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Old 04-04-2013, 03:52 AM   #1
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Default Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Others may debate whether the Steelers are in a period of transition, but Dan Rooney certainly finds himself in one. Back as the team's chairman, he traded in his three-year job as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland for one that employs him as Steelers ambassador to everywhere.

The overlap of old job with renewed job found him in the White House movie theatre Tuesday with President Obama and Harrison Ford, among others, for a showing of the upcoming release of "42," a film about Jackie Robinson. What better crowd to celebrate Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier than the first African-American president and the man who brought to the NFL the Rooney Rule, which has helped minority assistant coaches land head-coaching jobs.

Rooney was there to help out Steelers partner Thomas Tull, a producer of "42," and there will be more jobs like it as he resumes his duties with the Steelers. His transition from the team's daily boss to its chairman and the transfer of decision-maker to his son Art Rooney II occurred years ago. Now, after a brief career change, he returns to the team on a daily basis more as an advisor and ambassador than administrator.

"I still talk to players and things like that," Rooney said in an interview at the team's South Side offices Tuesday. "Now, I get involved in a lot of community things and try to do things that are good for us, like what I did yesterday."

He will not hesitate in that capacity to offer his opinions, though, as he did Tuesday, both on the direction of the NFL and his own team. Opposing some opinions from sections of the Steelers fan base, he likes the direction in which both are going.

Start with the Steelers, the ones who missed the playoffs at 8-8 and are losing key players faster than they did games in the second half of the 2012 season.

"With us, 8-8 is a bad season," Rooney said. "Some other teams, they're happy to get 8-8. We need to keep that focus that our goal is to go for the Super Bowl, we've got to make the playoffs and we've got to do this. I think that everybody here, especially ... Kevin [Colbert], Mike [Tomlin], Art, me, and other people, that's the goal, to win."

He even contradicted Tomlin's "Next man up" philosophy when it came to all the injuries his team sustained in 2012.

"Coaches will say, 'We have to play with what we have and guys are supposed to step in.' You can't say that you're trying to build up a young guy in his first or second year and get him to be able to play; you can't say that if you get your first-line guy hurt that you're going to put one of these guys in here and they'll play the same."

And the man who helped elect Roger Goodell believes "the commissioner is doing a good job," particularly with his continued emphasis on making the game safer.

"As far as the safety, I'm all for it. I don't know whether I should even say this, but that's why I was really upset with the idea of hurting people, the bounty situation.

"I just cannot fathom why anybody would do that. You're in the same business. A guy that's playing for one team might be playing for another team next week, and you hurt him!

"But, as far as looking at the rules, I remember George Halas, we were in a meeting ... he held up the NFL book that had the rules in it ... he said, 'See what it says in here? This book has not been changed for the last three years. That's the way it should be. We have a good game and we shouldn't be changing it."

Rooney disagrees with Halas, to a point. The game must change, just not too much. He disagreed with Goodell, for example, when he tried to add two games to the NFL regular-season schedule. But he has come around on the use of instant replay and thinks it should be expanded.

"I'm from old school. I'm not big on adding games, I was reluctant on the instant replay; I liked what they said in baseball, 'It ain't nothing until I call it.'

"I have to say that I think the instant replay is good. I think that one thing that I said when it first happened and said this when they were going to use it, I said you should use it all the time."

An area of dismay to him since the end of the 2012 season was the failure of the Rooney Rule to help one minority become a head coach in eight vacancies. The rule requires each team to interview at least one minority coach for any such vacancies.

"Let's say this, it was a disappointment that of the eight teams that were looking for new coaches, that some didn't find a candidate and, for them, they didn't hire anyone. But I have to say this, they did follow the Rooney Rule. We had total compliance. Every one of them interviewed [a minority candidate] ... They did what they were supposed to, they followed the rule, made the interviews and things like that.

"Why they didn't choose anyone, you'd have to talk to them. I believe that there are qualified people and that they should take a stronger look at them when they're doing this."

There has been talk of adjusting the rule somehow to make the process even more open to minority candidates.

"We're not in any position now to make major changes," Rooney said. "There are some things that, I feel, we need to look at. The biggest thing people are talking about is [we] ought to make the coordinators [hiring process follow the same rule]. It's pretty hard to tell, especially a new head coach who is trying to get his staff together, you have to hire a minority at this position. It's a battle.

"I think one of the things, and I've talked to Tony Dungy about it, I think that there is too much a rush to hire a new coach and for him to fill his staff. Now, that is even a little more understandable because there are teams vying for a lot of people, but they have this idea that they have to get this guy right now or someone else is going to get him. I have never taken that position."

Rooney, 80, will continue to represent the Steelers in many NFL matters, and rejoin league committees. He has found the requests on his time have increased locally since he returned from Dublin in December. He also will be inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame in June in Chicago.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...#ixzz2PU01yZpY
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:07 AM   #2
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Default Re: Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

and people still want to believe that tomlin wasnt hired because he was a minority?
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Old 04-04-2013, 07:27 AM   #3
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Default Re: Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

That's quite an assertion there Sloppy.....

EVEN if that were true, I'm here to tell you there are and have been a whole lot worse coaches in this league, and Rooney hired a couple of them ( Nixon and Austin. Yes, there was Steeler football prior to Chuck Noll). His Dad hired more than a few of them.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

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That's quite an assertion there Sloppy.....

EVEN if that were true, I'm here to tell you there are and have been a whole lot worse coaches in this league, and Rooney hired a couple of them ( Nixon and Austin. Yes, there was Steeler football prior to Chuck Noll). His Dad hired more than a few of them.

thers no doubt there have been worse coaches hired in this league. however, if an individual cant read what rooney himself said in those quotes and understand how important it is for him to have minority(black) head coaches in this league, and think he didnt hire tomlin because of that, they are kidding themselves.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

Important yes. Self serving? Not on your life.

What you are accusing him of, reverse bigotry in the case of Tomlin's hire, is something I don't by, and just between you and me, I find it just a tad offensive. I must have taken my sensitivity pills this morning.....
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

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thers no doubt there have been worse coaches hired in this league. however, if an individual cant read what rooney himself said in those quotes and understand how important it is for him to have minority(black) head coaches in this league, and think he didnt hire tomlin because of that, they are kidding themselves.
the troll says I'm kidding myself?
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

Yeah, I bet Rooney has a new role with the Steelers - handcuffing Roethlisberger!

Also, on something equally as stupid, Rooney didn't hire Tomlin because he was black. Now, if you're willing to throw logic and common sense out the window for a second we can imagine he did and I'll say so what? So what if he did? He found the youngest coach to ever win a Super Bowl and he's been to another since then. Looking at his achievements this year alone, he beat the Super Bowl champs with his third string Quarterback in M&T. I won't go into his prior achievements because I won't again feed into another bullshit topic about Tomlin.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

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Originally Posted by sloppyjoe View Post
thers no doubt there have been worse coaches hired in this league. however, if an individual cant read what rooney himself said in those quotes and understand how important it is for him to have minority(black) head coaches in this league, and think he didnt hire tomlin because of that, they are kidding themselves.
You say that as it is a bad thing to have at least one owner in the league that acutually cares about that. Art did a great job in making aware of that problem in football. Don't say he was the only person, of course not but he really did a great job supporting minority coaches especially in the NFL. And if you think he would hire a dumbass in his mind just to hire a black coach then your totally out of your mind.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:23 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

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And if you think he would hire a dumbass in his mind just to hire a black coach then your totally out of your mind.
thank you! It would really take some kind of crazy to believe that Tomlin was hired just because he was black.
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Old 04-04-2013, 10:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers

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Originally Posted by sloppyjoe View Post
and people still want to believe that tomlin wasnt hired because he was a minority?
As I've told you (several times before), Ron Rivera also interviewed... and last time that I checked, yep, Ron Rivera is still a minority.

Regardless, what's wrong with hiring a minority??? Do you mean to sound racist? or, is that perception merely a byproduct of your inability to post rationally?
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