If you study the trends of the Steelers this year, one thing is evident: Rooney has stuck his wing tip shoe up some rear ends after two non-winning seasons. It appears to be clearly they case, considering:
1.) Dick LeBoo actually has come out and said he must get production from young players earlier - including rookies - than he has in the past. This might as well have been a clap of thunder or bomb going off. This is a radical shift in philosophy for a very old guy. Old guys don't learn on their feet; they are set in their ways and don't "learn as they go" but instead operate in an iron clad manner of past philosophies. For LeBoo to make such a radical mind shift, at his age, tells you the boss has mandated this shift in philosophy. Dick did not land on this new mindset on his own. He had a little meeting with the boss who laid down the law to him, and, I, for one, agree with him doing so.
2.) Steelers more aggressive in free agency than at any time than any of us can remember. Art 2 maneuvered that wing tip the GM's way. He probably said, "Look, I know we are usually conservative when it comes to free agency, but this year we are going to have to get more aggressive. Two non-winning seasons is enough. We must get moving to get better right now." With the signing of Mitchell, Blount, Moore, Thomas and Moats, the Steelers made more signings, of significance, than their usual 3 years combined. The last two years have embarrassed the Rooneys and Art positioned that wing tip shoe to make some things happen.
3.) Tomlin's has changed his demeanor; after having a somewhat deserved cockiness, after winning a Super Bowl and making it to another, you can tell in Tomlin's words and over all demeanor that he is taking things more seriously this season. You can tell Mr. Rooney had a "wing tip" moment with the head coach. Tomlin has actually had a rough ride since the 2011 season, when pure bad coaching - and the stubborn refusal to make much needed alterations by at least half time, caused them to lose to a QB who can't even make any teams 3rd string spot. Then, he followed that embarrassment up with two non-winning seasons. We know they love to revel in "Pgh has had only 3 coaches in 4 decades" but I believe Art 2 sent the message that regardless of that proud trend, the results of the last few years are not acceptable. Tomlin felt that wing tip.
I believe this same thing happened in 2005 when Art 2 came right out and said, "Coach Cowher knows it's time to win the Super Bowl. He knows it's time." And what did his wing tip kicks facilitate that year? A ring. Sometimes the boss has to kick some rears to make things happen, and Art has once again, and I, for one, am glad he did. This team will be in the post season this year.