On the Steelers: Colbert denies Rooney II role change

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Lost in other news that Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert talked about in an interview Monday was his take on the perceived new role of team president Art Rooney II.

Many have called Rooney meddlesome after he did not renew the contract of offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, apparently against at least the initial wishes of coach Mike Tomlin.

Colbert was asked pointedly if Rooney has taken a more activist role in football decisions recently.

"Art Rooney obviously is the owner of the team and the president of the team," Colbert said. "Of course he's going to be in the loop on every decision as any chief operating officer would be of any corporation. I think to say he is meddlesome or dictating every decision I think is very inaccurate.

"A lot of decisions are made around here with a collective effort and, in our end, when we're talking about players, it's a collective effort between myself, coach Tomlin and Art, and that's the way we do business."

He said the same held true when Dan Rooney was president.

"It hasn't changed a bit since I've been here in 12 years. Of course, Mr. Rooney went from president to chairman, but the philosophy and operating procedures have not changed one bit."

Short snaps

• Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told Mike Prisuta of WDVE radio that he finally had his meeting Monday with Rooney. He also said he has not met with new offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

• Colbert identified the best depth in the April NFL draft as being at wide receiver and cornerback.

"You can argue how many great players are at every position; I just know the numbers. Those are two positions on either side. It's reflected by what's going on in college football."

• The Steelers are not sure what, if any, compensatory draft picks they will receive, Colbert said. It is unlikely to be much. They did not sign anyone's unrestricted free agent -- the New York Jets cut wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery, so he does not count -- and they did not lose much, either. The two they lost were backup tight end Matt Spaeth and backup defensive end Nick Eason.

For more on the Steelers, read the blog, Ed Bouchette on the Steelers at www.post-gazette.com/plus . Ed Bouchette: ebouchette@post-gazette.com and Twitter @EdBouchette.


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