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GoFor7
01-10-2013, 10:46 PM
http://triblive.com/sports/dejankovacevic/dejancolumns/3267533-74/steelers-rooney-discipline#axzz2HMD7on2W


Kovacevic: Steelers disciplined? Please, Mr. Rooney
By Dejan Kovacevic
Published: Thursday, January 10, 2013, 10:32 p.m.


The Steelers absolutely did the right thing by swiftly dumping rookie running back Chris Rainey upon learning Thursday he was arrested in Gainesville, Fla., and charged with striking a woman police identified as his girlfriend during an argument.

The statement issued by Kevin Colbert spelled it out just right: “Chris Rainey‘s actions this morning were extremely disappointing. Under the circumstances and due to this conduct, Chris will no longer be a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

Exactly. See ya.

Hooray for all involved in the decision.

But sorry, that‘s as far as I‘ll go. I‘m not about to stand, applaud or blow the vuvuzela for an organization that only the previous day denied — right from the top — that it‘s got broader issues with discipline.

Happen to catch that?

When Art Rooney II was asked Wednesday by the Trib‘s Alan Robinson about the perception of a lack of discipline with the Steelers and whether he had discussed that with Mike Tomlin, Rooney replied: “I didn‘t feel that way. I didn‘t look at the problem this year as being a lack of discipline.”

He then went on to talk about the Steelers‘ poor turnover ratio before coming back to the topic: “I really didn‘t see it as a team that lacked discipline. We‘re looking at everything.”

Really?

When Rooney, Colbert, Tomlin and the Steelers are “looking at everything,” it‘s fair to wonder if they‘re looking at:

• An average of 58.6 yards in penalties per game, ninth-worst in the NFL. That figure was 53.8 in 2011.

• The alarming portion of those that came before the snap. Or on special teams.

• The failure to ensure LaMarr Woodley would be in top shape, not least of which is on Woodley himself.

• The Chargers game. All of it.

• Antonio Brown‘s thought process. All of it.

• Mike Wallace admitting he often loses focus on the field and, far worse, demonstrating that in kind.

• Rashard Mendenhall blowing off work one memorable Sunday, then never having to explain it publicly other than to essentially laugh it off, then still getting back into the running back rotation.

Discipline, lest we forget, begins off the field.

And this is where I really have a hard time digesting that answer Rooney gave.

On Oct. 14, 2012, Alameda Ta‘amu, a nose tackle who was the Steelers‘ fourth-round draft pick last summer, was arrested on charges of leading Pittsburgh police on a chase through the South Side while driving drunk. He crashed into several parked cars, and multiple officers were needed to restrain him. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt.

The Steelers suspended him for two games without pay.

Two.

Ta‘amu is still awaiting a hearing, but that won‘t change that he got two lousy games from the team for a drunken joyride through a densely populated area.

Where was swift justice then?

The fourth-rounder gets a bye, but the fifth-rounder goes bye-bye?

Let‘s not pretend there isn‘t a problem.

For that matter, let‘s not pretend Rainey‘s alleged incident just fell from the sky. In September 2010, while at the University of Florida, he was arrested on a charge of aggravated stalking and misdemeanor stalking. The latter was for texting his girlfriend at the time, “Time to die.”

That‘s a pretty tough stigma to overcome, but it wasn‘t too tough for the Steelers, I guess. They drafted him last summer, risks and all.

Mike Adams, the big tackle taken in the same draft, came with risks, too. He fell to the second round because he‘d tested positive for marijuana at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, of all places.

Now, I don‘t have a problem with this one, based on the passionate accounts of all concerned that Adams made a mistake. We all do, and his was wholly damaging to himself.

But the larger view still applies: These aren‘t gambles the Steelers used to take, at least not this often. And if they take enough of them, they‘re bound to get bitten.

The San Diego Union-Tribune‘s site has a thoroughly depressing but otherwise awesome “NFL Arrests Database,” where you can track dates, players and incidents by team or even by position.

I‘ll save you the trouble: The Bengals have had 38 since 2000, the Steelers 19.

So there‘s that.

Tomlin still talks the talk, and he does it as well as anyone, both with the media and with his men. But there‘s no question things aren‘t the same. Not with all of the above, plus far lesser but still telling stuff such as Maurkice Pouncey hawking T-shirts right after a Super Bowl loss, James Harrison feuding with Roger Goodell, Ryan Clark spouting off on Twitter ...

Let‘s hope the handling of Rainey, if not the assessment of Rooney, represents an acknowledgement of that.

SteelCity4Life
01-11-2013, 12:34 AM
I think it's funny that just because of the success this organization lets it all go to their head by making stupid decisions.

Rainey is gone within HOURS and Ta'amu is still here?? Excuse my language, but what the f*ck?!

Boring offseason with crap news sounds like to me. I def. liked the discipline better when I was a young and less diehard fan.

I question the future of this team, following a crappy season with an unmotivated team. Continuing with players with shitty attitudes (*COUGH* MIKE WALLACE**)

You expect the standard to work when you have a team of fall-outs? What a joke. We are certainly up for big change and people blame the new offensive coordinator for everything. When your players don't want to win the damn game I think we know who to blame.

The jokes go on...glad this team isn't in the playoffs this year because now it's clear they really DON'T deserve it. SMDH.

austinfrench76
01-11-2013, 12:40 AM
There is only 1 word to describe the Steelers disciplinary decisions - f'ing Confusing. Ok. 2 words.

Blackout
01-11-2013, 01:17 AM
Rainey is gone within HOURS and Ta'amu is still here?? Excuse my language, but what the f*ck?!
Exceptions made to players we need, I guess.:noidea:

ricardisimo
01-11-2013, 01:34 AM
Is it just me, or is Kovacevic to the Trib what Cook is to the Post-Gazette?

wwhickok
01-11-2013, 06:08 AM
Except I dont think we need Ta'amu considering he didnt play AT ALL. Makes me question thr pick all togethet. Dont be shocked if we are drafting another NT this year.

BLACK_AND_YELLOW
01-11-2013, 07:25 AM
They can always find another Rainey type RB in the draft....

Ta'amu has a chance to start for this team for years to come(if he stays out of trouble) not like Rainey who will only be a ST player that maybe gets to play on offense 4-5 times a game.

Maybe we will give him another shot in the future when things settle down.

VaDave
01-11-2013, 07:36 AM
The man has a point. In our last draft, we landed a serial women abuser with a mostly unknown gambling habit, and a drunkard, with another incindent in his record, and a druggie. In polite terms, for a franchise that prides itself on the character of it's players, we have slid a long ways off the standard.

I does appaer that there are different standards for different players based of importance to the clubs success. As much as I don't like it, that's just as common in corporate America as it is with Football.

Darkstorm05
01-11-2013, 08:24 AM
The man has a point. In our last draft, we landed a serial women abuser with a mostly unknown gambling habit, and a drunkard, with another incindent in his record, and a druggie. In polite terms, for a franchise that prides itself on the character of it's players, we have slid a long ways off the standard.

I does appaer that there are different standards for different players based of importance to the clubs success. As much as I don't like it, that's just as common in corporate America as it is with Football.

If we decline to draft any player that has had an issue in the past, we might as well forfeit all draft picks. Come on, we should pass on any kid coming out of college who drinks? Has gambled? You're SUPPOSED to do dumb shit when you're a kid. That's why when people do these things, everyone calls them a "Dumb kid". Rainey was a violent criminal, not a college kid who partied too hard. There's a major difference there. Dumb kids grow up, violent minds typically don't. I thought most Steeler fans had their ties to Pittsburgh, not Lancaster.

maddog78
01-11-2013, 09:15 AM
They can always find another Rainey type RB in the draft....

Ta'amu has a chance to start for this team for years to come(if he stays out of trouble) not like Rainey who will only be a ST player that maybe gets to play on offense 4-5 times a game.

Maybe we will give him another shot in the future when things settle down.

Yep, that's the Steeler Way. We don't accept criminals unless they can ball.

:tt04:

ZoneBlitzer
01-11-2013, 10:03 AM
Great article. This goes beyond drafting. It points to leadership. I don't think the players respect Tomlin.

madtowndrunkard
01-11-2013, 10:17 AM
This is good news for our issues at NT. The steelers FO clearly has no tolerance for players that are not starter material. The fact that they kept Ta'amu speaks volumes about their opinion of his playing ability. Maybe we have our future starter at NT and we didn't even know it.

VaDave
01-11-2013, 11:01 AM
If he was that good, or even remotely close to filling Hampton's shoes, he would have played in the Cleveland game. Woods and McClendon both got snaps, and Ta'amu was not even activated if I remember correctly.

Riddle_Of_Steel
01-11-2013, 11:26 AM
Great article. This goes beyond drafting. It points to leadership. I don't think the players respect Tomlin.

I don't think it is quite that.

In a recent NFL.COM poll, all the players on the 32 teams voted Mike Tomlin the coach they would most want to play for, with Bill Belicheck coming in a close second.

The problem is that Tomlin is more of a "player's coach", than a disciplinarian like Cowher was. Alot of the veteran leadership that was here (Ward, Farrior, Faneca) when Tomlin first got here, are gone. The mature professionals that could be counted on to have some self-dignity and help guide the younger players, have been replaced by a bunch of young, hot-headed, loud-mouthed kids.

The hands-off approach might work with seasoned, mature, veterans who already have a high level of proessionalism, but not 21 year old thugs who just got millions of dollars slipped into their pockets.

Their roster management has changed drastically in the last few years as well. We did not use to give out $51 million contracts to guys like Harrison or Woodley. The Steelers way was to let them walk, like we did with Joey Porter.

Most people point to Mike Tomlin, but they are missing teh other major management change that happened at the same time Tomlin came onboard-- Art II taking over Steelers ownership in full.

He has made some questionable decisions since then, that need to be rectified to get things back on track.

Overall, I still think the Steelers are in good shape for next year, they just need to:

a) draft a little heavier on the defense this spring
b) work out a new conditioning regimen
c) run a stricter camp

desertsteel
01-11-2013, 11:42 AM
Interesting Database...

I don't remember this one:



5/10/2007 Pittsburgh LB Richard Seigler

Arrested on charges he ran a prostitution ring in Las Vegas, three felony counts.

Cut by team same day. Case dropped in March 2008.

LVSteelersfan
01-11-2013, 11:47 AM
Not sure why Taamu is even on the street. Guess these millionaire kids have no problem making bail. I think he is doing jail time once his court case comes around. Might be NT for the prison team. Is Burt Reynolds still the coach of that team? Taamu will break the prison guard's effing neck.

steve314
01-11-2013, 12:05 PM
The man has a point. In our last draft, we landed a serial women abuser with a mostly unknown gambling habit, and a drunkard, with another incindent in his record, and a druggie. In polite terms, for a franchise that prides itself on the character of it's players, we have slid a long ways off the standard.


The nonstandard is the nonstandard.

TRH
01-11-2013, 01:27 PM
the article has a good point. In no way do i justify anything Rainey did and i'm glad he's gone (and i wasn't aware of his past until yesterday).
However...
What Ta'amu did was far, FAR worse. He literally almost killed that girl sitting in her car, meanwhile endangering lives of dozens of others - then there was the leaving the accident scene, and the resisting officers of the law, etc.
They should have laid the hammer down on that one in 5 seconds flat. Still don't understand that one.
Maybe this is just a sign that the organization has had enough - and nothing more will be tolerated - that would be fantastic.

BLACK_AND_YELLOW
01-11-2013, 01:56 PM
Yep, that's the Steeler Way. We don't accept criminals unless they can ball.

:tt04:

Im not saying we only keep criminals that can only ball cause we got rid of Holmes for a 5th round pick after he blew his second chance.

Rainey already had this problem in college and we gave him his 2nd chance by drafting him & he blew it.

GoFor7
01-11-2013, 02:00 PM
James Harrison got convicted after hitting his wife, that was swept under the rug rather quickly.

StainlessStill
01-11-2013, 02:01 PM
I agree with EVERYTHING about this article. We've been a downright fucking laughing stock to our own standards the past several years. Must fix it pronto.

GoFor7
01-11-2013, 02:08 PM
If it weren't for a handful of veteran players on this team, they'd be no more classier than the Detroit Lions.

Riddle_Of_Steel
01-11-2013, 02:18 PM
James Harrison got convicted after hitting his wife, that was swept under the rug rather quickly.

Honestly, I would agree with you in regards to Ta'amu verses Rainey, but I think Silverback's situation was a little different.

He and his girlfriend had a dispute, no doubt, which ended in him slapping her across the face. It was wrong. Harrison knew it was and that is why he had already been attending counseling and anger management long before he even stepped foot in the courtroom for it.

In short-- he effed up, but was taking responsibility and being proactive about it without needing to be prodded or goaded into it.

VaDave
01-11-2013, 02:30 PM
If we decline to draft any player that has had an issue in the past, we might as well forfeit all draft picks. Come on, we should pass on any kid coming out of college who drinks? Has gambled? You're SUPPOSED to do dumb shit when you're a kid. That's why when people do these things, everyone calls them a "Dumb kid". Rainey was a violent criminal, not a college kid who partied too hard. There's a major difference there. Dumb kids grow up, violent minds typically don't. I thought most Steeler fans had their ties to Pittsburgh, not Lancaster.

Keep in mind, as evidenced in both of these cases, they've remained dumb and that IS a problem. Somebody in the FO needs to invest in a Myers-Briggs profiling system...

Seriously, I was no saint back in the day either, but by the grace of God, I've made it to 60 years of age. Did I have a deep seated compromised character issue back then?? I'm not so sure. I don't now , not with drugs anyway, but it sure does show up from time to time in other areas, and again, by the grace of God's protection, I've managed to avoid the temptations.

Really, these kids need to know when they sign that contract, play time is over. This is especially true with Rainey as he has no family, other than the Pouncey's, and I'll bet, not real job prospects either.

Gnutella
01-11-2013, 02:58 PM
James Harrison got convicted after hitting his wife, that was swept under the rug rather quickly.

James Harrison was only arrested once, to my knowledge. He hasn't been arrested since either. That indicates an ability to learn from his mistakes, which is exactly why Santonio Holmes and Chris Rainey are no longer Steelers.

lloydwoodson
01-11-2013, 03:05 PM
Honestly, I would agree with you in regards to Ta'amu verses Rainey, but I think Silverback's situation was a little different.

He and his girlfriend had a dispute, no doubt, which ended in him slapping her across the face. It was wrong. Harrison knew it was and that is why he had already been attending counseling and anger management long before he even stepped foot in the courtroom for it.

In short-- he effed up, but was taking responsibility and being proactive about it without needing to be prodded or goaded into it.

Chris Rainey was cut from the team within 24 hours of being arrested was that enough time for him to attend counselling sessions?

James Harrison was only arrested once, to my knowledge. He hasn't been arrested since either. That indicates an ability to learn from his mistakes, which is exactly why Santonio Holmes and Chris Rainey are no longer Steelers.

Why is Alameda Ta'amu with the team? This was his second DUI he also had one in 2009. That shows no ability to learn from his mistakes. You could kill someone drinking and driving. Ta'amu got drunk and got in a police chase. The good news is he must be a fantastic player or he would have been cut. :tt04:

steve314
01-12-2013, 01:55 AM
They can always find another Rainey type RB in the draft....

Ta'amu has a chance to start for this team for years to come(if he stays out of trouble) not like Rainey who will only be a ST player that maybe gets to play on offense 4-5 times a game.

Maybe we will give him another shot in the future when things settle down.

I'm fine with looking at Ta'amu's potential best case scenario, but you could do the same for Rainey--a year with 2 or 3 kickoff return TDs could turn a borderline team into a playoff team.

El-Gonzo Jackson
01-12-2013, 11:46 AM
Is it just me, or is Kovacevic to the Trib what Cook is to the Post-Gazette?

EXACTLY WHAT I WAS THINKING!!!

Sadly, they are both poor mans versions of Skip Bayless. None of the 3 is really worthy of being called a journalist. Seen more insightful stuff on TMZ.