ROONEY SAYS TOMLIN WASN'T A "ROONEY RULE" CANDIDATE

Meeting with the media during Tuesday’s annual pre-Super Bowl clusterfudge known as “Media Day,” Steelers owner Dan Rooney pointed out that current coach Mike Tomlin wasn’t a Rooney Rule candidate.
The Rooney Rule requires at least one minority coach to be interviewed for each head-coaching vacancy.
“Let me say this, Mike Tomlin was not part of the Rooney Rule,” Rooney said. “We had already interviewed [Bears defensive coordinator] Ron Rivera, and so that fulfilled the obligation. We went on, had heard about Mike, called him in and talked to him. He was very impressive. We got him back and talked to him on the phone often and he just showed that he was going to be a terrific coach, which I think is coming to bear. But, he was not part of the Rooney Rule.”
Rooney wasn’t asked about the rumor/legend that offensive line coach Russ Grimm had been verbally offered the job, and that the offer was rescinded after Commissioner Roger Goodell advised Rooney that Tomlin needed to be hired in order to give credibility to the Rooney Rule.
It’s unknown whether the topic would have come up if Rooney had been present for the full hour. As we heard it from another media type in attendance, the 76-year-old team chairman was whisked away a bit prematurely, apparently due to a combination of the midday Tampa heat and the crush of reporters trying to talk to him.
Still, Rooney addressed several subjects during his time with the press — including the little-known merger of the Steelers and the Cardinals during the 1944 season, due to World War II.
The combined effort was the only Steelers team to not win a game. “They had four head coaches,” Rooney said. “That shows you when you have too many what happens.”
UPDATE: Several of you have pointed out that the Steelers merged with the Eagles, not the Cardinals. Actually, they merged with both. The Eagles in 1943, and the Cardinals in 1944.

30 responses to “ROONEY SAYS TOMLIN WASN'T A "ROONEY RULE" CANDIDATE

  1. So what, is Rooney rule code for not achance candidate? Is he black? Did he get an interview? The he fulfilled the Rooney Rule. Who gives a sh_t if he was or wasn’t?

  2. So, the Steelers have been merged with the Cardinals and Eagles at different points in time?

  3. “Rooney wasn’t asked about the rumor/legend that offensive line coach Russ Grimm had been verbally offered the job, and that the offer was rescinded after Commissioner Roger Goodell advised Rooney that Tomlin needed to be hired in order to give credibility to the Rooney Rule.”
    I’m sure the Rooney’s do everything Goodell says. Gimme a break!

  4. tomlin is a great coach, i have said it before and i will say it again. tomlin in pit is just a match made in heaven. he is oldschool and promotes hard work and has that “just f–king get it done” philosophy. mike tomlin, like the pittsburgh steelers, absolutely oozes good football sense, and commands respect. wish he coached my fav team….

  5. Florio said: Rooney wasn’t asked about the rumor/legend that offensive line coach Russ Grimm had been verbally offered the job, and that the offer was rescinded after Commissioner Roger Goodell advised Rooney that Tomlin needed to be hired in order to give credibility to the Rooney Rule.

    Florio, you already linked to an article a few weeks ago where Rooney denies that this happened: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/football/nfl/steelers/2007-01-22-rooney-grimm_x.htm
    So Rooney denies that it happened. And there are no new developments in the story. So why are you bringing it up during Super Bowl week? Didn’t you just get bent out of shape with ESPN over something similar?

  6. Dear Riviera, we only interviewed you to have a minority candidate. Dear Tomlin, you’re the ethnicity that the rule is designed for but you didn’t need it because you were qualified.
    Thanks,
    Rooney

  7. Gee, does Ron Rivera know he was brought in for the sham interview? Well played, Mr. Rooney. Get that old guy out of the heat now before he blows it again.

  8. I’m assuming Russ Grimm did get the job. My Steelers 2008 Calendar shows Russ Grimm as Head Coach.

  9. Since my 2008 Steelers Calendar has Russ Grimm next to Head Coach I’m guessing it’s safe to assume Russ was fired before he was hired.

  10. WHO CARES ! – Dumbest rule in sports. We have an african american president and we still need a rule that makes teams interveiw black/minority coaches! unreal. Maybe it served it’s purpose the past few years, but either way it should be done away with. The fact that we have to talk about this every year, for every hire, does nothing but pull us back from any progress made.

  11. Nonsense like this shows the problems inherent in something like the Rooney Rule. Whether or not Tomlin was qualified, the existence of the rule will always lead some to question his qualifications.

  12. Yeah and that sucks for Tomlin – he’s a great coach, he doesn’t need to be questioned about his qualifications or his skills. Just like Obama, who cares about skin color? Its stupid things like the Rooney rule that keep making skin color an issue. Come on, let the best person get the job regardless of sex, race, religion, etc.

  13. shut up dan rooney. some of us are sick of your sanctimonious attitude and your self righteousness! man take a page from your dad and let the team do the talking, i swear, some of these owners love the smell of their own flatulence.

  14. “Rooney wasn’t asked about the rumor/legend that offensive line coach Russ Grimm had been verbally offered the job, and that the offer was rescinded after Commissioner Roger Goodell advised Rooney that Tomlin needed to be hired in order to give credibility to the Rooney Rule.”
    It’s very clear to that this is what happened. The offer had been made to Grimm…and then was rescinded. The facts are there. So what other explanation is there? The disappointing thing is the “reporters” in this case should have been all over this point, and with fervor! Especially since Rooney apparently brought up the subject. Once again we see an example not of “reporters”, but of NFL “yes men”. What a joke!

  15. There are too many people that know Grimm was offered the position. Sorry Mr Rooney, but you made the rule nowthe white men must pay.

  16. “Ron Rivera isn’t black ”
    you’re joking, right? the rooney rule is to encourage hiring of MINORITIES – including hispanics, which rivera is.

  17. StingRay says: It’s very clear to that this is what happened. The offer had been made to Grimm…and then was rescinded. The facts are there.

    Look, I don’t want to come across like I’m sticking up for Rooney. I want to know the truth. But Rooney has explicitly denied that this happened, yet you’re saying “the facts are there.” What facts are you referring to? The only things I heard were rumors, and then Rooney addressed them with the denial. I haven’t seen any other facts to go by. What facts do you have?
    Florio – do you have any facts or tidbits you haven’t presented? This is the second time you’ve recently brought it up, so if you’re going to keep stirring the pot, it would be nice if you had something to add.

  18. it time for division 1 football to come out of the stone ages and get with the times. it’s a joke that division 1 football is making tons of money of the black athlete, yet will not hire qualified black coaches. hell, you still got the good ole boy system in the nfl despite the “rooney rule”, josh mcdaniels 32 yrs old, 10 yrs of nfl experience gets hired by the denver broncos; yet ray sherman who has over 21 yrs of nfl exeperience been offensive coordinator for the vikings and the steelers can’t get a interview and has to settle for receiver coach for the dallas cowboys. As long as u have angelo-saxon owner or boosters u are going to continue to have those who knows somebody get the gig, it’s not what u know it’s who u know to be successfull, everthing else is bullcrap. the reason why obama was elected president is because of america’s reputation overseas in those 3rd world nations. america was force to have someone of color to be the face of this nation, the bush/cheney adminstration put this nation in dangerous footing because of the agrrogant policies and imperialism. deja vue when mandella was elected president of south africa, the instiutuion still remains, but the face change to pacify the massess.

  19. Let’s get real here, anyone who thinks the Rooney Rule didn’t play a part in Tomlin’s hiring is being dishonest with himself. Rooney had to make the hire or else everyone who have accussed him of playing lip service to the rule in his name.

  20. My first choice was Whisenhunt at the time. Contrary to popular belief, the Steelers won the SB with the help of the passing game. Ben passed better than any other Steelers QB in the Cowher tenure in the three playoff games prior to the SB. And the big play that clinched the SB was a pass too, even if it was by Randle El, and not Ben. Bettis wasn’t the star of that playoffs and nearly cost us what should have been a comfortable 10 point victory against Indy. I say this as a testament to Whisenhunt’s amazing ability to know when to use the pass versus the run. He used the pass to set up the run in the many playoff games.
    As far as Grimm, I was neutral on him. Was he just another Cowher? Maybe the management was very disappointed by the year following the SB. So they wanted to go out of the current coaching staff. Tomlin seems to have worked out. Impressed by the way he turned around our special teams. But Rooney is being a little disingenuous by saying Tomlin wasn’t a Rooney Rule hire. There is nothing wrong with being a Rooney Rule hire. Many people were aware at that time Rivera technically helped Steelers fulfil the rule, but we knew they had to interview an African American candidate to really follow the spirit of the Rooney Rule. But I do think the need to go out of the system rather than race factored into the eventual hire.

  21. As someone a bit in the know. . .Grimm was verbally offered the job, and was even told he could call and let his family know he had the job. Within 48 hours, the Rooneys reversed course and hired Tomiln. FACT!

  22. If a tie between two teams is like kissing your sister, then merging with another team has got to be down right incest! And between the Steelers and Eagles no less… PERFECT!

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