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Rooney Doesn't Think 2018 Was A 'Circus'

The Steelers owners discussed AB, Tomlin extension, play on the field and more

January 16, 2019 - 2:24 pm

Related: Should Mike Tomlin Get That Customary Contract Extension?

PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) - Steelers owner Art Rooney II met with seven writers on Wednesday, including 93.7 The Fan Steelers Insider Ed Bouchette of the Post-Gazette, and said he doesn’t agree that the team’s season was a “circus”.

“It’s nonsense. We didn’t achieve our goal of winning the division but we finished half a game out and had a lot of opportunities to get there,” said Rooney.

Rooney added that Antonio Brown did not become a distraction to the team until the final week when he did not play in the season finale against Cincinnati.

“The situation changed the last week of the season.”

Bouchette reports that Rooney said the only changes coming to the coaching staff will be new hires.

Rooney also said that there have not been any trade discussions over Antonio Brown and that while there is a chance Brown could possibly be a Steelers in 2019 there’s, “not that many signs out there that that’s going to happen.”

Rooney also talked about Le’Veon Bell’s departure and said he thinks the running backs will be fine with James Connor and Jaylen Samuels because they are “two good young players.”

Rooney also told Bouchette one of the goals for the offseason is to extend Ben Roethlisberger’s contract and that and extension for Coach Tomlin won’t be discussed until later in the offseason and said of his 2018 performance, “When you miss the playoffs, nobody gets absolved . . . I think everybody knows we need to do things better, including Mike.”

Rooney also signaled that someone could be hired to assist Tomlin with challenge calls and that it wouldn’t be the person’s only role.

When it comes to the team on the field, Rooney said he thinks the defense is getting better but they still need to improve in the secondary. He also was not pleased with the kicking game and turnovers and that those also need to improve.

When asked about Ryan Shaizer’s future, Rooney says he still wants to return to football and will continue to rehab with that idea in mind.

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