06:19 PM
I don't disagree with anything he said......and I have no problem with him answering a question honestly. Seems to me anything he said is pretty much common knowledge other than the mentioning of him not telling Tomlin to fire Arians.

feltdizz
01-19-2010, 06:39 PM
I noticed the discrepancies between the original and the Harris article as well-

But in addition to questioning Harris' agenda- I also question Art Jr's thought process in airing these thoughts to the media. I can't see Dan doing this under any circumstances.

These comments indicate that AR II believes:

- The team does not run the ball either consistently enough, nor successfully enough when it does run.
I'm glad he too noticed this too....

- That Ben is both part of the problem and solution. Recognizing Ben's seeming regression in quick reads.
I'm glad he too noticed this too....

- That the offensive line scheme, while their performance as a unit improved from last season- still may not be best suited for the physical skills of the players on the team.
I'm glad he too noticed this too....

- That the defense's short comings are a reflection of two key injuries to Troy and Arron. Along with the seeming unwillingness and/or inability of the staff to draft and coach the young players to be productive in a shorter period of time.
I hope he too noticed this too....


IMO- what this does- is sets the stage for Art II to fire Tomlin and anybody else he deems fit, should the team not perform up to a level he believes it should in 2010. Art has given MT the rope- and it's up to him to determine how the rope is used.
:wft


You lost me on the last one... I think you bought into the article on the fire Tomlin angle. Tomlin isn't going anywhere.. They are going to use this last year to try to save a few 100K.

NorthCoast
01-19-2010, 09:47 PM
Wow...this article completely smacks of red journalism. First off, why would anyone believe that Rooney's statements were the first time he has expressed them to anyone, especially Tomlin? Now it might be possible that RII spoke with Tomlin about beefing up the run game, but Tomlin suggested that BA and Ben wouldn't take it too well. To ratchet up the change and help Tomlin make the case, Rooney goes public putting the FO's wishes on record. Seems a convoluted way of doing things, but maybe this is the new management personality when you are dealing with a $100M man.

Sugar
01-19-2010, 10:04 PM
Wow, looking at what Art II actually said v what was put in by the writer is amazing. This guy stretched further than Plastic Man on most of that. It was like he had an opinion article he wanted to write and then threw some of Art II's words in to give it credence.

papillon
01-19-2010, 10:53 PM
The same as Tomlin's "unleash hell" statement, many of these statements would have been best left private. Hid father would have never made these types of comments or even vaguely answered these questions in this fashion.

You want to run the ball better, take it up with Tonmlin.

You want Ben to take less sacks, take it up with Tomlin.

You want better red zone efficiency, take it up with Tomlin.

You want the line to be more physical, take it up with Tomlin.

You don't like the draft picks, take it up with Colbert and Tomlin.

His opinions on these subjects should have been between himself and Tomlin and/or Colbert.

Just my opinion, it doesn't feel like the last 40 years.

Pappy

Shawn
01-19-2010, 11:09 PM
This was never his style with Cowher. Is it possible that Rooney felt that if Tomlin could publically call out members of his squad...that he could be called out as well? A little how does that feel? It's really hard to say without being in the room when he was interviewed.

Shoe
01-19-2010, 11:16 PM
I hope he doesn't mean the old, "establish the run game" then pass off that.

CUZ THOSE DAYS ARE BY GONE.

It's a passing league. You have to throw the ball early & often, to be a long-term winner in today's NFL. Not saying pass-happy, mind you.

But you cannot go with the run-to-establish-the-pass mindset anymore.

feltdizz
01-19-2010, 11:38 PM
I hope he doesn't mean the old, "establish the run game" then pass off that.

CUZ THOSE DAYS ARE BY GONE.

It's a passing league. You have to throw the ball early & often, to be a long-term winner in today's NFL. Not saying pass-happy, mind you.

But you cannot go with the run-to-establish-the-pass mindset anymore.

I don't think it matters... just do what will expose the D you are playing.

feltdizz
01-19-2010, 11:46 PM
Wow...this article completely smacks of red journalism. First off, why would anyone believe that Rooney's statements were the first time he has expressed them to anyone, especially Tomlin? Now it might be possible that RII spoke with Tomlin about beefing up the run game, but Tomlin suggested that BA and Ben wouldn't take it too well. To ratchet up the change and help Tomlin make the case, Rooney goes public putting the FO's wishes on record. Seems a convoluted way of doing things, but maybe this is the new management personality when you are dealing with a $100M man.

Anytime you give a guy $100M you are telling him he has power... ESPECIALLY when the Steelers pay that kind of money.

I think Ben was being very honest in his ESPN 60 interview when he said he was an azzz to his teammates. Who would stay humble? I wouldn't. Dude was the last guy in the room on draft night... my sister said after the GB game that she couldn't imagine Ben being humble if God entered the room after that throw...

LOL.

ANPSTEEL
01-20-2010, 06:23 AM
I noticed the discrepancies between the original and the Harris article as well-

But in addition to questioning Harris' agenda- I also question Art Jr's thought process in airing these thoughts to the media. I can't see Dan doing this under any circumstances.

These comments indicate that AR II believes:

- The team does not run the ball either consistently enough, nor successfully enough when it does run.
I'm glad he too noticed this too....

- That Ben is both part of the problem and solution. Recognizing Ben's seeming regression in quick reads.
I'm glad he too noticed this too....

- That the offensive line scheme, while their performance as a unit improved from last season- still may not be best suited for the physical skills of the players on the team.
I'm glad he too noticed this too....

- That the defense's short comings are a reflection of two key injuries to Troy and Arron. Along with the seeming unwillingness and/or inability of the staff to draft and coach the young players to be productive in a shorter period of time.
I hope he too noticed this too....


IMO- what this does- is sets the stage for Art II to fire Tomlin and anybody else he deems fit, should the team not perform up to a level he believes it should in 2010. Art has given MT the rope- and it's up to him to determine how the rope is used.
:wft


You lost me on the last one... I think you bought into the article on the fire Tomlin angle. Tomlin isn't going anywhere.. They are going to use this last year to try to save a few 100K.

In the original article, ARII infers that big changes were on the way, had the team not recovered from the 5 game losing streak- to win the last three.

From those statements, and the fact that he (ARII) came out in a public forum pronouncing his position on other Steeler related "issues" - I made the connection.

To me this smacks of- "...I'm not going to tell you who you have to hire or fire- but recognize the issues the team has- solve them, or not, at your own peril." and by doing so publicly, ARII has laid down the challenge.

That is my interpretation- which may, or may not, be accurate. :shock: :lol: