Visit NFL from the sidelines on the new Observer-Reporter site:

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Thursday thoughts

Unlike many in the media, I never really took the Stanley Druckenmiller offer to buy up shares of the other Rooney brother's stock in the Steelers instead of taking Dan Rooney's offer all that seriously.

The NFL is a bit of a closed boy's club and the league most certainly didn't want to ace Dan Rooney out of ownership of the Steelers. It just wasn't going to happen. Dan Rooney has done too much and brokered too many deals in this league to suddenly be on the outside looking in.

There's also the whole thing with the other Rooney brothers likely not wanting the team to leave family hands.

In fact, there stands a good chance they were using Druckenmiller's deep pockets to get Dan Rooney to sweeten his offer.

We don't know if that has happened, but there's little doubt Dan Rooney has been speaking to some money men of his own and will retain ownership of the team.

© I don't look for Deshea Townsend to play again this week and that's a problem for the Steelers. Bryant McFadden is a capable replacement for Townsend, but now, they'll be asking William Gay to play plenty against Philadelphia's pass-happy offense.

Townsend told me he probably couldn't have even played last week against Cleveland even if it had been a playoff game because he can't take a pain-numbing shot where the injury is at because it could tear his Achilles tendon. That doesn't sound good.

© Marvel Smith got a little indignant in the locker room this week while talking to reporters about Mike Tomlin's comments that the offensive line is playing more physically and with a greater edge.

It's understandable. Smith always gives his all out there and is a true professional. The way Tomlin made things sound was like the line wasn't trying as hard last season - or at least that's what Smith thought.


datruth4life said...


Maybe I'm the only person, but I don't think it is such a bad thing to have the team owned by a billionaire like Druckenmiller while keeping the Rooneys in charge of football operations. I would hope that influx of cash as a new owner would help keep M. Smith, B. McFadden and Chris K. next year.
You may not think so, but I do think the ownership situation has had something to do with not getting more extensions done. It'd be nice going forward to know that this team could keep it's good young starters if it wanted to and money (particularly signing bonus dollars) not be the deciding issue.

As far as missing Deshea this weekend, William Gay will have the opportunity to show whether he will be a part of this team's future going forward. I think his best position is free safety more so than cornerback, but he's not bad for a 4th corner. I think this is the type of game where Lawrence Timmons will play a ton and have the chance to make some plays.

I'm very interested to see how the D-Line performs without Kiesel. I guess with Woods and Deshea being down, this will give Anthony Smith and Bruce Davis a chance to dress. Our coverage units have been pretty good so far. I hope that we won't see any dropoff there and actually have Mendenhall & M. Moore do something positive in the return game. I think Ben will come up big in this game and show the Eagles faithful which team truly has the franchise QB on its roster.


Dale Lolley said...

The ownership situation has nothing to do with the extensions. Extensions weren't worked out because they have questions about some of the guys who are due. What kind of contract do you give Marvel Smith, who's had back issues? Chris Kemoeatu had never been a starter. What if he fell flat on his face? And his agent may have been asking for more money than what they thought was prudent for a guy with two career starts. MccFadden has never won a starting job. Can't pay him starter's money right now when he's not one.
The d-line likely won't be a huge factor in this game because Philly won't line up and try to go with a power running game. The Steelers will likely play a lot of quarter.

Anonymous said...

As far as the rich new owner-salary thing, that has no effect on salaries. the steelers spend to the cap every year on salaries, what more can we do? Maybe a new owner with deeper pockets would help in other financial areas like stadiums and what not but we can only spend so much money on player contracts, and we spend the max allowed. i don't understand "the rooneys are cheap" arguement people make.

adamg said...

Druckenmiller's money would have helped in the "cash over cap" area. That is he would have had the cash to pay the big bonuses that the Rooney's don't have. They rely on revenue rather than individual wealth - ala Dan Snyder.

I disagree that Druckenmiller's offer wasn't seriously considered by the other Rooney brothers. I do think the brothers aren't going to get a better offer given the turmoil in the financial markets and especially with the two remaining investment houses, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley under pressure as well.

datruth4life said...


If the 3 players prove themselves, do you think the Rooneys will come up with the millions in signing bonuses necessary to pay for a good LT, a budding star at G and what might be the best CB on the team? I don't think so.

All I'm saying is that the influx of cash might make the team more competitive in being able to pay the big signing bonuses required to keep your best young players and a good LT. I think those 3 players will be extremely important to the future of this team and I doubt with the ownership system the way that it is that they will keep all 3.

I don't have a problem with waiting a year to see if a player is worth the money. However, if they prove that they are, then pay them. We have no one in the wings to assume those 3 spots right now. By the way, who says change has to be a bad thing?

Anonymous said...

There's a conversation going on now at a certain other Steeler's website where someone is trying to convince people the sky is falling regarding the Druckenmiller offer; the argument is that the offer was turned down b/c the brothers want more money, and to get it they'll offer their Steelers shares up to the auction block.

I find this a very unlikely scenario--and frankly a little ludicrous. But as someone who has more knowledge about these things than Joe-Schmoe on the street, what do you think? Is there even the remotest possibility this could happen?

(By the way, their response to the point that the league would never allow such a thing is that the NFL's "boy's club" system would never hold up in court.)


Dale Lolley said...

The other owners have to OK any new buyer. They're not going to screw Dan Rooney over. Those are the rules of the league and the league is going to do everything possible to make sure Dan and Art II are still running this team when the smoke clears..
As for deep pockets to pay all that money over the cap like Daniel Snyder, how's that worked out for him?

adamg said...

Dale, I never said Snyder spent his money smartly, just that he has personal wealth to pay the kind of bonuses the Rooney's cannot. Had Druckenmiller gotten controlling interest in the team, Dan Rooney would have access to that same kind of money and perhaps it could have helped with signings.

SC Steeler said...

Dale, great point on why the Steelers didn't extend some of the players enetering their final contract years. Do you see either Marvel or Kemo as guys willing to take a Burgh discount or do you think both will look to cash in big in free agency. If they both keep up their good play, they are going to command a lot of $$$ in the open market.

Patrick said...


Don't you think one of them will be franchised or transitioned (Marvel or Kemo) if no deals are done, theres no way the Steelers let their starting LT and promising LG go in one offsseason.

If they were willing to spend 6.8 million for Max Starks to ride the pine as an insurance policy, and they don't use a tag on one of these two, they are out of their minds.

In a different topic, I'm a bit concerned about this Eagles game (and I'll be attending it). I think the Steelers need to come out and literally knock them out. I know this is a cliche statement and should happen every game, but the Eagles strike me as a team that can be overpowered. I really hope our defense gets to baptise DeSean Jackson over the middle. I REALLY think a hard hit or two could derail him for a game.

Go Steelers

Dale Lolley said...

I don't see them tagging Marvel. They'll give him the same respect they gave Faneca and allow him to test the market if that's what he wants. But they will try to re-sign him.

Kemoeatu is a tough call. He's young and has some upside, but do you tag a guard? I think it would behoove him to stay in Pittsburgh. It took him long enough to learn this playbook. He would have problems going somewhere else and learning a new one right away. And if he gets big money, the new team will want him to play right away.

He may be able to do so on raw ability, but he'd struggle a little.