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03-01-2007, 03:04 AM
1-On-1 With Art Rooney II

POSTED: 4:50 pm EST February 28, 2007
UPDATED: 5:09 pm EST February 28, 2007

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PITTSBURGH -- The NFL scouting combines have ended, and former Steelers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt made some waves there.

Whisenhunt, now the head coach for the Arizona Cardinals, told reporters the Steelers coaching staff underestimated the effects of off-season injuries on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

In a one-on-one with Art Rooney II, WTAE Channel 4 Action News anchor Sally Wiggin asked the Steelers president about it.

Wiggin: "Were you surprised about Ken Whisenhunt's candor and outspokenness about Ben's situation last year?"

Rooney: "Was I surprised? Only a little. I didn't read into this comment in terms of his trying to be negative, which is the way people wrote it."

Nor does he agree with a newspaper column that questioned his quarterback's work ethic.

"I am hoping Ben doesn't make any major changes in the way he approaches football," said Rooney. "For the most part, it has been pretty good."

And pretty good is how he sees Mike Tomlin, his new head coach, handling his newfound Steeler celebrity.

"We talked to him about it, but I think that he didn't understand what we were saying," said Rooney. "No way you can understand it unless you have lived through it. He just handles people with a comfort level that is surprising. He lights up a room so to speak when he walks into it."

And it seems historically fitting the Steelers hired Tomlin. In 1933, Art Rooney Sr. had Ray Kemp, a black man, on his first team. In 1957, Rooney appointed the first black in the modern era, receivers' coach Lowell Perry.

Under Chuck Noll, Tony Dungee became the NFL's first black defensive coordinator.

"I certainly remember neither one of them ever talked about not giving someone an opportunity because of their race," said Rooney. "It was just something was in their minds. They were different."

Rooney Sr. continued to lead the league in diversity issues, and now, Rooney II sees his father taking on another new role.

"I do see some similarities now with my grandfather's relationship with players," said Rooney. "The players might come in and sit on the couch, have a cigar with him. My father wasn't like that at my age then, so there has been a change in how the players look at him, as a grandfatherly type, great relationship with them."

Video Interview: http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/sports/11137684/detail.html

03-01-2007, 12:56 PM
I find it somwhat ridiculous that authors are still not able to spell Tony DUNGY's last name right. Dungee...

03-01-2007, 02:14 PM
I find it somwhat ridiculous that authors are still not able to spell Tony DUNGY's last name right. Dungee...

Yet they can spell Rooney....which could probably be alot harder to spell. But what do you expect, it took them this long to spell Houshmenwhatever. I even still see some articles with Polamalu spelled wrong. Same with Kimo's name and Roethlisberger's.