Although the Steelers aren’t happy with an 8-8 season, owner Art Rooney II says he’s very happy with his coach and his quarterback.
Rooney told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he doesn’t blame head coach Mike Tomlin for a season that everyone agrees was not good enough.
“I think Mike did a good job,” Rooney said. “I think he was accurate in his own assessment of himself. We were 8-8. We need to do better than that. I certainly still have a high level of confidence in Mike. I know he is working as hard as he can already, just to figure out how we can get back on the right track.”
Rooney also said he thought quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was going to have his best season yet before he got injured, and that he likes the potential that Roethlisberger and offensive coordinator Todd Haley have of working together in the future.
“Our offense was functioning at a pretty high level,” Rooney said. “Ben was on track to have his best season of all time. He was taking less sacks. A lot of the things we were hoping for were happening. Obviously, after he got hurt, our offense seemed to lose its rhythm. Even when he came back, we never really regained that momentum. I think you have to look at, OK, when our quarterback was healthy, what did we have? I thought what we had was pretty good, not that there weren’t things we wanted to improve on. You would think the second year of a new offense would be better than the first. You would think those kind of things would evolve in our favor.”
Haley has interviewed for the Cardinals’ head coaching job. But Rooney wants him back, and thinks he’s the right man to work with the right head coach and the right quarterback.