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Rooney says Tomlin hired Haley

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There’s been a lot of protesting coming out of Pittsburgh lately.  Some may wonder whether they’re protesting too much.

On Thursday, owner Art Rooney II told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that coach Mike Tomlin made the decision to hire offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

“I think the bottom line is, Mike was comfortable that’s who he wanted to come in,” Rooney told Bouchette.  “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 real question becomes how Tomlin went from not expecting that Haley would be hired to becoming sufficiently comfortable to hire him.  The fact that the decision to retire-fire Bruce Arians apparently came from a pay grade or two above Tomlin invites if not encourages speculation that the decision to hire Haley was at best influenced and at worst made by someone else.

“I wouldn’t want my role in it to be overestimated because Mike has to decide who he wants on the staff,” Rooney said.  Still, the confusion regarding the departure of Arians has opened to door to uncertainty as to whether Tomlin had the power to decide to keep Arians — which necessarily carries over to whether Tomlin had the sole power to hire Haley’s replacement without the input or consent of ownership.

The ongoing effort by the Steelers to create the impression that Rooney isn’t meddling with the football operation has obscured, at least for now, the question of whether the Steelers through Haley will be able to get the most out of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.  “I had a good conversation with Ben the other day and he’s anxious to get started and to get to know [Haley],” Rooney said.

The short-term and long-term future of the franchise’s offensive performance could hinge on whether, when the two men get to know each other, they like what they see and hear.

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39 Responses to “Rooney says Tomlin hired Haley”
  1. connie73 says: Feb 17, 2012 8:24 AM

    And I say its 8:30 am in pittsburgh and its still dark outside. Do you believe me. The bs Steelers want us to believe.

  2. okiesteeler says: Feb 17, 2012 8:25 AM

    Let the Haters be stupid in 3….2…..1…..

  3. normswifevera says: Feb 17, 2012 8:27 AM

    Todd Haley got Matt Cassel to a Pro Bowl, the football equivilent of squeezing blood from a stone. And you’re questioning whether he can get the most out of Ben?

  4. jcmeyer10 says: Feb 17, 2012 8:29 AM

    This whole thing stinks if you ask me.

  5. kc4life7 says: Feb 17, 2012 8:32 AM

    I don’t care if you hate Haley or not, the facts are that he took a 4-12 KC team and turned them into a 10-6 home playoff game team. He is a good coach.

    Pittsburgh made a great pick up with him and it’s going to make them even better than they already are. They really need to stop complaining about it.

  6. southflsteel says: Feb 17, 2012 8:52 AM

    No need to actually believe what RooneyII is saying here, right? Let’s all just speculate that he’s lying! That makes much better headlines than “reporting” nothing at all. Smh again. Nothing to see here folks, move along!!! The STEELERS, as always, will be fine.

    GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. rodgers419 says: Feb 17, 2012 8:54 AM

    “I don’t care if you hate Haley or not, the facts are that he took a 4-12 KC team and turned them into a 10-6 home playoff game team. He is a good coach.”

    Not saying he’s not a good coach but you picked a pretty convenient cutoff. He was fired last year after going 5-8. He had an overall record of 19-26.

  8. quittsburghstoolers says: Feb 17, 2012 8:58 AM

    You know, Rooney’s got a helluva nerve allowing Tomlin to make these decisions without consulting Toothlessberger first!

    This just adds another thing for Toothy to get done on his “to-do” list.

    First, get Haley fired then get Tomlin fired and then get himself installed as both head coach & general manager as well as starting QB.

    The only other people that’s needed after that in the front office will a HUGE staff of professional PR men and lawyers to cover up for Toothy the next time he does something stupid off the field…

  9. bleed4philly says: Feb 17, 2012 9:00 AM

    LOL, can’t wait til the fit hits the shan.

  10. dixx8ball says: Feb 17, 2012 9:07 AM

    As a long time Steelers fan…I could give two poops about who hired him, who made the decision etc. etc. etc.

    He’s here now and that’s that…

    Now all I am concerned with is what is he going to do to help us win NUMBER 7

    Let him coach and if it doesn’t work then we can storm Heinz field and stick a Rooney head on a stake..

  11. richie500 says: Feb 17, 2012 9:08 AM

    There’s been a lot of protesting coming out of Pittsburgh lately…

    By who?
    I listen to sports talk everyday in Pittsburgh.
    This is a figment of the imagination of PFT!

  12. Patriot42 says: Feb 17, 2012 9:11 AM

    Haley didn’t do squat in KC. Charlie Weis was the OC the year the Chiefs went 10-6. Last year without Charlie they back slide.

  13. cmack15 says: Feb 17, 2012 9:11 AM

    jcmeyer10 says: Feb 17, 2012 8:29 AM

    This whole thing stinks if you ask me.

    =========
    Nobody did

  14. bikeman99 says: Feb 17, 2012 9:13 AM

    Why don’t they ask Rooney did you fire BA and why?

    Are they afraid? Like he’s Paulie in Goodfellas

  15. clayton43 says: Feb 17, 2012 9:14 AM

    OK FInally.. Roonys wanted a diff OC … as most fans did ….Rooney states that TOmlin hired Haley which appeared as legit from the press conference.. WHY is PFT trying so desperately to turn over stones on this and on anyting about Steelers?

  16. souldogdave says: Feb 17, 2012 9:15 AM

    I think they wanted to burn a fire under Ben, get him out of his comfort zone. Which implies he was sluffing. Haley is very different than Arians.

  17. contract says: Feb 17, 2012 9:16 AM

    “No need to actually believe what RooneyII is saying here, right? Let’s all just speculate that he’s lying!”

    He just got done lying about Arians retiring, so yeah.

  18. eaglesnoles05 says: Feb 17, 2012 9:28 AM

    It’s never good when the first couple weeks of stories about a new coaching staff hire are all about who wanted him, who may not have wanted him, and who say’s who wanted him and who says that’s not true.

  19. holeinone09 says: Feb 17, 2012 9:38 AM

    I guess these types of stories are what happens during the slow parts of the off-season. What probably happened is that Rooney wanted to make a change, and Tomlin preferred not to. But the decision was made, so of course Tomlin made his recommendation of Haley as the best candidate, considering Rooney didn’t want Arians back.

    So what, who cares, Haley is the new OC. Much ado about nothing.

    Hopefully everyone predicts the Steelers finish 0-16, just like they do every year. And every year, the Steelers prove them wrong.

  20. geezohman says: Feb 17, 2012 9:38 AM

    i became a ‘die-hard’ Steeler fan in 1970 (went to college at Slippery Rock (State College). Saw the bad, enjoyed the 70’s… did not care for Mark Malone…

    anyway… The organization is good.. .the team is constantly in the playoffs and SuperBowls…

    BEN NEEDS DISCIPLINE still… and I agree and think that Haley is a good pick…

    LOOK AT IT ANOTHER WAY… would u rather have …. LERNER (Browns) owner? ? ? ? ? ?

    ok… (Browns talking about drafting another QB, which will be the 14th since 1999? Starting with Couch.. Lerner is making his money selling QB jerseys… Cause Holmgren is going to do it… talk about age and losing a step !

    I like the year before…Steelers playing Browns in Cleveland, they did the same play they beat Seahawks (Holmgren) with (but different player). !

    Hows that rubbing it in ! The only good thing BA did. (He was too… mommy with Ben, letting him do it)… Tired of Ben quickly running out of pocket and passing like its backyard football. I like JOE GREENE recent comments… When we had receivers like Swann and Stallworth we still ran the ball when we needed to… tired of Steelers NOT scoring (and killing the teams we play… more often we ‘dumb’ down to their levels and barely win then.

    TIME FOR CHANGE.. and I love it !

  21. CKL says: Feb 17, 2012 9:39 AM

    OK then, I’ll try again.

    Rooney doesn’t speak much that I know of so when he does, I pay attention. In this case it sounds like there’s some pointed messages being delivered. One would be the comment about BR and him having a good talk. I read that as “we met and I told BR to shut up publicly whining/questioning decisions that are above his pay grade.” If that’s the case, good for Mr. Rooney.

  22. steelforce43 says: Feb 17, 2012 9:46 AM

    The only reason this is news is because, Ben opened his big fat mouth… again!

    Bottom line this sort of thing happens all the time and BA was a close friend of his. Who wouldn’t fight for their friends job. BA had a talent group of players but Ben actually ran a more effective offense when they would go on huddle.

    Now Ben needs to put on his “big boy pants” and get to work. He gets paid millions he can’t take his ball and go home because he didn’t get his own way.

  23. peytonwantsaflag says: Feb 17, 2012 9:54 AM

    None of this would ever have been a story if PigBen would’ve just kept his big-fat-mouth-shut.

    Nice leader y’all got there Stooler fans.

  24. dexterismyhero says: Feb 17, 2012 10:05 AM

    @johnclayton43 says:Feb 17, 2012 9:14 AM

    WHY is PFT trying so desperately to turn over stones on this and on anyting about Steelers?
    ================================

    There are 3 stories on Manning and 1 on the Steelers and 1 on several other teams.

    Don’t worry, they have to give you Steeler fans something to chat about.

  25. nflofficeadmin says: Feb 17, 2012 10:12 AM

    Rooney is the New Al Davis. What a joke – no one is buying what he is selling.. Next!

  26. paulieorkid says: Feb 17, 2012 10:17 AM

    (1) It’s been widely reported that Tomlin promised to others, including Arians himself, that Arians was coming back;
    (2) Poof – shortly after that, Arians is reported by the Steelers as having “retired” … as if it were Arians idea to shut it down;
    (3) Haley is brought in for a sniff, after Rooney, II, publicly voices that Ben needs to “tweak his game” (great football analysis by the way – a non-football guy making that call);
    (4) Haley is hired despite no pre-hire fuel from Tomlin;
    (5) It is later “claimed” – for obvious reasons – that everyone is and was on board for the Haley hire. Well, of course it was — to say otherwise would emasculate Tomlin and cast Rooney, II as creeping toward the dreaded tag of “meddlesome.” “Meddlesome” has negative implications.

  27. realitypolice says: Feb 17, 2012 10:33 AM

    kc4life7 says:
    Feb 17, 2012 8:32 AM
    I don’t care if you hate Haley or not, the facts are that he took a 4-12 KC team and turned them into a 10-6 home playoff game team. He is a good coach.
    =======================

    If that turnaround makes Haley a good coach, Tony Sparano must be the second coming of Vince Lombardi. The fins went from 1-15 to 11-5 in his first season.

    I think we all know by now that you can’t judge a coach on his first year when he takes over a terrible team. The combination of a new attitude, high draft picks, an easy schedule and other teams taking you lightly often combine to make new coaches seem a lot better than they are.

  28. 3octaveFart says: Feb 17, 2012 10:36 AM

    “There’s been a lot of protesting coming out of Pittsburgh lately.”

    Only according to you guys.
    So much for your conspiracy theory journalism.

  29. southpaw2k says: Feb 17, 2012 10:42 AM

    Good lord, what’s with all this spin doctoring in Pittsburgh? Why the need to put out fires when there aren’t any real fires to begin with? The Steelers still have salary cap issues as a much more pressing issue, so I don’t see why they feel the need to stress that coaching staff changes aren’t a problem.

  30. Patriot42 says: Feb 17, 2012 10:43 AM

    You Steeler fans will be sorry they hired Haley.

  31. mmmpierogi says: Feb 17, 2012 11:06 AM

    realitypolice says: Feb 17, 2012 10:33 AM

    kc4life7 says:
    Feb 17, 2012 8:32 AM
    I don’t care if you hate Haley or not, the facts are that he took a 4-12 KC team and turned them into a 10-6 home playoff game team. He is a good coach.
    =======================

    If that turnaround makes Haley a good coach, Tony Sparano must be the second coming of Vince Lombardi. The fins went from 1-15 to 11-5 in his first season.

    I think we all know by now that you can’t judge a coach on his first year when he takes over a terrible team. The combination of a new attitude, high draft picks, an easy schedule and other teams taking you lightly often combine to make new coaches seem a lot better than they are.

    *********************************************************

    He was the OC in Arizona for a couple of seasons when they were actually doing well a few years back. He also has tenure on teams that most would agree were at least moderately successful (e.g., the Bears, the Jets) as an offensive coordinator/coach/staff going back to the 1990’s. Not saying Haley is going to come in and revolutionize the Steelers offense, but his experience goes beyond his stint in with the Chiefs.

    As for him being with the Steelers, time will tell on how it works out – compared to what was observed with Arians, I’m quite comfortable in saying that I’m cautiously optimistic at this juncture.

  32. stillers6 says: Feb 17, 2012 11:34 AM

    This whole thing is really simple. Tomlin stated that he expected all coaches to be back after the season, something he shouldn’t have said so quickly after the year was over, but at the same time he didn’t want to set off a fire storm either. Since Tomlin went on the sly, that left Rooney nowhere to go when talking about it, and his comments sounded odd through the whole thing. Basically, at the end of the day, Tomlin decided he wanted to make a change & Haley is his choice and his alone. The Steeler front office has a position that coaches pick their staff. Look throughout time and the Steeler policies usually stand firm. Also, at the end of the day Tomlin probably didn’t feel the need to slander Arians so he just let it go and therefore the whole retirement dabacle was started. To me, Tomlin felt no need to go on further in how the whole thing was perceived because if anyone knows anything about Tomlin he is pretty straight forward thinking guy. In other words, he was concentrating on finding the best OC he could find. Again, to me, him picking Haley over a former co-worker in Caldwell, tells me he was actually won over with Haley which gives me confidence as a Steeler fan he got the guy he wanted.

  33. cunningstunts96 says: Feb 17, 2012 11:52 AM

    Who cares who hired Haley? I just want the team to have a good offense again.

  34. joey15215 says: Feb 17, 2012 12:01 PM

    I will first say that during Haley’s best season as the Chief’s HC, the O was balanced. The team did win the division that year.

    I have my own thoughts other than that as per Haley. Tomlin may have picked him, which I’m glad the organization allowed him to do. Haley is a comfortable choice because of his family association to the Steelers through his Father.

    My expectation would be for Haley to work hand-in-hand with Roethlisberger towards getting the best OL production towards a balanced O. An O that can challenge high scoring teams and seal wins through time management. That all hinges on making situational football playcalling, which is what Arians lacked.

  35. steelerdynasty2010 says: Feb 17, 2012 1:17 PM

    why is this hard to understand? the person ultimately responsible for who works for the team decided that Arians’ performance did not warrant his continued employment. They signed a contract, it expired. he was not offered another one. he wasnt fired. fired is when you have a job on a continuing basis and that continuing basis is stopped abruptly and without notice.
    it’s obvious that this was Tomlin’s decision to hire Haley. seems like it was a fairly easy conversation to have:
    RII: Mike, i know you’re a big supporter of Bruce, but we’ve decided not to offer him another contract, we just dont stand behind him the way that you do
    MT:but i told him that he’d be back
    RII: i realize that, but i’m sure we all understand that it’s a business and the renewal of contracts really isnt in your job description. we feel like it’s time for a change and this is a good time to do it.
    MT: well is there anything i can do to change your mind?
    RII: not really
    MT: do i need your permission for my next OC choice?
    RII: no, i just ask that you do your due diligence and make the best choice you can.

  36. vandilayindustries says: Feb 17, 2012 3:33 PM

    @ okiesteeler says:

    Let the Haters be stupid in 3….2…..1…..

    ————————-

    exactly.

    and let me add…

    Let the wild, unsubstantiated speculation by the author of this “news blog” continue unabated… as usual.

  37. vandilayindustries says: Feb 17, 2012 3:36 PM

    @ Patriot42 says …

    You Steeler fans will be sorry they hired Haley.
    ——————————————

    Care to elaborate? Or is this just a hangover post from a bad SB loss?

  38. Deb says: Feb 17, 2012 4:08 PM

    I said at the time that Tomlin was the decisionmaker on Haley. If Rooney gives an interview stating the obvious, he’s protesting too much. If he doesn’t say anything, he’s hiding something. The Steelers are click magnets because non-fans love to babble over them. The fans just appreciate that our team is means so much to so many :D

  39. normswifevera says: Feb 17, 2012 4:44 PM

    realitypolice: If that turnaround makes Haley a good coach, Tony Sparano must be the second coming of Vince Lombardi. The fins went from 1-15 to 11-5 in his first season.

    I think we all know by now that you can’t judge a coach on his first year when he takes over a terrible team. The combination of a new attitude, high draft picks, an easy schedule and other teams taking you lightly often combine to make new coaches seem a lot better than they are.

    —-

    Then it’s a good thing for Haley the turnaround happened in his second year.

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