View Full Version : Art Rooney II speaks.

12-02-2010, 07:50 PM
Steelers president Art Rooney II talked extensively about James Harrison's standoff with the NFL, two days after the outside linebacker was fined a fourth time this season.

Here are excerpts from Rooney's interview following Steelers' practice Thursday:

Q: What do you make of everything going on with James Harrison?

A: “I understand our players’ frustration and I certainly share in some of their frustration. We’ve expressed our concerns to the league office on some of these things. I think the bottom line at this point is we have to make sure this doesn’t become a distraction to the team and to our season. I know that that’s easier said than done but that’s got to be the key to this at this point.”

Q: Is that why Mike (Tomlin) has not said anything publicly as far as calling out the league, which some fans think he should do in defense of his players?

A: “I think Mike doesn’t want to fall into the trap of having this become a distraction. It’a a tough line that he’s got to walk but I think he’s walked the line the right way, and he understands that players are going to vent on occasion. That’s fine, they can say what they want to say. But I think from Mike’s point of view he needs to make sure it doesn’t become a distraction and I think he’s got to be guarded in what he says because of that.”

Q: Are the concerns you have expressed to the league because of consistency issues with the way the league is enforcing some of the rules or that one guy is getting singled out?

A: “I don’t know that I want to get into too many details in terms of specifics of what we communicated to the league. It’s a number of things and I think they understand what our concerns are so I’m not sure how much of the detail of that we should get into.”

Q: Do you believe in the players’ rights to speak u about this stuff or would you prefer they keep quiet?

A: “I’m always hesitant to try to tell somebody not to say what’s on their mind. I think in a situation like this when you’re involved in a team and we have certain things we’re trying to accomplish. I think they need to keep that in mind. They can’t allow this to become a distraction. I think there is a time when it’s appropriate to get some of this off their chest and there’s a time when they just need to get focused on the task at hand. And I’m confident that’s what they’re going to do. They understand what’s at stake here in this game and as we head into the home stretch of the season. I’m not worried about it but I think it is something they need to keep in mind. We need to make sure we keep our focus and not allow it to become a distraction.”

Q: What does it say to you that players from other teams seem to be in agreement on this issue?

A: “I think that it speaks to the fact that there is some frustration there. I think one of the difficulties with this whole season has been that this came up in the middle of the season or part way into the season. And the normal course for stuff like this to occur is the offseason and things get discussed, things get hashed out and you sort of come into the season with everybody sort of knowing where you stand. The rules haven’t changed. It’s the way the discipline is being applied. That has been changed. I don’t think anyone is going to argue that hits to the head were something we needed to address. I think everyone’s prepared to understand how we deal with that. The concern that I have is it seems like it’s gone beyond that at this point in terms of how things are being looked at and what the points of emphasis are. That’s where I think leads to some of the frustration and some of the concerns we have that we’ve expressed to the league.”

Q: It would seem like the Steelers are alone in this issue. Is that accurate?

A: “It’s hard for me to say. This is something that really hasn’t been put on the floor of a league meeting for everybody to discuss, to sort of talk about. And so it certainly looks that way. Not that we’re expecting much sympathy from other teams but I think some of this will part of the discussion after the season is over, and hopefully we’ll all have our chances to express our opinions and at that point have a better understanding of where the owners in the league stand on some of this.”

Q: Did you vote against the rule that prohibits a player from hitting a defenseless player with his helmet or shoulder?

A: “We have expressed about some of these rules, how difficult it is to enforce some of these rules, to officiate some of the rules. In general I think we’re sympathetic to the idea that we need to focus on player safety and particularly on helmet to helmet hits. The other side of it is it’s still a football game, and I think we’ve got to be realistic about how the rules can be changed and what we expect of the defensive players in particular.”

Q: Are you concerned that at some point James will get suspended?

A: “They made it clear that it’s a possibility. So it’s a concern, yes.”

Q: Troy Polamalu made national headlines recently when he said Roger Goodell has too much power when it comes to handing down fines and other discipline. Do you agree that the system needs to be changed?

“Some of that gets into the whole collective bargaining discussion, which I’d rather not get into right now. I would just say in general, if you look down through the years, our league has benefited from having a system where we’ve had a commissioner that was a very powerful office. And I’m not necessarily looking to dramatically change that in any way. So I think I think when you look at the big picture and the overall history of the league, the fact we’ve had a system where our commissioner has kind of been the buck stops and that’s where the power is in the league...overall, I’m satisfied that’s the way it should be.”


Stu Pidasso
12-02-2010, 10:22 PM
Well, that was certainly a... very corporate discussion.

12-02-2010, 10:30 PM
Yeah...in very common Steelers FO style, Art II is not going to come out and say straight up or show emotion about what is going on behind the scenes. The fact that he said this much about it should tell us all that they are extremely displeased with what is going on at the moment.

Like I said in another thread...don't expect to hear a lot out of Tomlin or anyone else in the FO about this issue. The players may speak out a lot about their frustrations, but it's the coaches job to try to reign that frustration in and get them ready for gameday.

This team has enough distractions as it is, some of this will just have to wait until the offseason to be discussed at any length.

tony hipchest
12-02-2010, 11:00 PM
i thought it was almost a familial discussion and not overly micro managed (exactly what ive come to expect from the rooneys)-

It’a a tough line that he’s got to walk but I think he’s walked the line the right way, and he understands that players are going to vent on occasion. That’s fine, they can say what they want to say.

“I’m always hesitant to try to tell somebody not to say what’s on their mind.

tomlin gets "it". he doesnt need to be told, which sorta explains why the darkhorse was hired in the 1st place.

12-05-2010, 03:22 PM
"and i certainly share in some of their frustration...". Translation = i'm F***ing pissed.

But boy, did he do the dance around all these questions. Quite comical. It was like he answered every question the same, only with different words lol

12-05-2010, 07:28 PM
Roger Godell is JEALOUS becuase Art Rooney and Obama are buddies, and Roger doesn't really have ANY true friends' in high places.
Roger is a just a waving F(L)AG ! with no one looking. !

Art Rooney could do Roger's Job much better, and be much fairer about ALL the NFL teams.