Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Art Rooney II: Steelers Will Appeal Further Punishment, Praises Tomlin; Khan Gone?

Wednesday morning, Pittsburgh Steelers president Art Rooney II addressed the media regarding several matters associated with his team. Included among were support for head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and various other points.

Art II said that he would expect NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the league to notify the team of any additional discipline - the losing of a draft pick - before the Spring owners' meetings, and that they would appeal it.

“(We've) notified the NFL that we would appeal if there is additional discipline," said Rooney II via Steelers Digest's Bob Labriola. "(We'd) disagree strongly if that were to happen.”

As Rooney II stated further, Tomlin has paid the piper. He took full responsibility for his actions and insisted that they were not intentional. He referred to them as "embarrassing" and "inexcusable" in the subsequent Tuesday press conference.

Tomlin paid the price dearly in fact, as he was fined $100,000 by the league for stepping onto the white area of the sidelines and nearly onto the field during the long kickoff return by Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Jacoby Jones.

Never mind that similar incidents of coaches actually stepping directly onto the playing field had occurred previously and since, meeting little to no punishment. Now Emperor Goodell wants to take away team draft picks also?

“Mike has paid the price and as far we’re concerned," Rooney II further said. "It should be behind us.”

Yes, it should.

More from Rooney II: Preparing for next year, as he put it in his interview, starts from the top down. That means an evaluation of the head coach. Have no fear (or "eat it" to the haters), Rooney II is completely fine with Mike Tomlin.

"I thought Mike did a very good job in the sense that, even though we created our own situation, our team continued to play hard through adversity," said Rooney II. "That's not always easy to do. They continued to fight, continued to believe in themselves, and most of that is a tribute to Mike and the kind of coaches and players we have here. They fought hard all the way through, and in the end, we came pretty darn close to being in the playoffs. Like I said, I believe we were playing our best football at the end, which is what you want to have happen, and I think that's obviously due to coaching."

So, he's here to stay. Thankfully.

Someone, however, may not be here to stay. The Miami Dolphins have requested permission to interview Steelers Director of Football & Business Administration Omar Khan. Though he is mainly a Salary Cap wiz, don't underestimate the possibility of his leaving. Thus the hiring of Samir Suleiman last year as their Football Administration Coordinator and Khan assistant after the Jets showed interest in Khan. Is he a personnel guy, though? Plus, the Dolphins are a mess at this point. Time will tell, but Behind The Steel Curtain gives a further breakdown here: