In his first interview since the end of the regular season, Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II spoke with Steelers.com’s Bob Labriola on several different matters, including the 2013 season. Rooney was pleased with the way the team finished the season; a 6-2 record in their last eight games kept the Steelers in the race for a wild card spot.
“As far as I’m concerned, we should be in the playoffs,” said Rooney. “On the other side of it, we made our bed. Unfortunately, we got off to a slow start. I liked the way we finished, I liked the fact we got better as the season went on, which is what you want.”
Rooney was obviously hinting on the poor officiating in Week 17’s regular season game between the San Diego Chargers and the Kansas City Chiefs, when the Chargers lined too many players on one side of the formation — a penalty that would have greatly increased kicker Ryan Succop‘s chances of getting the win and putting the Steelers into the playoffs.
Rooney went on to talk about the Mike Tomlin‘s status at head coach and the team’s salary cap. Rooney told Labriola he is very happy with Tomlin as the Steelers’ head coach, and thought he did a nice job coaching in 2013.
When addressing the salary cap, Rooney seemed confident, but understands that there is plenty of work ahead.
“It’s somewhat similar to what it has been over the last few years. So, we have decisions to make. I think the one thing that may be a little different this year from past years is we do have quite a number of free agents, unrestricted free agents. So there is some work to be done there because there are a number of those guys we’d like to try to figure out a way to keep. As I said, there is work to be done.”
The Pittsburgh Steelers have more than 20 free agents in the upcoming season, so it is absolutely important to find a way to get some players back under contract. Rooney and the Steelers must find ways to get guys like Jason Worilds and Jerricho Cotchery back under contract, but only time will tell if they can do so.