PDA

View Full Version : Rooney II: We're old on D. No more bench-rotting rookies!



DanRooney
01-18-2010, 05:12 PM
Steelers president wants coaches to get younger players ready more quickly
Sunday, January 17, 2010
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Peter Diana/Post-Gazette


Rooney: Speed up the development
Rebuilding is not in the Steelers' vocabulary for 2010. They prefer the word revitalize. As Mike Tomlin reshapes his coaching staff for the first time after three seasons as head coach, the team's president looks to younger players to help keep the Steelers in contention.

And he would like to see the coaching staff develop those players more quickly than they have been.

Art Rooney II said while he is happy with how the Steelers have acquired talent through the draft the past five-plus years, he'd prefer to see those players contribute more.

"I do think that one of the things we have to do is probably get better at developing our younger players," Rooney told the Post-Gazette. "That's something we have to think about and make sure we're doing what we need to do to have guys being able to step in maybe a little earlier. And over the next year or two, there's no question we have some age on the defense and there's going to be some turnover.

"We'll see in the next year or two how some of these draft choices play out, but we think we have some good young guys on this roster who can step up and make a difference."

No draft pick has become a regular starter as a rookie since tight end Heath Miller in 2005. It took 2007 first-round pick Lawrence Timmons into his third season before he started at linebacker. Rookie wide receiver Mike Wallace became a productive No. 3 receiver this season and undrafted rookie Ramon Foster started four games at guard.

But the list of young players languishing on the bench are many, including two third-round picks this past season, guard Kraig Urbik and cornerback Keenan Lewis.

Of the four top draft choices in 2008, only halfback Rashard Mendenhall contributed over the past two seasons. Second-round pick Limas Sweed played little at wide receiver, third-rounder Bruce Davis was released after one season and fourth-rounder Tony Hills spent the past two seasons mostly inactive for games.

As the Steelers defense ages, it becomes more important to develop young players to take over.

"We have some things we have to address," Rooney said. "I think No. 1, we have to get some of our younger players ready to go, and I think we have some young players who can step in and be contributors. I think we're all comfortable that there are some guys on the team now who can step in and make a difference next year."

Count Rooney among those who thought the extended losses to injuries in 2009 of safety Troy Polamalu and defensive end Aaron Smith made a difference.

"Certainly keeping certain guys healthy for most of the season would go a long way. In terms of Troy, you never want to put it all on one guy, the absence of one guy, because you have to be able to overcome injuries. But losing one of your best players is a tough blow for any team, combined with Aaron Smith. Keeping guys healthy is certainly something you hope happens.

"Beyond that, we have to have a good draft. For us, that's a key piece to the puzzle. We'll be drafting a little higher than we have been this year and so we have to do a good job with the draft and have some guys come in who will help in the near future, not right away but in the near future."

Rooney addressed several other topics:

• Kevin Colbert, the director of football operations, has one year left on his contract and often is rumored to be joining Bill Cowher if he takes another coaching job. Omar Khan, the team's lead negotiator and salary cap monitor, is one of two finalists for the general manager's job with the Seattle Seahawks.

PDF
NFL Draft Order
"No. 1, as far as I know, Bill's not pursuing a job. We'd love to keep our people. We have good people, we'd like to keep them. By the same token, when you have good people, they're going to have opportunities once in a while. We'll deal with it if changes come. You just have to be prepared to adjust if something like that happens."

• Mike Tomlin has two years left on his contract. Traditionally, the Steelers negotiate an extension with their coach heading into that period.

"I don't like to speculate on what we're going to do with the coach, but let's just say we certainly hope and believe Mike's going to be here for the long term and we'll deal with contract situations as they come up. But we're very happy with Mike, and I think he's here for the long run."

• On why he believed his Super Bowl champs, at 6-2, went into a tailspin in five consecutive losses that began at home to Cincinnati and included setbacks to heavy underdogs Kansas City, Oakland and Cleveland:

"Somewhere in the middle of that season I think we lost sight of the goal a little bit. We lost sight of the opportunity we had to do something special.

"You know, it's a long season, and I kind of look at the Cincinnati game and the Kansas City game as sort of two key games. I think our guys were really, let's say, disappointed coming off that Cincinnati game. Getting swept by Cincinnati is not something we're used to having happen. And I think there was a little carryover from that game to the next game and you can't afford to do that. You can't afford to go into a game against any opponent and take them lightly or worry about the last game. You have to be prepared every week in this league or somebody's going to jump up and get you.

"I think those two games started a little bit of a snowball that was hard to reverse. Thank God we did get it reversed because it would have been awful tough to lose the rest of them. But that was a tough stretch.

"I think we just have to be prepared to make adjustments and address things that we did not quite get right and I think we're doing that."



Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10017/1028890-66.stm#ixzz0d06czGLS

LatrobePA
01-18-2010, 06:36 PM
Did he use those exact words? Bench Rotting Rookie?? lol

DanRooney
01-18-2010, 08:11 PM
Did he use those exact words? Bench Rotting Rookie?? lol

lol no that's why i didn't use quotations. but that's pretty much what he's trying to say. so expect our first pick to at least start 3-4 weeks in instead of waiting a whole damn year (or 3 with Timmons)

LatrobePA
01-18-2010, 08:19 PM
lol no that's why i didn't use quotations. but that's pretty much what he's trying to say. so expect our first pick to at least start 3-4 weeks in instead of waiting a whole damn year (or 3 with Timmons)

That's why it's been hard for me to get excited about the draft....This season was odd to see Wallace playing so much, but he earned it in TC...

Iron City South
01-18-2010, 08:37 PM
I find it interesting that Art II is being so vocal about what he wants to see from this organization lately. I mean, it's totally within is boundry to do so, but it kinda sorta marginalizes Mike Tomlin a little bit by doing so. I don't recall Art Sr. ever making such statements to the press.

Troyisabeast_43
01-18-2010, 09:34 PM
I like the comments that Art Rooney has been making regarding the state of the Steelers. I think by coming out and saying all of these things publicly he is pretty much calling out Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff for all the failures that occured this season coming off a Super Bowl winning season with such an easy schedule. It's why Ive been coming on here and saying this for awhile now that next season will be an important one for Mike Tomlin. Art Rooney it looks like is not going to have much patience for these late season collapses that has occured with Mike Tomlin in 2 of his first 3 seasons with the Steelers. He knows this team has the talent and the QB to win another Super Bowl which is why I believe he is going to keep a strong eye on Tomlin next season on how he drafts and starts to develop younger players, and also the personnel changes that he makes and the change of philosophy on both offense and defense that he stated he wanted to start seeing...

coldrolled
01-19-2010, 12:23 AM
I like the comments that Art Rooney has been making regarding the state of the Steelers. I think by coming out and saying all of these things publicly he is pretty much calling out Mike Tomlin and his coaching staff for all the failures that occured this season coming off a Super Bowl winning season with such an easy schedule. It's why Ive been coming on here and saying this for awhile now that next season will be an important one for Mike Tomlin. Art Rooney it looks like is not going to have much patience for these late season collapses that has occured with Mike Tomlin in 2 of his first 3 seasons with the Steelers. He knows this team has the talent and the QB to win another Super Bowl which is why I believe he is going to keep a strong eye on Tomlin next season on how he drafts and starts to develop younger players, and also the personnel changes that he makes and the change of philosophy on both offense and defense that he stated he wanted to start seeing...

rooney is putting arians on notice, shape up or this is your last year.
build a running game, or else.. back to cleveland you go.

:yellowthumb:

BlackGold4vr
01-19-2010, 12:47 AM
All good teams traditionally take more time seasoning their newcomers because they can afford to do so. Teams that are drafting to fill immediate needs generally are not play-off teams. So I think that what you might be able to take from this comment is that Art Jr. believes that there are some STARTERS who really should be feeling vulnerable about losing their job to a rookie this year. Sometimes the best way to get that valuable experience is to throw the rookies right into the fire. For some of you older farts, almost all of the Steeler HOF players from the 70's started as rookies. What they did is history!

:2cents:

LatrobePA
01-19-2010, 01:00 AM
More a less, Farrior and the other vets need to be in tip top shape and play to a high level or else a rook could take your job. No more holding a spot for a vet!!

NCSteeler
01-19-2010, 06:22 AM
I agree with what he is saying, but I still don't like a Rooney talking to the media this much about the team. He should be keeping this in private conversations between him and Tomlin.

BlitzburghRockCity
01-19-2010, 09:43 AM
I find it interesting that Art II is being so vocal about what he wants to see from this organization lately. I mean, it's totally within is boundry to do so, but it kinda sorta marginalizes Mike Tomlin a little bit by doing so. I don't recall Art Sr. ever making such statements to the press.

Yeah I was just thinking the same thing; Dan Rooney wouldn't have been so vocal to the media about what changes might be forthcoming. I think we all knew that Art II was going to run things alittle more differently and perhaps on a bit shorter leash than what his Dad has done. Having said that, in a way it's nice to see him being vocal about something like this because we all know that our day 2 draft record isn't anything to shout about. It's not hard to hit on day 1 picks, and we generally don't miss on them but our other young guys have got to step up too. A change in philosophy in how we develop players, and also how we approach FA might do us some good. We're not totally off however, our current plan has worked pretty well over the years, a lot of good players have contributed for us but we need more at this point.

There's much work to be done right now, from bringing in coaches and new players; and if we want to stay competitive and not totally rebuild, we'll have to adjust our plans alittle bit.

ejsteeler
01-19-2010, 12:56 PM
I agree with what he is saying, but I still don't like a Rooney talking to the media this much about the team. He should be keeping this in private conversations between him and Tomlin.

I like it and we better get used to it. It's Art's ship to steer, fair weather or foul, and he seems to be doing a little different than we are used to. Change is not a bad thing...for the right reasons.

LatrobePA
01-19-2010, 12:58 PM
I like it and we better get used to it. It's Art's ship to steer, fair weather or foul, and he seems to be doing a little different than we are used to. Change is not a bad thing...for the right reasons.

I agree! Call their butts out!

KemoTherapy
01-20-2010, 02:00 PM
I have no problem with him calling a spade a spade. In fact, keep it coming. I don't want Tomlin resting on his laurels and thinking he's got the job sewn up for 50 years if he can't get the team to perform. They also need to get more production from the draft and have fewer guys who never play a down in the regular season in their whole career.