Tag:Art Rooney II
Posted on: February 20, 2012 7:36 pm
 

Roethlisberger, Haley still haven't talked

Haley, left, still hasn't called Roethlisberger, center, despite being hired by Tomlin two weeks ago. (US PRESSWIRE)
By Josh Katzowitz

Todd Haley wasn’t exactly known as a player-friendly coach when he was at the helm of the Chiefs, and in his new job as the Steelers offensive coordinator, it appears he isn’t trying very hard to be Ben Roethlisberger’s best friend.

Or, you know, trying to talk to him at all.

That’s what Roethlisberger revealed to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, saying, “He still hasn’t called yet.”

The admission continues what has become a strange offseason for the Steelers, with team president Art Rooney II seemingly overruling coach Mike Tomlin and letting offensive coordinator Bruce Arians “retire.” Then, with the hiring of Haley, it’s been unclear who actually wanted him (there was speculation that Tomlin didn’t want Haley as much as Rooney did, though Rooney later came out and said Tomlin was the one who makes the assistant coaches decisions).

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
With the loss of Arians, Roethlisberger made it clear he wasn’t happy with that decision, and when Haley was announced as the new hire, he said, “I've gotten a lot of calls and texts and emails from people around the league, both good and bad about him. Everybody has an opinion, as we all know, and they're letting me know what their interaction with him was -- good, bad and indifferent. I've heard a lot of things and I'm looking forward to meeting him and forming my own opinion."

Roethlisberger probably wouldn’t have guessed that two weeks later, he still would be looking forward to meeting him (there’s a pretty good chance by this point, though, that Roethlisberger already has formed an opinion).

The Trib Review went on to write that Roethlisberger “definitely came across and had the tone that he has no intention of making the first move.” And really, why should he? Haley is the new guy, and Roethlisberger is the quarterback who’s won two Super Bowls. Roethlisberger is a top-10 quarterback, and Haley just got fired from Kansas City.

Seems like Haley would want to meet the guy who is responsible for leading the offense. Of course, we probably should have expected his from Haley.

"It doesn't matter where you stand on the totem pole," Kurt Warner, who played for Haley with the Cardinals, said earlier this month. "If he sees something you can do better, he lets you know about it. That was a reason for our success."

"He just wants you to do the right thing. Instead of getting offended, maybe you have to look at yourself and say, 'OK, that's a legitimate concern.' That's the way you get good. That's how you stay great. He will be good for Ben, not that Ben needs a lot of help.”

Of course, the only way for Haley to possibly help Roethlisberger would be to meet him. We’ll have to wait and see how long it takes for that to happen.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 17, 2012 9:15 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 9:16 am
 

Rooney makes clear Tomlin wanted Haley

Art Rooney II tried to make it clear that Mike Tomlin was the one who wanted to hire Todd Haley. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Since former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' contract wasn’t renewed (and basically, was fired) and Todd Haley was installed as the new coordinator, there’s been much speculation that some of coach Mike Tomlin’s power has been cut within the organization.

Apparently, Tomlin didn’t want to part ways with Arians, and apparently, he didn’t want to hire Haley. Supposedly, team president Art Rooney II was the man to make those deals over the protests of his successful head coach.

Now, though, Rooney is denying he had much of a role in the Pittsburgh offensive upheaval.

"I think the bottom line is, Mike was comfortable that's who he wanted to come in," Rooney said Thursday afternoon in an exclusive interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "It may be fair to say that when he started the discussions and Todd's name was on his original list, I don't think he expected that Todd was the guy he was going to wind up hiring. But as he had more conversations with him, he became more comfortable that he was the right guy for the job."

The paper writes that the reason Rooney talked to reporter Ed Bouchette was because he wanted “to counter rampant speculation that he, not Tomlin, hired Haley to replace Bruce Arians ….”

So, yes, there is spin involved in this story, and Rooney apparently didn’t dispel the notion that he, not Tomlin, was the one who didn’t want Arians around.

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
Aside from Haley, Rooney said Jim Caldwell was the only other candidate that Tomlin brought to Pittsburgh to interview for the job. Rooney said he had conversations with Caldwell and Haley when they were in Pittsburgh, but he said it was more informal than a regular interview.

"I wouldn't want my role in it to be overestimated because Mike has to decide who he wants on the staff,” Rooney said. “Even though there's always a discussion between me and Mike about who he's hiring and how much we're paying him and those kinds of things, it's normally a discussion of the business side of the arrangement than, 'Are we going to hire a guy who's going to run the ball so many times a game.' It was a fairly normal process as far as I'm concerned in terms of how we've done those kinds of hirings in the past."

It’s good that Rooney recognizes the need to let the public believe that Tomlin is the one calling the shots on his coaching staff. Because, for the most part, Tomlin should be the one to make those decisions.

But if Rooney was the one who wanted to let Arians walk -- and that seems fairly clear at this point -- he needed to let Tomlin save face with the Haley hire. No matter who actually wanted Haley, Rooney has accomplished that now with this interview.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:04 pm
 

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

Who hired Todd Haley as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator? (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

How much power does Steelers coach Mike Tomlin really have within the organization? That’s the question the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Ron Cook asks in a column written after Pittsburgh hired Todd Haley as the new offensive coordinator.

It seems that Tomlin wanted to keep former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians but was told by owner Art Rooney II that Arians would not be brought back for 2012 (Arians subsequently retired and then took a job as the Indianapolis offensive coordinator).

As we wrote last month, “The organization was not going to renew Arians’ contract, and in essence, was going to fire him without officially having to fire him. ‘That decision,’ writes reporter Gerry Dulac, ‘appears to have come from team president Art Rooney II, even though coach Mike Tomlin told Arians several times since the playoff loss in Denver that he wanted him to return next season.’ Now, it appears Tomlin was overruled by his boss.”

Was Tomlin overruled again by having to hire the former Chiefs coach to replace Arians?

As Cook writes:
Hey, all speculation is fair until we hear from Tomlin or more from Rooney. I can't say for sure one way or the other who hired Haley. We might never know. But I do know this: If Rooney forced Haley on Tomlin after forcing out Arians after a 12-4 season, Tomlin can't possibly like it.

Nor should he.

It would be enough to make Tomlin at least consider his long-term future with the Steelers, especially now that Rooney II appears to have taken nearly complete control of the franchise from his father, Dan.

Tomlin has done a wonderful job here. He is as successful as just about any coach in the NFL. In five years, he has convinced me he's a better coach than Bill Cowher before him. And Cowher was terrific.
That said, the Steelers have done well by Tomlin as well, so in reality, he can’t complain that much. And besides, the Rooneys are some of the most respected owners in all of sports.

But they haven’t just risked alienating Tomlin. They’ve also risked upsetting their franchise quarterback.

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
"I've gotten a lot of calls and texts and emails from people around the league, both good and bad about (Haley),'' Roethlisberger told the Post Gazette. "Everybody has an opinion, as we all know, and they're letting me know what their interaction with him was -- good, bad and indifferent. I've heard a lot of things and I'm looking forward to meeting him and forming my own opinion."

But Roethlisberger also made sure the owners heard his voice after Arians’ contract wasn’t renewed. And he gave a hint of future frustrations.

"That was my biggest talking point to Mike and those guys -- I would hate to just throw everything out and start over because I feel it would set us back two or three years because these guys are just starting to get it,” Roethlisberger said.

"I hope we don't have to start over and if we do, you know what, here we go. Let's do it. We'll do it. We're not going to complain about it. But I would hate to have to set certain guys back who are doing so well right now."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 28, 2012 2:17 pm
Edited on: January 28, 2012 2:55 pm
 

Report: Bruce Arians hired as Colts OC

AriansBy Josh Katzowitz

Only a scant few days after former Steelers assistant Bruce Arians supposedly retired from coaching,it sounds like he has a new job.

According to a tweet from XTRA 910’s Mike Jurecki, Arians “is likely to become the next coordinator of the Colts.” Later, ESPN's Adam Schefter wrote that Arians has agreed to the job and will fly to Indianapolis on Monday to "to review and sign [the] contract."

So much for retirement, eh?

Well, it sounds like that’s not exactly what happened at the end of Arians’ tenure in Pittsburgh, especially since reports have emerged that Arians’ expiring contract would not have been renewed and that team president Art Rooney II didn’t give Arians a reason why the team was letting him go.

But the release of Arians might cause Pittsburgh more problems, because an obviously-displeased quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he will march up to Rooney’s office and figure out why Arians wasn’t retained.

Pagano, the Ravens defensive coordinator, matched wits with Arians twice last season, and Baltimore held Pittsburgh to a combined 27 points in dealing the Steelers two losses.

The two also coached together with the Browns from 2001-03, so there should be plenty of familiarity between the two.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: January 27, 2012 11:05 am
Edited on: January 27, 2012 2:44 pm
 

Ben wants meeting with Rooney over Arians release

Roethlisberger and Rooney are going to have a meeting, apparently. (Getty Images)
By Will Brinson

Former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians left the team under suspicious circumstances: first he was retiring, then he was fired, then he said he "wasn't offered a contract" ... it was all really weird and awkward. And it's not making Ben Roethlisberger happy.

And Roethlisberger, apparently, is going to march right up to Art Rooney II's office and ask him what's going on.

"When I get back, I'm going to go up to Mr. Rooney's office and ask him what he wants from me, what he wants from this offense, because I think that's a viable question for him," Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Thursday in Honolulu. "He's our owner and our boss, so I really would like to know kind of what he wants and where he sees our offense going because I'd like to tell him where I see us going."

Rooney previously cited the points scored by the Steelers in 2011 as an issue with Arians. And the owner has a fair point, as the Steelers only ranked as a top-10 unit once under Arians, which was during his first year in 2007 when they were ninth in the NFL in scoring.

However, Football Outsiders ranks the Steelers as a top-10 unit in DVOA every year of Arians tenure but one. And there's little question that under Arians, the Steelers moved from a traditional ground-and-pound stereotype that people attach to Pittsburgh to a full-on aerial assault.

"We feel like we are really close to being an elite offense," Roethlisberger told the Tribune-Review. "For your leader to be gone is kind of a shocker, but you've got to be ready for whatever the Rooneys and coach [Mike] Tomlin decide it our next step."

Roethlisberger has consistently defended Arians over the past, and the T-R notes that he was taking him to Hawaii as one of his guests for the Pro Bowl until things got murky with his contract situation.

Ben's job is certainly safer. But he's not exactly doing himself any favors with the way he's phrasing his "request" for a meeting with Rooney.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, Like Us on Facebook, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're add it, add our RSS Feed.

Posted on: January 24, 2012 3:17 pm
 

Arians retired after not getting new contract

Yes, Bruce Arians retired but only after Pittsburgh didn't offer him a new contract. (Getty Images)

By Ryan Wilson

First, there was speculation that Bruce Arians might not return as the Steelers' offensive coordinator. Then the word on the street was that he would retire. A day later, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that he would've been fired if he didn't leave.

Today, we finally hear from Arians, who spoke to the York Daily Record (Pa.) about his final days with the organization. He said he retired when he "wasn't offered a contract." After that, "it was an easy decision for me."

Latest Coaching News, Rumors
Arians added that team president Art Rooney II didn't give him a reason. "I can't answer that question," he said. "Only the people there can. That's the business. I know the job we did as a staff. I don't have any regrets."

Arians was promoted to offensive coordinator in 2007, head coach Mike Tomlin's first year with the Steelers. In four of five seasons, Pittsburgh was a top-10 offense, according to Football Outsiders (and the only year they weren't, 2008, they won the Super Bowl). Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger flourished under Arians, but the Steelers got away from what they had previously been known for: running the ball.

Last week, Rooney was asked if he wanted Arians back in 2012.

“Well, that’s really Mike (Tomlin's) decision," he told KDKA's Bob Pompeani. "I mean, and that’s the process Mike’s involved in right now is talking to all of the coaches about where they are and where they are with their contracts, so I think that’s something – I’ll leave it to those guys to kind of work out where we’re going on that front.”

Rooney was also asked about the perception that Roethlisberger and Arians' had more a "father-son relationship instead of a boss-employer relationship." (No idea why this matters but apparently it does.)

“Well, I think first you have to look at the success that they’ve had," he said. "With Bruce and Ben, we’ve had a pretty good run here, so I’m not sure that I would complain too much about what the relationship has been and it’s been a productive one and that’s the key part of the puzzle.”

It was Roethlisberger who helped save Arians' job several years ago when there were first discussions of letting him ago. Big Ben reportedly tried again this time with no success.

"He's not happy," Arians said, "but that's part of the business."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Gerry Dulac wrote over the weekend that the decision to part ways with Arians seemed to come from Rooney, and Tomlin told Arians several times that he wanted him back in 2012.

Arians told the Daily Record that he has already been contacted by five or six teams but didn't go into specifics.

The most obvious choice? Steelers West: the Arizona Cardinals. CBSSports.com Rapid Reporter Craig Morton writes that "Arians does have Steelers ties to multiple Cards coaches (including Ken Whisenhunt, Russ Grimm, Ray Horton and former Steelers player-turned-assistant Deshea Townsend). Arizona has a vacant QBs coach position."

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our NFL newsletter, and while you're at it, add our RSS Feed.
Posted on: March 14, 2011 2:06 pm
Edited on: March 14, 2011 2:16 pm
 

NFLPA, owners battle each other and for you

Posted by Mike Freeman

There is the battle in the court between the players and owners and then there is another battle.

The other battle is the battle for you, the fan.

As both sides prepare for court fights they are simultaneously fighting to win a PR war.

Since the lockout, the NFL has sent numerous releases to many in the media. Some are statements from owners like Art Rooney II expressing their disappointment in the union. Others are announcements about high-powered additions to their legal team.

Cincinnati owner Mike Brown told the Cincinnati Enquirer that all the players cared about was the money. Then, president of the San Diego Chargers, Dean Spanos, released a statement accusing DeMaurice Smith of not negotiating in good faith. The Kansas City Chiefs added their own statement as well. The Broncos said they're willing to open their books.

The league also announced that Roger Goodell was slashing his salary to $1. It's doubtful the NFL commissioner, however, will need to borrow a few duckets to put food on the table.

All of the statements basically have the same purpose which is to blame the players for the current labor crisis.
NFL Lockout
The player's association re-released its own statements immediately following their decertification. My guess: the players saw what the owners said and wanted to, again, make the position known that the owners are lying.

Both sides are clearly fighting for control of you. Your mind. Your opinion.

But the players won't stay silent for long. It's only a matter of time before they begin to counter what the league is saying.
And the battle continues...

This post is cross-posted from Mike Freeman's Freestyle blog . For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
Posted on: March 14, 2011 12:33 pm
 

Hot Routes 3.14.11: Interest-free loans



Posted by Josh Katzowitz


  • The Panthers will get an up-close look at Ryan Mallett on Tuesday when they conduct a private workout for the Arkansas QB. This obviously is big news because Carolina holds the No. 1 pick.
  • Several teams, according to a report in SI (via the Baltimore Sun) , have dropped the name of Colorado CB Jimmy Smith off their draft boards. Plenty of questions about his character.
  • George Whitfield, who’s coaching Cam Newton these days, tells Chris Russell of ESPN 980 in Washington that Newton is so far from a finished product that it’s scary. He also said Newton’s QB model is that of Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.
  • According to Ravens S/prize fighter Tom Zbikowski, his next fight is set for March 26 in Atlantic City against the dreaded TBA. So far, Zbikowski is 2-0 with two first-round knockouts. Chances are good that, in a couple weeks, he’ll be 3-0 with three knockouts.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnfl on Twitter and subscribe to our RSS Feed .
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com