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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Rooney speaks about number of subjects

Steelers president Art Rooney II met with a few media members today to talk about the 2014 season and what he expects in 2015 - among other things.

Rooney said he was pleased that the team achieved one of its goals - winning the AFC North - but that the other goals were not reached so there was obvious disappointment.

He said he was especially happy with how the team responded down the stretch in some critical games.

Rooney said the team obviously needs improvement on defense and cited the pass rush as one of the areas where the biggest improvement is needed.

He said the team would like to keep outside linebacker Jason Worilds but wouldn't commit one way or another to tagging Worilds again this season.

@ When asked about former defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau, Rooney said he appreciated everything LeBeau did for the Steelers and will miss having him around.

Rooney did say that if LeBeau had stayed, he would have been in a different role. It sounds as if LeBeau was given the choice of staying and Keith Butler moving into the defensive coordinator role with LeBeau as an adviser, or leaving.

LeBeau chose to leave. You can call that forced out or whatever you'd like, but it sounds as if it was LeBeau's choice.

He's likely to serve in an advisory role wherever he lands. He just chose not to do so in Pittsburgh, likely out of respect for Butler.

Had LeBeau stayed, it would have been assumed that he was still the defacto defensive coordinator, with Butler holding the title.

This way, Butler gets to do things his way with no confusion about roles.

@ Rooney said he'd like to get a deal done with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sooner rather than later for obvious reasons.

It would give the team a better feel where it is at in terms of cap space being first and foremost.

He did say that negotiations have not yet begun but that he expects the deal to get done.

One thing that he did note was that contracts signed by other quarterbacks around the league this offseason would not matter to the Steelers. He admitted that Roethlisberger's agent might try to use them as a starting point, but that the Steelers wouldn't be swayed by them.

@ The team expects the roughly 3,000 additional seats at Heinz Field to be in place for the start of next season. Construction has already begun, though Rooney said it is a tight window.

Those tickets will be offered to people on the waiting list. And there will be a PSL as well. So if you've been on the waiting list, you could be contacted soon if that hasn't happened already.

@ The Steelers had been scheduled to go to New York in training camp to practice against the Bills this summer as Buffalo did at Saint Vincent College last summer.

That is now up in the air with Doug Marrone leaving and being replaced by Rex Ryan.

The joint practices came due to an agreement between Mike Tomlin and Marrone. Ryan might not want to hold the joint practices.


Anonymous said...

That would suck for steelers fans in the new york/bufallo area but cant complain other than that

Anonymous said...

No surprises here.

I hope the idea of retagging Worlids isn't really on the table. That would seriously mismanage our cap.

Eric T said...

I doubt they could afford it, but I'd much rather tag Worlids than sign him long term. At least the tag price is a one issue. A long term deal could hurt future cap flexibility.

I say let him walk. Hopefully he gets a big offer and Steelers get a 3rd round comp pick for him.

marc said...

I'm thinking there is a 30% chance worilds agrees to the steelers offer. I don't think they let him go anywhere since they are so thin at the position, which puts a 70% chance they tag him.

Anonymous said...

It used to be when teams fired a coach they would say he's fired. But that was too harsh so they started saying " we're going to move in a new direction for the coaching position." Now the terminology is "parting of the ways".
Reminds me of when former Eagle and Jet coach Rich Kotite,in his farewell address, said " I'm not quitting and I wasn't fired."

Patrick said...

That's about the extent of the worth of rich kotite in the nfl

Anonymous said...

The Steelers have committed hundreds of millions to Ben throughout his career. If he wants to win another Super Bowl he needs to pull a Brady and take a team friendly deal..I don't have a number in mind but why couldn't Ben take like $12M-$15M a year as opposed to $19M+? The things we could add to the defense with an extra $10M in cap space would be incredible.

marc said...

if you can sell that to #7, then come work for me please.

Zeke R said...

Terrence Cody, anyone?
I think he is worth a look.. As long as he can pass the physical with his hip issues..

SBK said...

@ Zeke

You may have learned this after your post, but Cody is being investigated for animal cruelty.

He's also a lazy tub of goo.


Dale Lolley said...

What in the world would they do with Cody?
Already have two nose tackles. And his arrest for animal cruelty certainly wouldn't play.

Anonymous said...


The Steelers had 2 promising DE's signed off their practice squad during the season. Are those players now free agents? You would think the Steelers may push to bring one or two of them back with there lack of depth at that position.

Zeke R said...

Wasn't aware of the arrest, I wouldn't have posted his name have I known about the allegations. I was just thinking about camp competion.

Anonymous said...

So the Stillers are going the PSL route, huh? That's like a restaurant charging the customer a fee for the right to look at the menu.

Hold onto your wallets Stillers fans.