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Hawaii 5-0
01-10-2013, 12:39 AM
'Frustrated' Rooney supports Tomlin, Haley

Bob Labriola
Steelers Digest

Making his first public comments since the end of the NFL regular season, Steelers President Art Rooney II characterized his team’s 8-8 finish as frustrating, but he said he had no issues with the jobs Coach Mike Tomlin and offensive coordinator Todd Haley did in 2012.

“It was clearly a frustrating season, mostly because we had so many opportunities that we didn’t take advantage of,” said Rooney. “It was one of those seasons when a play here or a play there would have made a difference in a lot of those games. So you keep running through that in your mind, and that’s what makes it frustrating – to be here watching teams (in the playoffs) you think you might be as good as. Not to oversimplify it, clearly one statistic that stands out as a problem was turnover ratio. If you look at the playoffs, teams that are on the negative side of the turnover ratio are not in the playoffs. It’s really as simple as that. That was an area on both sides of the football where we fell short, and certainly it’s something we can improve upon and something we need to improve upon.”

Before any of that will have a chance to take place, the Steelers first will have to get themselves in compliance with the 2013 salary cap, which will go into effect at 4 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 12. At that time, every team’s top 51 player contracts must be below the 2013 salary cap that tentatively is slated to be at or just below $121 million. As to one report that has the Steelers currently $10 million over the cap with 30-plus players under contract, Rooney said, “That’s probably a little on the lower side of where we might be,” with the implication being that the situation actually is worse.

“We’re tight, similar to where we’ve been the past few years,” said Rooney. “We’ve got work to do there. That will be one of the challenges of this offseason, really trying to figure out how we’re going to put this jigsaw puzzle back together.”

Because he said Tomlin is still in the process of evaluating individual players, Rooney declined to speculate on whether players might have to be released in salary cap moves, or whether players might be asked to restructure their contracts.

“I’m not going to make any predictions on that front,” said Rooney. “We’ve got work to do. As it stands today, it doesn’t all fit.”

What Rooney believes are good fits are Tomlin as the Steelers coach even though the 8-8 finish was the worst of his six seasons on the job, and Haley as the team’s offensive coordinator even though in a make-or-break game against the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 23 the offense managed only one touchdown while converting just 2-of-14 on third downs.

“I think Mike did a good job,” said Rooney. “He was accurate in his own assessment of himself – we were 8-8. We need to be better than that, but I certainly still have a high level of confidence in Mike. I know he’s working as hard as he can already to make sure we get back on the right track.”

As for the offense Rooney said, “I thought Todd did a good job. A lot of the things we were hoping for, we were getting. It should only get better.”

One calendar year ago, Rooney made headlines when he suggested that Ben Roethlisberger needed to “tweak” his style of play in order to cut down on the wear-and-tear on his body.

“The key thing we wanted was for Ben to be protected more and not to take as many hits,” said Rooney. “That was something we were successful with the first half of the season. The first nine games of the season, Ben was having a good season and was taking a lot fewer sacks than he did before, and that was what we were hoping for.”

To facilitate that change, the Steelers hired Haley to replace Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator, and after the Steelers defeated the New York Giants on Nov. 4 to run their record to 6-3, Roethlisberger was the best third-down quarterback in football and had been sacked only 17 times, the team had three straight games in which it had a 100-yard rusher, and there was a nice complement of ball control and red zone efficiency developing.

“If we look at it in terms of nine games into the season, our offense was functioning at a pretty high level,” said Rooney. “Ben was on track to have his best season of all time, and he was taking fewer sacks. So a lot of the things we were hoping for were happening. After he got hurt (the following week against Kansas City), our offense seemed to lose its rhythm, and even after Ben came back we never really regained that momentum.

“You have to look at it as: OK, when our quarterback was healthy what did we have? And what we had I thought was pretty good. Not that there aren’t things we don’t want to improve, but you would think the second year of a new offense would be better than the first. Hopefully those kinds of things will evolve in our favor.”

Of course, that could depend upon Haley being offered and accepting the head coaching job in Arizona. Rooney confirmed that Haley was in Arizona interviewing with the Cardinals on Wednesday, Jan. 9. The Cardinals had requested permission to interview Haley, and it was granted by the Steelers. Should Haley leave, the Steelers would be looking at a third different offensive coordinator in three seasons.

“When a guy has an opportunity to be a head coach, I don’t think there are many teams that would withhold that permission these days,” said Rooney. “He’s a good, young coach and has opportunities, and I certainly wouldn’t stand in his way if he had that kind of opportunity.”

http://www.steelers.com/news/article-1/Frustrated-Rooney-supports-Tomlin-Haley/4d386d95-18d4-48a5-83b2-f4ea0e1c2303

Edman
01-10-2013, 07:02 AM
Uh-Oh, it's that Art Rooney II a.k.a Jerry Jones Mk.II meddling again.

maddog78
01-10-2013, 07:13 AM
I get the HC and coordinators staying, but is everyone keeping their jobs? Special teams coach? Strength and conditioning? I see a lot of fat defenders and grossly overweight OL. OL need to be big, but not so big that they can't pull or move their feet in pass protection.

How about a wide receivers coach that can't teach Wallace to catch with his hands or come back to the ball in four seasons? A running backs coach that doesn't coach how to hold the ball in traffic?

This is how teams get complacent - job security.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-10-2013, 08:51 AM
I get the HC and coordinators staying, but is everyone keeping their jobs? Special teams coach? Strength and conditioning? I see a lot of fat defenders and grossly overweight OL. OL need to be big, but not so big that they can't pull or move their feet in pass protection.

How about a wide receivers coach that can't teach Wallace to catch with his hands or come back to the ball in four seasons? A running backs coach that doesn't coach how to hold the ball in traffic?

This is how teams get complacent - job security.

Coaches coach and players execute....or not. Antonio Brown fumbling in Oakland and Dallas cost a couple games. Coach him to hold the ball, but he doesnt in those key situations.

I really cant think of any coaches that need to be fired. LeBeau, Butler, Lake, Kirby Wilson?? Fire Kugler if you want some satasfaction....(BTW, he left ). :banging:

casteeler
01-10-2013, 09:39 AM
Cower said a couple of days ago he wanted to get back in coaching:wink02:

Vis
01-10-2013, 09:44 AM
Cower said a couple of days ago he wanted to get back in coaching:wink02:


Funny, so did Cowher. "someday"

Rotorhead
01-10-2013, 09:50 AM
Wow you got all that from this article? I guess i missed the page where rooney said anything about keeping everyone.

Fire Haley
01-10-2013, 09:59 AM
The Steelers are at least $10 million over the projected 2013 cap.

"As it stands today, it doesn't all fit." Rooney said.

Goodby Wallace, Goodbye Mendy....for starters

GoFor7
01-10-2013, 10:07 AM
Uh-Oh, it's that Art Rooney II a.k.a Jerry Jones Mk.II meddling again.

Did Dan talk to the media this often about how his football team should play? Teams with owners that get too involved generally don't do to well.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-10-2013, 11:20 AM
The Steelers are at least $10 million over the projected 2013 cap.

"As it stands today, it doesn't all fit." Rooney said.

Goodby Wallace, Goodbye Mendy....for starters

Say Bye to Starks, Colon, Foote, Hampton as well. Restructure Harrison, Troy, Ben and they will be fine with the cap like every year.

maddog78
01-10-2013, 12:26 PM
Say Bye to Starks, Colon, Foote, Hampton as well. Restructure Harrison, Troy, Ben and they will be fine with the cap like every year.

You can't restructure Troy, I believe, as next year is the final year of his contract. He'll need a new deal to push money out. Hampton is not under contract, so the number we are over the cap already accounts for him not being there. Woodley should restructure, too. Maybe AB. Is Keisel in the last year of his deal next year? His cap hit is $4.5M, too much.

And why get rid of Starks, who is easily our best tackle at the moment?

TRH
01-10-2013, 12:50 PM
You can't restructure Troy, I believe, as next year is the final year of his contract. He'll need a new deal to push money out. Hampton is not under contract, so the number we are over the cap already accounts for him not being there. Woodley should restructure, too. Maybe AB. Is Keisel in the last year of his deal next year? His cap hit is $4.5M, too much.

And why get rid of Starks, who is easily our best tackle at the moment?

yep. You can only "restructure" the big guys so much - then it comes back to bite you anyways. Where are we at now? We're paying the pied piper right now because of all the restructuring. The team will have to make the big decision with Troy. He probably won't be re-signed.

Atlanta Dan
01-10-2013, 12:52 PM
team will have to make the big decision with Troy. He probably won't be re-signed.

IMO Troy retires - 2013 will be his 11th season

tucker6
01-10-2013, 03:04 PM
Say Bye to Starks, Colon, Foote, Hampton as well. Restructure Harrison, Troy, Ben and they will be fine with the cap like every year.

I think Harrison will be on the outside looking in next year. Need to move on at this point.

SteelersCanada
01-10-2013, 03:14 PM
Let's bring back Cowher and wait another 15 years for a Championship! Over those 15 years, we can miss on multiple top 20 picks and miss the playoffs a bunch of times! CowherPower baby!

pete74
01-10-2013, 03:25 PM
Let's bring back Cowher and wait another 15 years for a Championship! Over those 15 years, we can miss on multiple top 20 picks and miss the playoffs a bunch of times! CowherPower baby!

Agreed. I lived Cowers in your face attitude but I never thought he was as good as everyone portrays him to be now. He stuck with Stewart way to long and never went after a good QB when that's all we needed to win multiple championships

Hawaii 5-0
01-10-2013, 03:28 PM
Let's bring back Cowher and wait another 15 years for a Championship! Over those 15 years, we can miss on multiple top 20 picks and miss the playoffs a bunch of times! CowherPower baby!

yeah, and let's lose a bunch more AFCC games at home while we're at it...

Blacksburg Zach
01-10-2013, 03:45 PM
Let's bring back Cowher and wait another 15 years for a Championship! Over those 15 years, we can miss on multiple top 20 picks and miss the playoffs a bunch of times! CowherPower baby!

Maybe if Cowher comes back, he can win with "Tomlin's players.":chuckle:

FrancoLambert
01-10-2013, 05:12 PM
I hope Art meddles enough to get us a new special teams coach and a new strength and conditioning coach. Like now.

DanRooney
01-10-2013, 09:38 PM
Coaches coach and players execute....or not. Antonio Brown fumbling in Oakland and Dallas cost a couple games. Coach him to hold the ball, but he doesnt in those key situations.

I really cant think of any coaches that need to be fired. LeBeau, Butler, Lake, Kirby Wilson?? Fire Kugler if you want some satasfaction....(BTW, he left ). :banging:

Tomlin was outcoached in several games. Most notably by Norv Turner. Pretty embarrassing.

FanSince72
01-11-2013, 08:43 AM
Rooney shelled out a lot of dough for these guys so naturally he's going to support them. I mean, what's he going to say? I was wrong, I'm an idiot and I never should have hired them?

LVSteelersfan
01-11-2013, 10:36 AM
Rooney has every right to comment on his team. Nothing he said was incorrect and none of it is meddling. Just saying it like it is. Not sure if I would be upset if Haley took the Cardinals job. I thought they made some strides but they started playing Marty ball late in the season and it cost the team. Way too much running up the gut on first and second downs. Way too predictable. Of course Ben was doing nothing to inspire confidence in his passing accuracy. I am thinking Haley knew he was nowhere near 100% and tried to compensate by running the ball too much. Bottom line is it didn't work.

Hawaii 5-0
01-13-2013, 01:52 PM
Robinson: Reading between the Steelers’ lines

By Alan Robinson
Published: Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sometimes it‘s not what a team executive says, it‘s what he doesn‘t say. Or as in the case of Steelers president Art Rooney II, it‘s the message within the message.

During his annual postseason interview, Rooney emphasized that he felt everything was on track with the Steelers‘ offense until Ben Roethlisberger was injured nine games in. And that turnovers — too many by the Steelers, too few by opponents — haunted them in the five games they lost by three points.

(He‘s right; 22 of their 30 turnovers came during their eight losses.)

But Rooney seems as perplexed as anyone why a team with the Steelers‘ talent is sitting on the sideline in January. And while he didn‘t chastise Mike Tomlin — who signed a contract extension only last summer — it was obvious that as the coach‘s boss, he wasn‘t satisfied with the playing or the coaching.

Some of Rooney‘s more telling comments, and how they could be interpreted:

• “When you sit here and look at the teams in the playoffs, we feel like we can play with those guys. .... You feel like if we had gotten into the playoffs, we could have been on the same field with those teams and been competitive.” So why aren‘t we on that field?

• “We have young players that need to get better, and they need to do everything they can to figure out how to do that, whether it‘s focus, whether it‘s conditioning, whether it‘s working in the film room. There‘s no question that players that work hard wind up being better players than players who don‘t work hard.” They‘d better get better and work harder, and in a hurry, or they won‘t become old players with us.

• “Whether it‘s Rashard (Mendenhall) or Jonathan (Dwyer) or Isaac (Redman) or somebody else, we have to be better at that position, as well as others, but certainly at that position.” Somebody else should be expecting a phone call on Day 1 or 2 of the draft.

• “We obviously will look at the injury situation, our conditioning programs and all those kind of things and see if we can make sure that we have guys who can stay on the field longer.” Darn right we‘re looking at it. We devoted $33.2 million of cap space to just Roethlisberger, Troy Polamalu, James Harrison and LaMarr Woodley, and how often were they healthy at the same time?

MATTER OF CONSISTENCY

Since 2003, the Patriots (126 wins), Colts (112 wins) and Steelers (103) are the only teams to win at least 100 regular-season games. No NFC team has done it, the Packers with 98 wins coming the closest.

But while the Steelers missed the playoffs four times over that span (2003, ‘06, ‘09 and ‘12), the Colts (2011) and Patriots (2008) sat out only once — and New England went 11-5 in the season it didn‘t make it.

The Patriots also are 10 for 10 in 10-win seasons since ‘03, the only team to do so. The one constant to the Patriots‘ success is Tom Brady, who continues to play at a high level at age 35; Rooney envisions his own quarterback doing that.

“Certainly when you look around at some of the other high-level quarterbacks in this league, they‘re still doing pretty good at 35 and over,” he said. “There‘s no reason to think Ben can‘t be that kind of player.”

http://triblive.com/sports/steelers/3281758-74/steelers-rooney-players#ixzz2HsnkPKxB