Steelers President Art Rooney II Sends Strong Message on Playoff Futility

The Rooneys are famous for being one of the most patient ownership groups in all of sports, let alone the NFL. But that patience could be wearing thin even for Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II.

Art Rooney II

“We had enough of this,” Rooney said in his annual end-of-season press briefing on January 29, via’s Bob Labriola. “It’s time to get some wins.

“It’s time to take these next steps. There’s some urgency there, for sure.”

The Steelers have not won a playoff game since January 2017. The seven-year drought is the longest in franchise history since the team recorded its first postseason win in 1972.

Art Rooney II Supports Pittsburgh Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin

While Rooney strongly advocated his franchise experiencing more playoff success soon, by no means was he putting head coach Mike Tomlin on notice.

In fact, it’s probably safe to say the “we” part of Rooney’s quote included Tomlin.

Things grew very rocky for Tomlin in December when the Steelers suffered a three-game losing streak. But he clearly never lost the locker room, and with the change to Mason Rudolph behind center, the Steelers clinched their 11th postseason berth under Tomlin.

“The players still respond to Mike [Tomlin], and that’s No. 1,” Rooney said on January 29. “He can keep the attention of 20-year-olds for a whole season and keep them in the fight the whole way.

“If I didn’t feel Mike could lead us to a championship, he wouldn’t be here.”

Rooney added that Tomlin will receive an extension this offseason. Tomlin has one year remaining on his contract.

Although an extension for Tomlin has been the expectation since the coach told his players he wanted to return for 2024, it’s still noteworthy Rooney addressed it because of all the rumors flying around Tomlin and the Steelers the past couple months.

Rooney Answers How Steelers Will Take Next Steps

It’s easy to say an organization has to take that next step. But knowing what those steps are and then taking them is another story.

On January 29, Rooney identified what those next steps should be. As has been the case with NFL pundits around the league, the Steelers president pointed to the team’s quarterback situation.

“We need to do everything we can to make sure we get quality out of our QB position going forward,” Rooney said. “We still feel good about Kenny Pickett and his future, but he knows he has to work hard to take the next step.”

According to The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly, the need for better quarterback play was one of the first things Rooney said in his briefing.

The Steelers president added that he agrees with Tomlin that the team is “closer at this stage of the game than last year.” Rooney argued that the team’s 2023 rookie draft class and the depth the organization used to combat injuries were his reasons for believing they are closer.

Pittsburgh’s record would also indicate that. The Steelers won 10 games for just the second time in six seasons. It was also the first time the team won 10 games since quarterback Ben Roethlisberger retired.

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