In the city that pride’s itself on resolve and toughness and takes more pride in a football team that most other cities can only dream of something has been going on to challenge that notion. No, the pride and love for the Pittsburgh Steelers will never waver, but questions about how this team is handling things over the last month have come fast and furious. And well they should be.
Over the last month, the Steelers entered the AFC Playoffs at 12-4 and traveled to West Division Champion and heavy underdog Denver only to be embarrassed by a third-rate quarterback who stunned the Black ‘n Gold in overtime.
Two days later, President Art Rooney II and Head Coach Mike Tomlin seemed to be on the same page when Tomlin said he wanted all of his assistant coaches to return. Rooney had other ideas when Offensive Coordinator Bruce Arians’ contract was not renewed and the official announcement was made that Arians was “retiring.” With his star quarterback seething, Arians is now the new OC in Indianapolis as he most certainly did not retire.
If anything, Rooney took the power from his Head Coach and this is his right as owner, but it didn’t look good to anyone in the Steeler Nation in light of what we now know about Arians. The fact that Arians is gone is welcomed by the majority of Steelers’ fans but how it was allegedly handled was poor at best. You have Tomlin claiming he wanted everyone back and then suddenly a very important part of that “everyone” is shoved out the door. This is the kind of stuff that happens in Dallas or the old TV show “Dallas,” but not in Pittsburgh.
Ben Roethlisberger is scheduled to meet with Mr. Rooney perhaps as soon as tomorrow. Roethlisberger will come in expecting some answers and while he does deserve some as the franchise QB, he has to defer to the boss when it comes right down to it. The Rooney’s have never been shy about making moves they believe to be in the best interest of the organization or commenting on players but it is clear that Mr. Rooney is seeking to steer this team in a different direction and it would be really nice if he would let the head coach in on just what direction that is.
By: Marc Uhlmann
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