Offensive line coach faces up to mistake
Friday, June 01, 2007
By Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Larry Zierlein does not send many messages through e-mail anymore.
"I'll leave that computer alone," the Steelers' new offensive line coach declared yesterday.
It's something he wishes he had done two weeks ago today, when he tried to pass along to an individual an X-rated video clip that was sent to him. Instead, he inadvertently hit a button that delivered the naughty e-mail to NFL general managers throughout the league, including one to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell.
"It was 100 percent unintentional," Zierlein said yesterday, speaking publicly for the first time about his embarrassing mistake. "I don't even know how to mass e-mail, I don't know these machines very good -- just a 100 percent unintentional thing. I hit the wrong button."
Doug Whaley, the Steelers' 10th-year pro personnel coordinator, sent the e-mail first to Zierlein.
Zierlein, 61, said he will use computers to work on only football stuff from now on. He sent a note of apology to everyone around the league as well as to those in the Steelers' organization. He said the past two weeks have not been easy as he has seen his name linked to the story that was carried around the country.
"It's hard because I made an inexcusable mistake -- unintentional or intentional. It was inexcusable. It was hard for the fact, first for the organization [and] what they had to explain and go through, [and] my family -- what they're going to have to hear.
"So it was tough, but, when you've been at this stuff as long as some of us have, tough things happen and you have to move on and that's what we're doing. I made a mistake, unintentional."
Dan Rooney, the Steelers' chairman, spoke to Zierlein about the incident but the coach declined to reveal what was said.
"I will say this is a very supportive organization," Zierlein said.