Mike Tomlin on Steelers’ draft room: Art Rooney is the boss

2010 Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony
Getty Images

Asked about who has the final say in the Steelers’ draft room, coach Mike Tomlin said it’s owner Art Rooney II.

“Mr. Rooney’s the boss,” Tomlin said. “Kevin and I have worked so well and so long together that we can kind of communicate nonverbally in those moments. But at the end of the day, Art Rooney is the boss.”

Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said Rooney gives the football people plenty of room to do their jobs, but Rooney is also actively involved in the draft process.

“Of course Art will be involved because he is the owner and he knows every step of the process. He sits in on meetings when he can, he gives us input when he can and when he wants to, and of course we’re going to follow those leads, but I think he trusts us,” Colbert said.

Those comments are not unlike the comments of Jaguars coach Urban Meyer, who said owner Shad Khan will make the final call with the first overall pick in the draft on Thursday night. Although Jerry Jones is the only owner who actually gives himself the General Manager title, the reality is, the owner is the boss in every franchise. Some owners are more hands-on and some owners are more hands-off, but every coach and GM knows that the owner is the boss.

62 responses to “Mike Tomlin on Steelers’ draft room: Art Rooney is the boss

  1. I still remember the comment by Bill Parcells… …”if I cook the meal, I buy the groceries.”

  2. Every owner is the boss, but they all let their football people make football decisions. Dan Snyder probably is an exception. Jerry Jones was a captain on his national championship college team, so he’s much more qualified than all the others. Jerry is a football guy. By the way, he’s a HOFer, too.

  3. The Steelers overall do well in this situation while the majority of other team owners have no clue on who to pick, right Jerrah?

  4. People that rail on Dan Snyder (the Haskins pick for instance). Remember – it’s not because an owner meddles. It’s because an owner meddles when he doesn’t know what he’s doing. If Shad Khan calls down to use the first over pick on a punter, you can bet that Meyer drafts a punter.

  5. touchback6 says:
    April 27, 2021 at 7:30 am
    Will never beat Kraft and BB as bosses 😍🥰.

    Agreed…as long as TB12 is around.

  6. I love Tomlin. So humble. Such a true professional and so respectful. Easy to do when you just got a sweet new deal, but still. Go Steelers.

  7. With the very 1st pick in the 1st Ravens draft Art Modell the owner wanted to take Lawrence Phillips the running back. Art had put Ozzie Newsome in charge and Ozzie so no. Ozzie said the Ravens are taking Jonathan Ogden an Offensive Tackle. Modell said that since Ozzie was in charge it was his call even though the owner disagreed. It was on Ozzie if he screwed up the very 1st pick of the organization. Ogden ended up a 1st ballot Hall of Fame. Phillips ended up dying in jail.

    If you hire football people to run your football team you should let them do their jobs.

  8. Dan Snyder is a serial draft meddler and consistent loser in that regard. From forcing Jeff George on the team, never drafting a decent running back as long as Clinton Portis was on the team to failing with RG3.. etc.

    But that any owner meddles at this point of the process is a poor sign.

    We you hire and empower staff to do the work for months on end, put a board together rank players, etc. You get briefed before the draft and step away! It’s the same for me as an IT director. I have competent managers, software developers and analysts who do the work, keep me aprised and ask for help when they need it during the process. When they’re ready to launch a program into production, I’d be a damned fool to change something at that point and it’d be a disaster.. just like Snyder. So, it’s a poor leadership and personality trait in any industry or walk of life!

  9. touchback6 says:
    April 27, 2021 at 7:30 am
    Will never beat Kraft and BB as bosses 😍🥰.

    —–

    Kraft would do well to make the draft picks himself for the first few rounds

  10. To sbc2556’s point, the most successful owners hire the best football minds, give them the resources to do their jobs, break ties on strategic matters if absolutely necessary, and otherwise stay out of the way. Art Rooney is the boss, but I’m sure given the Steelers track record over the past 50+ years, he likely follows this model. Same with Bob Kraft, Gayle Benson and several others.

  11. touchback6 says:
    April 27, 2021 at 7:30 am
    Will never beat Kraft and BB as bosses 😍🥰.

    —————————————

    What happened last year ? He missed the draft for a massage ?

  12. Kraft would do well to make the draft picks himself for the first few rounds

    I thought this thread was about the Steelers but this commenter and Tylawspic6 went to high Jack for the Pats fans. Any wonder why Pats fans are disliked so much.

    I think if you do a little research you would find the Steelers record under the Rooney’s is unmatched since the 70’s long before many of the Twinkies posting here were born and we all know how much they respect history.

  13. gotaball says:
    April 27, 2021 at 8:33 am
    With the very 1st pick in the 1st Ravens draft Art Modell the owner wanted to take Lawrence Phillips the running back. Art had put Ozzie Newsome in charge and Ozzie so no. Ozzie said the Ravens are taking Jonathan Ogden an Offensive Tackle. Modell said that since Ozzie was in charge it was his call even though the owner disagreed. It was on Ozzie if he screwed up the very 1st pick of the organization. Ogden ended up a 1st ballot Hall of Fame. Phillips ended up dying in jail.

    If you hire football people to run your football team you should let them do their jobs.

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

    As logic would dictate, it can go both ways.

    In 2004, Cowher and Colbert wanted to draft Shawn Andrews, a guard out of Arkansas, in the 1st round. Then-owner Dan Rooney intervened and convinced them that Roethlisberger would be a better option, having lived to see the Steelers pass on Dan Marino 20 years earlier. Andrews went on to have a career shortened by injuries and was out of the league by 2010. Roethlisberger went on to have an HoF-caliber career and is playing in what may be his last season. Perhaps Dan Rooney had significantly better draft acumen than Art Modell.

  14. Vasteelerfan says:
    April 27, 2021 at 9:41 am
    Kraft would do well to make the draft picks himself for the first few rounds

    I thought this thread was about the Steelers but this commenter and Tylawspic6 went to high Jack for the Pats fans. Any wonder why Pats fans are disliked so much.

    I think if you do a little research you would find the Steelers record under the Rooney’s is unmatched since the 70’s long before many of the Twinkies posting here were born and we all know how much they respect history.

    —-

    Keep talking about the 70s…. The Steelers haven’t been relevant in over a decade… And go check out their pitiful record against the BB-coached Patriots…it’s not pretty

  15. mlhigh77 says:
    April 27, 2021 at 6:46 am

    I still remember the comment by Bill Parcells… …”if I cook the meal, I buy the groceries.”
    ____________________________

    Yeah, and it’s a BS comment, because HE isn’t paying for the groceries. Or the kitchen. Or the appliances. Or the utensils. Or the power. Or the gas. Or the water… See where this metaphor goes when we play the tape all the way to the end?

  16. Rooney should do what’s right and can you for underperforming. Just stay out of the news Mike Tomlin, stay out of the news.

  17. “Mr. Rooney’s the boss” – said the man who just signed a nice fat contract extension. (I don’t blame him, I would too).

  18. Keep talking about the 70s…. The Steelers haven’t been relevant in over a decade… And go check out their pitiful record against the BB-coached Patriots…it’s not pretty

    Sorry you missed the point or points. This thread is about the Steelers not the Pats so butting in about the Pats is just selfish and quite rude but I realize you don’t know what rude is. Lastly I suggest you compare the Pats record since the 70’s which was my
    Oint and compare without cherry picking if you can. I think you’ll find the Rooney’s have done well and never made national news in the manner Kraft and cheating Bill have done.

  19. Vasteelerfan says:
    April 27, 2021 at 10:34 am
    Keep talking about the 70s…. The Steelers haven’t been relevant in over a decade… And go check out their pitiful record against the BB-coached Patriots…it’s not pretty

    Sorry you missed the point or points. This thread is about the Steelers not the Pats so butting in about the Pats is just selfish and quite rude but I realize you don’t know what rude is. Lastly I suggest you compare the Pats record since the 70’s which was my
    Oint and compare without cherry picking if you can. I think you’ll find the Rooney’s have done well and never made national news in the manner Kraft and cheating Bill have done.

    —-

    BB and the Pats own the Steelers. That makes it very much about the Pats.

  20. BB and the Pats own the Steelers. That makes it very much about the Pats.

    I guess if you choose to refuse to answer my question it makes you right in your mind. So I guess little boy it’s time to take your ball and go home cuz in your mind you won…..ok have a great day. Just remember the Pats are know as the Cheaters for a reason.

  21. BB and the Pats own the Steelers. That makes it very much about the Pats
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    Pats don’t own anybody. 17-16 head to head is not owning no one.

  22. This article has nothing to do with the Patriots. They are irrelevant now. Their fans are gasping for air, and this is how they react.

  23. Vasteelerfan says:
    April 27, 2021 at 10:48 am
    BB and the Pats own the Steelers. That makes it very much about the Pats.

    I guess if you choose to refuse to answer my question it makes you right in your mind. So I guess little boy it’s time to take your ball and go home cuz in your mind you won…..ok have a great day. Just remember the Pats are know as the Cheaters for a reason.

    —-

    1) You didn’t ask a question…..those end with a “?”.

    2) Cheating – like Mike Tomlin tripping Jacoby Jones during a return? Not only was that cheating, it was quite possibly the words display of sportsmanship in NFL history.

  24. steelcurtainn says:
    April 27, 2021 at 11:03 am
    BB and the Pats own the Steelers. That makes it very much about the Pats
    ___________________________________________________________________________
    Pats don’t own anybody. 17-16 head to head is not owning no one.

    We are talking about BB owning Tomlin

    Here’s Brady’s record against the Steelers in the Tomlin era (through 2018):

    — 7-1 record
    — 70.8 completion percentage (207 for 282)
    — 2,571 passing yards
    — 23 touchdown passes
    — 1 interception

    That’s called “owned”

  25. The Steelers owned the pats for 3 decades prior to that. I guess we both have points.

  26. Mike Tomlin did not trip Jones. There was no physical contact whatsoever.

  27. Whereas the Patriots are proven cheaters. Spygate, Deflategate. And that’s just what we know for sure. I’m sure there are many instances where they got away with it. Laughable that their fans can accuse anyone of cheating.

  28. charliecharger says:
    April 27, 2021 at 7:36 am
    Every owner is the boss, but they all let their football people make football decisions. Dan Snyder probably is an exception. Jerry Jones was a captain on his national championship college team, so he’s much more qualified than all the others. Jerry is a football guy. By the way, he’s a HOFer, too.
    ———————————————————————————————-
    Jerry is more qualified than others? How about the owners that never played football, but have won multiple championships over the past two and a half decades then? HoFer? Yes, but for being a contributor to the NFL, namely TV contracts. Hey, my son played high school football and was on the state championship team. Can he draft players for your team?

  29. williamshatnerstoupee says:
    April 27, 2021 at 11:52 am
    Mike Tomlin did not trip Jones. There was no physical contact whatsoever.

    —-

    Then why was he penalized and fined $100k?

  30. Because he was where he shouldn’t have been, admitted it, showed remorse, and paid the fine without complaint.

    Now, about that physical contact…..exactly where in that sequence did he touch Jones? The video is there….

  31. The best owners and CEOs recognize that their job is to hire well and manage the overall organization, not to make in the weeds decisions. If you’ve hired well (your main job) then you leave them to do their job. If you don’t trust the person who works for you to do their job, then blame yourself and hire a replacement (and then allow them to make the pick).

  32. You want to know why the Steelers are the most successful team since the merger?

    Because it’s the family business. They’re not selling widgets or worrying about their financial empire. It’s all football, all the time. They’re not looking to hire this year’s hot ‘genius’ guru to run their team. They run it themselves–and they know what they’re doing because they grew up with the league, and they understand it.
    It’s really that simple…

  33. 1) You didn’t ask a question…..those end with a “?”.

    And answers begin with I checked out what you said I should compare. It’s a implied function one must complete to converse intelligently….not ignore because of uncomfortable facts……and Tomlin never touched him and Tommy didn’t know the ball guys name …..come on dude stop lying.

  34. Just a side note:
    Art Rooney Sr. always regretted not stepping in and insisting that the Steelers draft Dan Marino in 1983. Noll wanted Gabe Rivera, a building block DT ala Joe Greene to rebuild his team. One can only wonder what the next 15 years would’ve been like with Marino behind center…

  35. Vasteelerfan says:
    April 27, 2021 at 1:13 pm
    1) You didn’t ask a question…..those end with a “?”.

    And answers begin with I checked out what you said I should compare. It’s a implied function one must complete to converse intelligently….not ignore because of uncomfortable facts……and Tomlin never touched him and Tommy didn’t know the ball guys name …..come on dude stop lying.

    —–

    1) then why was Tomlin fined $100k by the league?

    2) Did you fail 5th grade science? You allude to being intelligent and yet you don’t understand how temperature and barometric pressure impact air pressure?

  36. Also…..while Tomlin admitted what he did was wrong, the Patriots were heavily fined, Belichick was fined, draft picks were taken away, and their star QB was suspended. Themselves the facts. Even after all that, they continued their wicked ways. Busted illegally filming the Bengals, their upcoming opponent. But that was just for a team documentary, right?

  37. 2) Did you fail 5th grade science? You allude to being intelligent and yet you don’t understand how temperature and barometric pressure impact air pressure?

    Did you forget Tommy missed four games…??

    Pretty obvious you don’t want to own up to the comparison I suggested you look into as you continue to throw crap on the wall hoping it will stick.

    Consider yourself owned…..especially by Tomlin and the Steelers…living rent free in your head.

  38. I explained to you why Tomlin was fined. You chose to ignore it. Your problem.

  39. And again, this article has nothing to do with the Patriots. Trying to make it all about them is a weak attempt to boast.

  40. Then why was he penalized and fined $100k?
    __________________________________________
    Pats fans should be the last people talking about being penalized and fined. New England has been penalized and fined for cheating for a long time.

  41. Vasteelerfan says:
    April 27, 2021 at 9:41 am
    Kraft would do well to make the draft picks himself for the first few rounds

    I thought this thread was about the Steelers but this commenter and Tylawspic6 went to high Jack for the Pats fans. Any wonder why Pats fans are disliked so much.

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

    No, there is no wonder at all. They define obnoxious….

  42. Steelers: clinging to their proven path for success, competitive year after year.

    Patriots: desperately throwing around NFL-record amounts of guaranteed money hoping to be relevant now that Tom is gone.

  43. overlyobservant says:
    April 27, 2021 at 2:36 pm
    Steelers: clinging to their proven path for success, competitive year after year.

    Patriots: desperately throwing around NFL-record amounts of guaranteed money hoping to be relevant now that Tom is gone.

    —–

    In the time the Steelers have won 2 SB’s the Patriots have won 6…. In fact the Patriots have won 4 since the last time the Steelers even sniffed a SB.

    Moreover, the Patriots have beat the Steelers every time they have faced them in the postseason. That is the definition of “owned”

  44. If it wasn’t for a lucky 6th round pick, and some well-documented chicanery…

  45. Moreover, the Patriots have beat the Steelers every time they have faced them in the postseason. That is the definition of “owned”

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

    Above is the definition of “clinging to past glory.” Tom is gone now. BB still has a losing record without him.

  46. I still remember the comment by Bill Parcells… …”if I cook the meal, I buy the groceries.”
    ____________________________

    Yeah, and it’s a BS comment, because HE isn’t paying for the groceries. Or the kitchen. Or the appliances. Or the utensils. Or the power. Or the gas. Or the water… See where this metaphor goes when we play the tape all the way to the end?
    ———————————————————————————

    The actual quote says ”If they want you to cook the dinner, at least they ought to let you shop for some of the groceries,” so nobody was talking about who would buy/pay for them. Parcells later said he was ”absolutely too headstrong. And [Kraft] might have been a little headstrong, too.” The lesson seems to be: Let the football minds make most football decisions, but respect owner input.

  47. In the time the Steelers have won 2 SB’s the Patriots have won 6…. In fact the Patriots have won 4 since the last time the Steelers even sniffed a SB.

    Impressive? Steelers have won it with three different coaches and not just one coach and one QB. It’s too soon to anoint the Cheats until someone besides BB and TB12 is there. But nice try.

  48. overlyobservant says:
    April 27, 2021 at 2:57 pm
    Moreover, the Patriots have beat the Steelers every time they have faced them in the postseason. That is the definition of “owned”

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

    Above is the definition of “clinging to past glory.” Tom is gone now. BB still has a losing record without him.

    —–

    I am having a hard time remembering the last time the Steelers even won a playoff game…. I do remember them losing to Tim Tebow though…. Have they won one since then?

  49. Every owner is the boss, but they all let their football people make football decisions. Dan Snyder probably is an exception. Jerry Jones was a captain on his national championship college team, so he’s much more qualified than all the others. Jerry is a football guy. By the way, he’s a HOFer, too.
    ———————————————————————————————-
    Jerry is more qualified than others? How about the owners that never played football, but have won multiple championships over the past two and a half decades then? HoFer? Yes, but for being a contributor to the NFL, namely TV contracts. Hey, my son played high school football and was on the state championship team. Can he draft players for your team?
    ——————————–
    Jerry Jones has more years of experience than any GM in football (32 years). The Cowboys have fielded a winning team most of those years. He has had a chance to study the strategies of other hall of fame GMs like Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells. The Cowboys scouting department headed by Will McClay as well as the coaching staff work with Jerry and Stephen to build a consensus on what players to take during the draft. Zack Martin is proof that Jerry listens to others when making the final decision. “Jerruh” haters will always exist but the fact is that Jerry has built the most valuable franchise in the NFL.

  50. The Patriots are a bad team now. They no longer matter. All their fans have now is screaming insults at fans of better teams.

  51. I am having a hard time remembering the last time the Steelers even won a playoff game…. I do remember them losing to Tim Tebow though…. Have they won one since then?

    Keep trying Skippy you are peeing into the wind. Steeler fans just want to discuss the Steelers ……not have some troll try to take over a thread dedicated to the Steelers. I grew up in Mass. and manners were important obviously things have changed.

  52. So what happens if the owner messes up the pick? Do they blame the GM and fire him? or do they act like they are giving them a second chance? Is the owner persuaded by fan money(Popularity) or does he want a winner? Sounds sketch

  53. all i can say is the Steelers are a straight up team no scandals i don’t think the pats can say that they snuck in and taped a bunch of teams counting the Steelers before the afc game messed with the ball owner chased call girls two super bowls handed to them run beast mode and Seahawks win and run three times and Atlanta wins bad coaching from the sea hawks and falcons gave them two wins

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.