Blog Entry

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

Posted on: February 9, 2012 10:04 pm
Who hired Todd Haley as Pittsburgh's offensive coordinator? (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

How much power does Steelers coach Mike Tomlin really have within the organization? That’s the question the Pittsburgh Post Gazette’s Ron Cook asks in a column written after Pittsburgh hired Todd Haley as the new offensive coordinator.

It seems that Tomlin wanted to keep former offensive coordinator Bruce Arians but was told by owner Art Rooney II that Arians would not be brought back for 2012 (Arians subsequently retired and then took a job as the Indianapolis offensive coordinator).

As we wrote last month, “The organization was not going to renew Arians’ contract, and in essence, was going to fire him without officially having to fire him. ‘That decision,’ writes reporter Gerry Dulac, ‘appears to have come from team president Art Rooney II, even though coach Mike Tomlin told Arians several times since the playoff loss in Denver that he wanted him to return next season.’ Now, it appears Tomlin was overruled by his boss.”

Was Tomlin overruled again by having to hire the former Chiefs coach to replace Arians?

As Cook writes:
Hey, all speculation is fair until we hear from Tomlin or more from Rooney. I can't say for sure one way or the other who hired Haley. We might never know. But I do know this: If Rooney forced Haley on Tomlin after forcing out Arians after a 12-4 season, Tomlin can't possibly like it.

Nor should he.

It would be enough to make Tomlin at least consider his long-term future with the Steelers, especially now that Rooney II appears to have taken nearly complete control of the franchise from his father, Dan.

Tomlin has done a wonderful job here. He is as successful as just about any coach in the NFL. In five years, he has convinced me he's a better coach than Bill Cowher before him. And Cowher was terrific.
That said, the Steelers have done well by Tomlin as well, so in reality, he can’t complain that much. And besides, the Rooneys are some of the most respected owners in all of sports.

But they haven’t just risked alienating Tomlin. They’ve also risked upsetting their franchise quarterback.

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
"I've gotten a lot of calls and texts and emails from people around the league, both good and bad about (Haley),'' Roethlisberger told the Post Gazette. "Everybody has an opinion, as we all know, and they're letting me know what their interaction with him was -- good, bad and indifferent. I've heard a lot of things and I'm looking forward to meeting him and forming my own opinion."

But Roethlisberger also made sure the owners heard his voice after Arians’ contract wasn’t renewed. And he gave a hint of future frustrations.

"That was my biggest talking point to Mike and those guys -- I would hate to just throw everything out and start over because I feel it would set us back two or three years because these guys are just starting to get it,” Roethlisberger said.

"I hope we don't have to start over and if we do, you know what, here we go. Let's do it. We'll do it. We're not going to complain about it. But I would hate to have to set certain guys back who are doing so well right now."

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Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: February 11, 2012 11:58 am

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

arch101 -- thanks for trying to educate mdpittfan but I suspect he/she's a clueless stubborn "fan" who's still living back in the '60s.

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: February 11, 2012 11:54 am

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

mdpittfan -- The Steelers are still considered one of the first-class franchises in all sports, with Big Ben or w/o him.  Like I said, get a clue.  Are you living under a rock down there in MD?

Since: Nov 21, 2006
Posted on: February 11, 2012 2:47 am

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

 I would tell you that if I were the owner, Ben would have been an ex-Steeler two years ago.  As the "face of the organization," I would prefer that face wasn't attached to an overpaid schmuck wearing a devil t shirt and involved in sexual misconduct with hotel staff and teenagers. 

It's people like you who continue to bring this stuff up which keeps off he field issues in the fore-front.  I'm sure that if Ben would have been Charged, and then proven guilty he would not be in a Steelers uniform.  But, people tend to forgive and forget, and he would be in another uniform right now...much like a certain QB named Michael Vick.

Get off your high horse. 

Do you think Franchise QB's grow on trees?  I lived through the years of Neil O'Donell, Mike Tomczak, Kordell Stewart, and Tommy Maddox.  I don't want that again.  This entire thread you have lambasted Ben on several "Allegations", that our justice system couldn't even charge him with.

Ben has every right to be concerned about what will happen to the offense.  I know that a couple years back at a previous job, my company brought in all new management, and I was concerned in which direction the company would be headed. 

The only thing Ben did wrong was voice his concerns through the media, opposed to taking it to the organiation first. 

The "FACT" is, I'm willing to gaurantee that the majority of the offense, and probably the team had the same concerns that Ben voiced.  However because Ben is the "Leader", and stepped up to voice his concerns he is the one who has taken it on the chin.

He has become the whipping boy to "Supposed Fans" like you, because he has become the "LEADER", of the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Best advice my dad ever gave me.  "If you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all."

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 8:04 pm

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

Perhaps or just sick to death of an overpaid albeit talented brat.  I would rather lose with a man of integrity than lose with an undisciplined, ungrateful brat.  The point is, the Steelers as an organization were respected for 75 years because win or lose, they stood for something.   Guys that got in trouble, no matter how talented, became ex-Steelers. 

This has nothing to do with having a "clue." This has everything to do with choosing to expect more from someone that is a leader on a professional football team.  I suspect Ben, like so many other pampered athletes, forgot how to respect his coaches and anyone in authority.  Listening to the ramblings of some of you on this blog, it is clear you think he has earned that privilege.  I would tell you that if I were the owner, Ben would have been an ex-Steeler two years ago.  As the "face of the organization," I would prefer that face wasn't attached to an overpaid schmuck wearing a devil t shirt and involved in sexual misconduct with hotel staff and teenagers. 

I really think Art Rooney feels the same way.  He is pragmatic enough to keep Ben until he can be replaced, but he will keep Ben only on his terms.  If you think otherwise you are "clueless."  The Steelers will do well with or without Ben.  Anyone "clueless" enough to behave as recklessly as Ben has in the past is not someone I would feel confident allowing to lead a billion dollar organization.

Since: Nov 4, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 4:55 pm

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

Arians was the worst OC I've seen for adapting to the game on the fly. He was far too predictable in the red zone.
A great passing attack scores more than 21 TD through the air, and Arian lacked the imagination to tinker offensively during the season. Why do you think Wallace disappeared...?

He could have also adapted much better to offensive line problems. I could go on....

We'll see what Haley accomplishes sooner than you think.

Since: Nov 4, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 4:45 pm

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

Whatever it takes...Period

Since: Sep 12, 2007
Posted on: February 10, 2012 4:01 pm

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

Anybody who is overly critical of a QB that lead his team to 3 of the last 7 SBs is clueless.  How many SBs did the Steelers play in during the 25 years prior to Big Ben?  C'mon people, think before you speak.

Since: Feb 18, 2009
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:50 pm

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

The point is I don't much care if Ben makes them better.  If the O line is pitiful, then once again it comes down to the O co-ordinator failing to provide his input when personell decisions were made. Both he and Tomlin have to make the right choices relative to draft choices, free agent signings and the like.  Failing to provide an adequate offensive line in his years here in the burgh is more an indictment of  Tomlin, et al than it is a point of praise for Ben.  Yeah, if they are that bad, then you are right, and Ben is the prime reason they make the playoffs, but as I recall they were 3-1 without Ben in 2010 and the O-line looked much better without Ben than with him.

Charlie Batch has made that mediocre offensive line look a heck of a lot better because he plays a lot more disciplined.

I don't care if he is tough, as you imply or what he is.  I think, had he sat , they would have had a better chance against the 49'ers and vs Denver.  Yes, the Steelers would have been a better team with Ben on the bench.  It is only because of his arrogance that he wasn't on the bench.  Tomlin, nor anyone else, had the stones to stand up to him.  I think Ben was afraid to find out the Steelers didn't need him.

I don't care how valuable you think Ben is, no one is bigger than the team.  Not Ben, not Brees, not Brady, not Rodgers(his backup set single game passing records as I recall), no one.  To treat Ben or any athlete like he is bigger than the team, leads to behavior like Bens' off the field exploits of recent years.  Behavior like that from anyone is unacceptable. To coddle and condone him is unacceptable if you want a cohesive winning team.

If you think the Steelers can't and won't win without him then you are in denial.  They will find another franchise quarterback when the time comes... and they will win.

It seems to me, if I were Art Rooney II, Ben will either do things the right way or he can play elsewhere. His main job is to deliver the football on time in the right space.  He seems to lack the ability to read defenses, thus the running around because he lacks the ability to call audibles properly and check off into the right play for the coverage or the right protection package because he was too lazy to study film.... No one has ever said how hard he studies or how hard he works to learn his craft...  He is an extremely talented athlete who is lazy and needs to be pushed to greatness.  I have seen talented athletes like Ben my whole life that thought  they didn't need to work.  Sooner or later that catches up to them.  If Ben calls the right protection and makes a timely throw then his injury never happens.  He brings his problems on himself so he can act like a hero, when in point of fact he hurts his team.  Open your eyes and look objectively.

Since: Jan 25, 2011
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:27 pm

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

I hope I am wrong but I think this hire will be a disaster.  I think Cook is right and Art Rooney II is taking too active of a role in the franchise.  The Steelers are not the Redskins or Cowboys and traditionally our ownership does not get so directly involved in the hiring and firing of assistant coaches.  Is Art II going to start telling Colbert who to draft next?  I think Todd's father having a connection to the Steelers had more to do with his hire than Tomlin's desire to have a coach with an abrasive personality on his staff.  My prediction is people will be calling for Haley''s head just like called for Arian's head.

Since: Oct 15, 2008
Posted on: February 10, 2012 3:15 pm

Did PIT ownership take power away from Tomlin?

Arians' offense was very herky jerky, and never seemd to flow well from play to play.  It was very predictable at times, and he publically said he hates the running game and would rather not use running backs, and definitely not use fullbacks.  To say that in Pittsburgh is...a bit bold to say the least.  For the talent level teh Steelers have, they should have been higher in scoring.  On 3rd and 2 running 5 wide was pretty stupid.  I see haley as a smarter OC, and one that will use everything to get the job done.  He is fiery and bold, and understands that a running game can only help the passing game, and vice versa.  Ben needs to also understand that he a player, not a god, and get over himself.  I know he loves the 4k passing yard seasons, and loves the "without Ben we are screwed" articles, but to be honest, that defense has been the main reason they win, not the offense.  The defense has the team winning DESPITE the bad o line, inconsistant offense, and bad INTs.  When ben was out for 4 games, they went 3-1 with batch and batch Jr.  I don't think the Steelers ever went 3-1 with Troy out.  I may be wrong there, but my point is that the Defense is what made or broke that team, not the offense, because the Offense was NOT pulling its weight or equal share.  With Haley, I see that changing.

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