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Rooney makes clear Tomlin wanted Haley

Posted on: February 17, 2012 9:15 am
Edited on: February 17, 2012 9:16 am
Art Rooney II tried to make it clear that Mike Tomlin was the one who wanted to hire Todd Haley. (US Presswire)
By Josh Katzowitz

Since former Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians' contract wasn’t renewed (and basically, was fired) and Todd Haley was installed as the new coordinator, there’s been much speculation that some of coach Mike Tomlin’s power has been cut within the organization.

Apparently, Tomlin didn’t want to part ways with Arians, and apparently, he didn’t want to hire Haley. Supposedly, team president Art Rooney II was the man to make those deals over the protests of his successful head coach.

Now, though, Rooney is denying he had much of a role in the Pittsburgh offensive upheaval.

"I think the bottom line is, Mike was comfortable that's who he wanted to come in," Rooney said Thursday afternoon in an exclusive interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. "It may be fair to say that when he started the discussions and Todd's name was on his original list, I don't think he expected that Todd was the guy he was going to wind up hiring. But as he had more conversations with him, he became more comfortable that he was the right guy for the job."

The paper writes that the reason Rooney talked to reporter Ed Bouchette was because he wanted “to counter rampant speculation that he, not Tomlin, hired Haley to replace Bruce Arians ….”

So, yes, there is spin involved in this story, and Rooney apparently didn’t dispel the notion that he, not Tomlin, was the one who didn’t want Arians around.

Pittsburgh's offensive upheaval
Aside from Haley, Rooney said Jim Caldwell was the only other candidate that Tomlin brought to Pittsburgh to interview for the job. Rooney said he had conversations with Caldwell and Haley when they were in Pittsburgh, but he said it was more informal than a regular interview.

"I wouldn't want my role in it to be overestimated because Mike has to decide who he wants on the staff,” Rooney said. “Even though there's always a discussion between me and Mike about who he's hiring and how much we're paying him and those kinds of things, it's normally a discussion of the business side of the arrangement than, 'Are we going to hire a guy who's going to run the ball so many times a game.' It was a fairly normal process as far as I'm concerned in terms of how we've done those kinds of hirings in the past."

It’s good that Rooney recognizes the need to let the public believe that Tomlin is the one calling the shots on his coaching staff. Because, for the most part, Tomlin should be the one to make those decisions.

But if Rooney was the one who wanted to let Arians walk -- and that seems fairly clear at this point -- he needed to let Tomlin save face with the Haley hire. No matter who actually wanted Haley, Rooney has accomplished that now with this interview.

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Since: Feb 6, 2008
Posted on: February 18, 2012 10:08 am

Rooney makes clear Tomlin wanted Haley

I'm not sure about this hire.  I think the Steelers offense was efficient enough as long as we keep LeBeau on the defensive side of things.  Haley's previous record and style doesn't really seem to fit.  The fact that Coach Tomblin didn't want him should be enough to make any Steelers fan uneasy.  Hopefully, Mike will be a little more hands on with the offense at first.  It will be very interesting to see how it all plays out. 

Since: Oct 20, 2006
Posted on: February 18, 2012 9:06 am

Rooney makes clear Tomlin wanted Haley

Haley is a Bad Coach period. The only time the Chiefs played well Offensively when Haley was here is when Weiss had full control over the Offense. When Haley had the play calling duties, WE SUCKED (Chiefs). This guy is arrogant, dry and a dictator. Glad he is gone from Arrowhead!

Really Bad call by the Steelers (PERIOD)

Since: Nov 7, 2009
Posted on: February 17, 2012 4:30 pm

Rooney makes clear Tomlin wanted Haley


Since: May 31, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2012 3:23 pm

Rooney makes clear Tomlin wanted Haley

The only way people would have believed that the Arians/Haley decisions were really Tomlin's doing, is if Tomlin had said so from the start.  The long silence in that department led everyone to draw their own conclusions.

Rooney saying it now won't change anyone's mind... they'll just assume he's trying to spin the PR.  And if Tomlin says something *now*, people will just think Rooney made him do it.  The best bet at this point is probably to just stop talking about it, and hope it all works on the field (which is really what will cause people to stop worrying about it).  It's too late to worry over perception.  People have already had too much time to form their opinions.

Since: Aug 30, 2007
Posted on: February 17, 2012 10:56 am

Rooney makes clear Tomlin wanted Haley

Ewwwweee, any other juicy gossip Joshephina?

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