Steelers' Rooney defends Goodell on Roethlisberger quote

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Steelers president Art Rooney said he talked with Roger Goodell this morning and does not blame the NFL commissioner for any wrongdoing for his infamous quote about Ben Roethlisberger that was published this week.

"From what I understand, he was misquoted,'' Rooney said. "I certainly don't think he was intending on it for something to be published this week."

Goodell told Peter King of Sports Illustrated that during his investigation into the charges of sexual assault made against Roethlisberger in March that, "I bet two dozen [Steeler] players ... Not one, not a single player, went to his defense. It wasn't personal in a sense, but all kinds of stories like, 'He won't sign my jersey.' ''

King later reported that he had assumed Goodell meant Steelers players and inserted the brackets. Goodell told King on Monday that he did not. The interview took place Jan. 7 but was published Monday.

"I talked to the commissioner this morning and that's what he said, that it wasn't something he expected to be said this week,'' Rooney said. "And he was asked about all the things he did and was trying to get some background on how he approaches his decisions.

"It wasn't like he was trying to take a shot at Ben or anything like that. He was talking about sort of what his thought process was nine months ago."

Rooney did not think it would have an effect on the Steelers players this week.

"You know what, I think for Ben and our players, that's all kind of ancient history at this point. I think they'll all have to answer questions today but I don't think it will be a distraction. They're expecting to get a couple of questions, there's no surprise to it."


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