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Steelers G.M. Colbert says Rooney is not a meddlesome owner


Amid widespread reports that team president Art Rooney II was behind Pittsburgh’s change at offensive coordinator, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert says that Rooney isn’t meddling in the team’s football operations.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Colbert said Rooney isn’t taking any more control of the team than any owner would.

“Art Rooney obviously is the owner of the team and the president of the team,” Colbert said. “Of course he’s going to be in the loop on every decision as any chief operating officer would be of any corporation. I think to say he is meddlesome or dictating every decision I think is very inaccurate.”

But no one thinks Rooney is dictating every decision. Obviously the head coach and the general manager make some decisions. The question people are asking in Pittsburgh this offseason is whether Rooney dictated the decision to replace Bruce Arians with Todd Haley as the offensive coordinator. And Colbert’s comments don’t deny that that particular decision was dictated by Rooney.

Colbert insists, however, that he, Rooney and head coach Mike Tomlin are working together well and on the same page regarding the future of the franchise.

“A lot of decisions are made around here with a collective effort and, in our end, when we’re talking about players, it’s a collective effort between myself, coach Tomlin and Art, and that’s the way we do business,” Colbert said.

And according to Colbert, that business hasn’t changed since Art Rooney II took over for Dan Rooney. Even if we still don’t have a clear answer about what role the owner had in choosing the offensive coordinator.

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26 Responses to “Steelers G.M. Colbert says Rooney is not a meddlesome owner”
  1. haileli says: Feb 16, 2012 9:22 AM

    The only time I can ever remember the Rooney family meddling was when they insisted on drafting Roethlisberger over Cowher’s preference, Shawn Andrews. I’d say that was a good move.

  2. jenniferxxx says: Feb 16, 2012 9:22 AM

    It’s not meddling if you own the team. When change is needed it’s often up to the owner to initiate it.

    Agree or disagree with the move, but it’s not meddling. We’re not talking Jerry Jones here. This isn’t a frequent thing.

    The Steelers are one of the NFL’s most successful franchises. Obviously they know how to run a football team.

  3. greglloydrules says: Feb 16, 2012 9:30 AM

    Never thought he was a meddler. He’s probably seen the likes of Al Davis and Jerry Jones meddling and doesn’t want to be that kind of owner. Raiders and Cowboys fans know all too well what i mean by that.

  4. marvsleezy says: Feb 16, 2012 9:33 AM

    This is the beginning of the end for this organization. Let the football professionals that you hired do their job.

  5. numberonesteelerhater says: Feb 16, 2012 9:36 AM

    O.K. Steeler fans, lets hear the whining………….

  6. realitypolice says: Feb 16, 2012 9:38 AM

    I am stunned that he would have nothing bad to say about the man who signs his paychecks.

  7. st1llerz1 says: Feb 16, 2012 9:45 AM

    The guy owns the team! Should he be dictating daily operations or playing General Manager on a daily basis, ala Jerry Jones? No way! Should he step in once in a blue moon should he see something that he believes to be a serious inpediment to the success of the team? Hell YES!!

    BTW, if Art did step in and fire Bruce Ariens, the Steeler Nation owes him one big “THANK YOU MR. ROONEY!!!”


  8. t1mmy10 says: Feb 16, 2012 9:47 AM

    bottom line: The steelers were 21st in the league in pts/gm, the worst they’ve done in 8 years. Lack of talent on offense certainly isn’t the problem. Arians NEEDED to go. If Tomlin didn’t make that decision for whatever reason Rooney would’ve been a poor owner not to overrule him.

    There is a difference between a meddlesome owner (aka Jerry Jones), an owner who steps in when needed (Rooney), and an owner who isn’t involved/knowledgeable enough (Lerner).

  9. wvucolumbus says: Feb 16, 2012 9:50 AM

    Even if they are meddling, 3 SB appearances in 6 years? Everybody chasing them and their 6 pieces of hardware? 3 head coaches in like the last half century?

    Uh…I think the top figures of that organization have earned the right to give input in its direction.

  10. derfshambeaux says: Feb 16, 2012 9:58 AM

    How can an owner be described as meddlesome? If it’s his team, he can be as hands-on or -off as he wants.

  11. datd00d says: Feb 16, 2012 10:35 AM

    Are you suggesting that President and co-owner of the Steelers, Art Rooney II, isn’t a “football professional”?

    His six super bowl rings would say otherwise.

    marvsleezy says: Feb 16, 2012 9:33 AM

    This is the beginning of the end for this organization. Let the football professionals that you hired do their job.

  12. psufan220 says: Feb 16, 2012 10:44 AM

    I think history dictates that the organization has a pretty good handle on what they are doing.

  13. jsprunner says: Feb 16, 2012 10:47 AM

    Not complicated, but probably more nuanced than many will understand. There is probably little doubt that the Rooneys would like Tomlin to be the Steeler HC for a very long time. But sometimes as CEO/President/etc. you have to step in when you see from your vantage point a dynamic that just is not working the way it should. Arians and Ben are such close friends (neighbors, golfing buddies), Arians probably spent more time trying to do what Ben wanted than what the team wanted/needed. Tomlin should have been able to manage that, but he probably gave in a little too often and too easily.

    If I had to guess, I would say what had been building over time came to a head during the SF game. Although he was injured and clearly ineffective, Roethlisberger and Arians convinced Tomlin to keep him out there anyway leaving the Steelers absolutely no chance to win that game. As HC, he (and Arians) should have put the team’s interests first, not Ben’s delusional belief that he could add to his legend by pulling out the game on one leg. And of course, he was never really healthy the rest of the season.

    I doubt you will see any more “executive” or “group” decisions like this as Tomlin continues to grow and mature as a HC. Rooney wants him there for the long term and this is just part of the growing process.

    Just my $0.02.

  14. Little Earthquake says: Feb 16, 2012 10:49 AM

    It would be news if he’d said that the owner IS meddlesome.

  15. steelerfanforlife says: Feb 16, 2012 11:20 AM

    No one in Pittsburgh is questioning the Arians decision because nearly every fan wanted him gone! Only you guys were questioning it because this is slow season, you enjoy getting hits and know that no other team gives you the kind like the Steelers do(love em or hate em people always post) And you can’t talk about Jeremy Lin on your football site!!

  16. sdiegosteel says: Feb 16, 2012 11:34 AM

    Has there ever been so much hand-wringing coming off of back-to-back 12-4 seasons? You guys worry about Art II – – Steelers fans are sleeping soundly.

  17. originalsteelcurtain says: Feb 16, 2012 11:44 AM

    I see it as a great move by Colbert to try and calm the waters stirred by sensationalist writers trying to create a story.

    Which is not nearly as fun for some as imagining a world where Artie II rules Steelers, Inc as a dictatorial lunatic.

  18. thefiesty1 says: Feb 16, 2012 12:01 PM

    Meddlesome is fine as long as it doesn’t become micro-management. There is nothing worse than that. Those type people won’t get out of the way and let you do your job.

  19. billobrienschindimple says: Feb 16, 2012 12:13 PM

    The difference with the Steelers us that the owners ARE football people, not rich kids with expensive toys, a la Dan Snyder.

  20. sbs9101314304043 says: Feb 16, 2012 12:27 PM

    “The question people are asking in Pittsburgh this offseason is whether Rooney dictated the decision to replace Bruce Arians with Todd Haley as the offensive coordinator. And Colbert’s comments don’t deny that that particular decision was dictated by Rooney.”

    Dude, I live in Pittsburgh and the only people concerned about this is PFT and the people outside of Pittsburgh.

    We have Hockey and a big trade with the Pirates to keep us buzzing.

    I suggest you guys do the same. Move on and quit whining about the change.

  21. bozosforall says: Feb 16, 2012 12:54 PM

    Rooney certainly isn’t a grandstander like Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft.

  22. antibenapalooza says: Feb 16, 2012 7:01 PM

    I’d like to see some Rooney involvement, like getting rid of Pig Ben Rottenberger and giving back the Steelers their honor.

  23. northsidesteel says: Feb 16, 2012 7:36 PM

    The Rooney’s have proven their NFL pedigree.

  24. rodgers419 says: Feb 16, 2012 9:17 PM

    Al Davis. Jerry Jones. Art Rooney.

    Rooney should stick to filing paperwork and let the football people do the football.

  25. lawboy2000 says: Feb 17, 2012 12:35 AM

    Dan should have meddled instead of just suggesting the team draft Marino in 1983.

  26. quittsburghstoolers says: Feb 17, 2012 9:24 AM

    Steelers G.M. Colbert says Rooney is not a meddlesome owner


    I’m sure he’s also said that his QB isn’t a whiny diva, his WR isn’t a cheap shot artist, and his LB isn’t a big mouthed dirty player.


    Considering the fact that the owner has the power to fire him, I’m sure Colbert wouldn’t announce that Rooney was meddlesome… not unless he wanted to get canned.

    My life experience tells me that when someone feels compelled in the situation to make this kind of statement the real truth tends to be the exact opposite…

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