Many have wondered how the naming of Dan Rooney as ambassador to Ireland by the Obama administration would affect the Steelers.
The answer has different levels.
In terms of the football product, not having Rooney around on a daily basis won't affect things.
Dan's son, Art, has been running the team for several years now and has done a good job of it - as the results would show.
He's taken on the role Dan Rooney had when his father, The Chief, was still around. Dan made the daily decisions and consulted his father on anything major. Art will still have that luxury, as Dan will still just be a phone call away.
But the players like seeing the boss around.
To this day, he still visits the locker room on a regular basis and speaks with them – privately – congratulating them for a big win or helping to console them after a loss. But he doesn't do so in a Jerry Jones, in-your-face kind of matter. Rooney leaves the coaching to the coaches. There are no rah-rah speeches coming from Dan Rooney.
And they would see him around, watching practice or in the hallway or cafeteria.
The players respect that a great deal.
Perhaps some day Art will get that same kind of reverence. But it likely only comes with age.
The players respect Dan because, well, he's Dan. And that's what will be missing.