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hawaiiansteel
01-29-2012, 06:34 PM
Starkey: Steelers president out of bounds?

By Joe Starkey, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Sunday, January 29, 2012


Oh, to be a fly pattern on the wall when Ben Roethlisberger sits down with Steelers president Art Rooney II to discuss the future of the team's offense.

Will the Steelers adopt the Rooney-n-Shoot?

Will they go back to three Arts and a cloud of dust?

Not that I expect the conversation to turn ugly. I didn't hear any hostility in Roethlisberger's voice when he spoke at the Pro Bowl the other day. He simply expressed a desire to "go up to Mr. Rooney's office" and talk.

That seems reasonable in the wake of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' "retirement" and Rooney's assessment that Roethlisberger needs to "tweak" his game.

It's not like Ben is going up there with a gun. But if I'm him, I'm armed with a couple of game tapes -- the Kansas City win, for example, when he made a dozen miraculous plays merely to stay upright, let alone find a receiver -- and a few pertinent questions.

Such as:

What are you going to do with the $3.5 million left guard who can't pass block and keeps putting us at 2nd-and-20? How about you tweak that?

Who's going to protect the blind side?

This organization's best thinking resulted in Jonathan Scott manning the left-tackle position to start the season. Trai Essex spent time there, for goodness sake. They finally pulled a guy off his couch to take the job and were lucky Max Starks was in such good shape.

What an insane way to protect a $102 million investment.

Second-year tackle Marcus Gilbert might make the switch from right to left, but what's the backup plan with Starks now a free agent coming off knee surgery?

Rooney is right that Roethlisberger, nearing 30, must take less punishment. But it's a delicate balance because no quarterback works better off contact.

Roethlisberger's size and ability to extend plays are what make him unique -- and nobody is going to change his swashbuckling style.

Now, maybe he could slide once in a while and quit making tackles on interceptions. But the "get rid of the ball" mantra is a bit worn. Roethlisberger knows how to play the pocket rhythm game. Check the New England tape from Oct. 30.

The most logical way to reduce quarterback hits is to improve the line.

Meanwhile, the coordinator shakeup represents an interesting litmus test for Rooney, whose nine-year tenure has been a smashing success. He has not yet explained his role in the Arians ouster, dancing around it with such dexterity that Hines Ward should lend him the Mirror Ball Trophy for a month.

In an interview on the team's website, Rooney was asked the following: "Bruce Arians retired, and there are reports out there that you are the guy who retired him. What's your take on that?"

Replied the Art-ful dodger: "I think the questions of how we got here are not really relevant. The key now is that Mike (Tomlin, the head coach, remember him?) has begun the search for our next coordinator, and he'll do a good job of finding the right person."

The "right person" should be aware that the team president apparently has definite ideas of what he'd like to see when the Steelers break the huddle.

Presumably, he will convey those ideas to Big Ben.

Maybe this is normal. Maybe Tom Brady is breaking down game tape with Patriots owner Robert Kraft even as we speak. Maybe Eli Manning and Ann Mara are crafting the Giants' game plan for the Super Bowl.

Or maybe meddling Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is proof that owners should own, coaches should coach, and players should play.

On the other hand, an owner who knows when to pick his spots can buoy a franchise. Which is precisely what Rooney's father, Dan, did when it came time for the Steelers to make their first-round pick in 2004.

As Dan Rooney recounted in his 2007 autobiography, "Our people seemed to have focused on Shawn Andrews, a big offensive tackle from Arkansas, as our likely number-one pick.

"But when our turn came, I couldn't bear the thought of passing on another great quarterback prospect the way we had passed on Dan Marino in 1983, so I steered the conversation around to Roethlisberger. After some more talk, we came to a consensus and picked Roethlisberger."

Pretty good move.

We'll know soon enough if the son has the father's magic touch when it comes to tweaking the offense.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1ksyJ1QsQ (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/columnists/starkey/s_778942.html#ixzz1ksyJ1QsQ)

Mister Pittsburgh
01-29-2012, 06:47 PM
Anyone think Art didn't bounce his thoughts off of Dan if Art is indeed the one that pulled the plug on Arians? For all anyone knows Tomlin was on the phone with Art the minute he found out Caldwell got canned .& Art is taking the heat to keep a good relationship between Ben & Tomlin.

BradshawsHairdresser
01-29-2012, 10:16 PM
Anyone think Art didn't bounce his thoughts off of Dan if Art is indeed the one that pulled the plug on Arians? For all anyone knows Tomlin was on the phone with Art the minute he found out Caldwell got canned .& Art is taking the heat to keep a good relationship between Ben & Tomlin.
$$$

I wondered this myself...could it be that once Caldwell got the ax, Tomlin decided to can BA and go after his good buddy?

Mister Pittsburgh
01-29-2012, 10:54 PM
I hope Tomlin would not want Caldwell.

NJ-STEELER
01-30-2012, 02:11 AM
Starkey: Steelers president out of bounds?



What are you going to do with the $3.5 million left guard who can't pass block and keeps putting us at 2nd-and-20? How about you tweak that?

1QsQ

thats why i have reservations about controlling the ball more thru the run game.

between kemo and (reportedly) colon at RT, we'll be in 2dn and 20's every other series with them alternating holding and formation penalties.

believe me, i want an offense thats balanced or more importantly can beat you in any way (given the defense), but its not gonna happen with the way our current OL is constructed

hawaiiansteel
01-30-2012, 08:46 PM
Who made the decision that sealed the fate of Arians?

1/29/12
by John Steigerwald


Did Steelers President Art Rooney II hang his head coach out to dry?

A few days before Bruce Arians, ahem, retired as the Steelers' offensive coordinator, Rooney told the WDVE morning show the decision to return was, "Between Mike (Tomlin) and Bruce."

Tomlin had said he wanted Arians back for another season. Arians has said Tomlin told him he would be back.

Arians ain't coming back.

So, who made the decision?

Is somebody not telling the truth?

It sure looks like Rooney made a liar out of his coach. When he was interviewed on the Steelers website about the contradictions, Rooney said, "I think the questions of how we got here are not really relevant. Mike has begun the search for our next offensive coordinator and he'll do a good job finding the right person."

That remains to be seen because this will be the first time in his life Tomlin has hired a coordinator.

You wouldn't expect the interviewer on Rooney's own website to press him on the issue, but who is he trying to kid?

Of course, it's relevant.

Tomlin either had a major change of heart or he was told by his boss to get rid of his offensive coordinator. What would be wrong with telling the truth? It obviously wasn't Arians' decision.

It's Rooney's team. He's the boss. Why doesn't he just say that he told his coach to fire the offensive coordinator?

Is it because it's just not the Rooney way to portray the image of a ruthless business man?

Art's father fired Art's uncle, Art. His dad fired his brother.

Maybe the fate of human civilization isn't going to be affected by determining exactly who gave the order to "retire" Arians, but it is relevant and here's why:

This is another example of the local media being reluctant to question and/or criticize anyone in the Rooney family. Imagine if Art II's last name were Nutting. I realize that being the most successful NFL team of the last 40 years allows you a certain amount of latitude, but where are the tough questions?

If the president/owner pulls rank on the head coach and orders him to fire his offensive coordinator, shouldn't he have the guts to say so? Is it right for him to send his coach out to mislead the media?

When Mike Tomlin is asked about the decision, I think I can give you an almost word-for-word prediction on his response.

"Bruce did an excellent job while he was here, and we appreciate that. We don't look back. And it's time to move forward. Next question."

Tomlin's boss has raised doubts about who is really making the Steelers' major football decisions. And neither of them is left with any credibility on the subject.

http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/spo ... ald-column (http://www.observer-reporter.com/or/sports11/01-29-2012-Steigerwald-column)