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An important history lesson for you TRUE Steelers fans!

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Old 01-24-2007, 11:05 PM   #1
rhino
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Default Steelergate - Could This Be True?

POSTED 8:56 p.m. EST; UPDATED 10:05 p.m. EST, January 23, 2007

DID STEELERS YANK RUG FROM GRIMM?


As the media continues to try to understand the process that resulted in conflicting reports regarding whether the Steelers would hire Mike Tomlin or Russ Grimm to be the team's next head coach, the hot rumor at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama (where various league types currently are gathered) is that Grimm was indeed offered the job before it went to Tomlin.

As the story goes, the Steelers called Grimm on Saturday and told him not to believe what the media was reporting about Tomlin. Then, the Steelers and Grimm negotiated a contract, and Grimm was told that he could tell his family that he was the guy, which he did.

But then, as the story goes, Commissioner Roger Goodell got involved and suggested to Steelers chairman Dan Rooney that it would be nice if the Steelers would hire one of the minority candidates, given that the Rooney Rule was named after him. Rooney relented.

On Sunday morning, Rooney met with Art II and Kevin Colbert and told them about the decision. Both initially disagreed because a deal had been done with Grimm. But the contract hadn't been signed, and Art II and Colbert deferred to Dan.

Grimm was then told about the decision, and he was obviously pissed. But, to date, he has been discreet regarding his displeasure, presumably because he plans to continue working in the industry that has only 32 job locations. Tomlin was then called on Sunday afternoon, and he was informed that he was the guy.

One source told us that he has been hearing this rumor "all day" in Alabama. Though we're not saying that any of this actually happened, the mere fact that this story is making the rounds at the Senior Bowl is newsworthy, in our opinion.

Especially since the events that transpired on Saturday night and Sunday were so damn bizarre.

Meanwhile, a reader tells us that Mike Prisuta of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has been insisting in radio appearances that his story linking Grimm to the job was on the money. Though we poked fun at Prisuta's predicament on Sunday, it could be that he was right, after all.

POSTED 5:15 p.m. EST, January 24, 2007

STEELERS SITUATION STILL BIZARRE


We reported on Tuesday night about a strong rumor making the rounds in Mobile, Alabama regarding the manner in which the Steelers' decision to hire Mike Tomlin to be the team's next head coach went down. As the rumor goes, the Steelers offered the job to Russ Grimm, he accepted the job, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested to Dan Rooney that the team should hire a minority candidate (either Tomlin or Ron Rivera), and Rooney decided to do so.

Though we don't expect anyone who knows the truth on this one to admit it in any setting other than a deathbed confession, the circumstantial evidence supports the notion that the Steelers inexplicably flipped from Grimm to Tomlin.

First of all, Clark Judge of CBSSportsline.com (which maintains the NFL's official web site) cites three unnamed sources in reporting that Grimm was indeed offered the job before it went to Tomlin. However, Judge's report makes no mention of any arm-twisting by the league office (which might have something to do with the fact that CBSSportsline.com maintains the NFL's official web site).

Second, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Steelers president Art Rooney II candidly has admitted that the team engaged in negotiations with Grimm regarding a contract, a sentiment echoed in Judge's story. Rooney claims, however, that Grimm was told that the decision to hire him had not yet been made. "Our intention was the numbers were going to be done before we made the final decision," Rooney said.

Third, the Tribune-Review also reports that Tomlin's agent, Brian Levy, said that no negotiations began between Tomlin and the team until after an offer was extended and accepted on Sunday.

Fourth, Judge reports that the Steelers claim that they did discuss numbers with Tomlin. "[W]e . . . discussed numbers with Mike Tomlin's people, too," Rooney said. "And the discussion of numbers was something we wanted to have out of the way before we made a final decision on it."

So why would the Steelers say that they discussed numbers with Grimm and Tomlin while Tomlin's agent claims that numbers weren't discussed with him until an offer was extended to and accepted by Tomlin?

These facts (with all due respect to the Steelers) suggest that no discussions occurred with either candidate regarding numbers until after there was an informal offer and acceptance of the job. The only other plausible explanation would be that Levy is lying about the way the negotiations unfolded (which he would have no reason to do) -- or that he suffered a significant closed head injury at some time between Saturday and Tuesday.

But what of the Saturday reports that the Steelers had selected Tomlin? Without knowing who the sources were for those reports, it's impossible to know whether the sources knew the true states of affairs, or whether they took a liberty with the truth in order to help Tomlin get hired.

We're not faulting anyone who reported that Tomlin had been picked by the Steelers. But unless the source for those reports was Dan Rooney, Art Rooney II, or Kevin Colbert, there's a chance that someone who seemingly was in the know was putting out bad information in order to disrupt the Grimm negotiations long enough to give Goodell a chance to change Dan Rooney's mind.

For example, what if Goodell or someone high up in the league office had called Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated and said, "Don't quote me on this, but the Rooneys have just called to tell us that they are hiring Mike Tomlin." Silver would have been justified in reporting that Tomlin was the choice. And though Silver might never have trusted the source in the future if Grimm got the job, it arguably would have been a small price to pay to achieve what was perceived to be the greater goal of getting the Steelers to pick Tomlin.

This is all speculation, and as we've said the truth on this one is unlikely to ever come out. But the facts that are available suggest strongly to us that there's far more to this story than meets the eye.

http://www.profootballtalk.com/rumormill.htm
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: Steelergate - Could This Be True?

Considering that the source of this "news" is profootballtalk.com, I'll lend these "reports" about as much credence as I would a cover story on the National Enquirer.

Last edited by fansince'76; 01-24-2007 at 11:25 PM. Reason: Spelling
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:18 PM   #3
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Default Re: Steelergate - Could This Be True?

Consider the source - there are any number of posters on this board whom I would find more credible and knowledgable regarding the dynamics of the Tomlin hiring process than profootballtalk.com

Two particular howlers in the story are that Commissioner Goodell may have called up Michael Silver at SI and that Clark Judge is getting inside information on what actually occurred because CBS Sportsline has a link to the NFL.com website on its home page.
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Steelergate - Could This Be True?

wow interesting stuff until the source..I think I read the same article on TMZ.com
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Steelergate - Could This Be True?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhino View Post
But then, as the story goes, Commissioner Roger Goodell got involved and suggested to Steelers chairman Dan Rooney that it would be nice if the Steelers would hire one of the minority candidates, given that the Rooney Rule was named after him.
there's not a snowball's chance in hell this happened...no way.
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:27 PM   #6
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Obviously I'm new here so I figured some of you more experienced Steelers insiders could either shed some more light on the possibility or debunk it. I really didn't know the source had such low credibility. I would hope none of that is true but it really does seem like a bunch of shady stuff was going on between Friday and Sunday. First Tomlin is the coach, then he isn't. Then Grimm is the coach, then he isn't. Tomlin said the Rooney's hadn't even talked to him on Saturday. It all sounds screwed up. I would hope Dan Rooney would preserve the integrity of the Steelers by hiring the guy he thought was best for the job regardless of race.

I like the Tomlin selection for coach. I thought we needed an outsider and I like a young guy so he can stick around for a while like Cowher did. But I don't like how it all went down. It makes me feel like my "gold standard" for NFL Teams - the Rooney Run Steelers - acted just as slimy as any other run of the mill team by the way this all went down.
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:33 PM   #7
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Default Re: Steelergate - Could This Be True?

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Originally Posted by rhino View Post
I would hope Dan Rooney would preserve the integrity of the Steelers by hiring the guy he thought was best for the job regardless of race.

I like the Tomlin selection for coach. I thought we needed an outsider and I like a young guy so he can stick around for a while like Cowher did. But I don't like how it all went down. It makes me feel like my "gold standard" for NFL Teams - the Rooney Run Steelers - acted just as slimy as any other run of the mill team by the way this all went down.
I neglected this before, so welcome to the board!

This was not a Dan Rooney deal, first off - I think his son, Art II was in the driver's seat on this one. I would like to think that Art II honestly said something to Grimm and/or his agent that was misconstrued and being a corporate attorney by trade, I assume Art II is a master at doublespeak. At this point I'm chalking it up to miscommunication between the two parties. I still don't like how it was handled, however.
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Old 01-24-2007, 11:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: Steelergate - Could This Be True?

Perhaps this video will clear things up.
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Old 01-25-2007, 12:07 AM   #9
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Default Re: Steelergate - Could This Be True?

I can't understand the fundamental logic of the whole story.

Forget all about who said what, and when they said it.

Why would anybody in the Steelers organisation change their mind on their choice of HC, just because the commish suggested it?

What does the commish have to offer if the Steelers were to make good on the suggestion?

As for the other stuff, about contracts offered and what not - I have no idea - perhaps there was an element of playing one guy off against the other.

But I doubt it had anything to do with the 'Rooney rule' or Roger Goodall

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Old 01-25-2007, 12:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Steelergate - Could This Be True?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhino View Post
Obviously I'm new here so I figured some of you more experienced Steelers insiders could either shed some more light on the possibility or debunk it. I really didn't know the source had such low credibility. I would hope none of that is true but it really does seem like a bunch of shady stuff was going on between Friday and Sunday. First Tomlin is the coach, then he isn't. Then Grimm is the coach, then he isn't. Tomlin said the Rooney's hadn't even talked to him on Saturday. It all sounds screwed up. I would hope Dan Rooney would preserve the integrity of the Steelers by hiring the guy he thought was best for the job regardless of race.

I like the Tomlin selection for coach. I thought we needed an outsider and I like a young guy so he can stick around for a while like Cowher did. But I don't like how it all went down. It makes me feel like my "gold standard" for NFL Teams - the Rooney Run Steelers - acted just as slimy as any other run of the mill team by the way this all went down.
welcome.

1st of all- dan rooneys statement after tomlin was hired regarding the grimm situation: http://www.nfl.com/teams/story/PIT/9948052 (very worthy read)

Quote:
"They were ... saying we were dishonest," Rooney said in an impromptu interview following Tomlin's news conference Jan. 22. "Our integrity means more than anything to us. It means more than anything."
i believe this...

BUT it doesnt mean that dan rooney was the one handling negotiations.

i believe it was tomlins agent that leaked the info that started this whole "mess" (for lack of a better word). of course he is gonna deny it, since his client was the one who was eventually hired, and his leak probably pissed alot of people off. and im sure grimm and tomlin were both presented with some numbers to ponder (standard negotiation practices). it is also standard to play one potential hire against the other, to drive the price down.

as for goddell stepping in, he is a 1st year commish going up against dan rooney, who along with his father, have been involved with the nfl for 60 years. goodall is a young pup and is in no position to influence how rooney will run his franchise. the rooney rule is working despite who the steelers next coach would be. lovie smith is coaching in a superbowl and marvin lewis is in charge of what many fools believe is the most "talented" team in football.

the rumors in mobile alabama are a bit understandable. there are alot of ex jocks there who may know their x's and o's but not be too finely tuned in to how things work behind the doors in the business world. im sure lots of potential coaches are speculating on what went down regarding one of the most prestigious jobs in the nfl.

all in all, it seems profootball talk writers are trying to do some cutting edge journalism, but they are simply off the mark suggesting this conspiracy theory that goodall is the puppett master pulling all the strings. the nfl is a business and like in all businesses the almighty dollar carries the most weight.
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