Thursday, February 16, 2012
Wake-up call: Rooney II not 'meddlesome'
By Jamison Hensley
Every morning, grab a cup of coffee and get your AFC North wake-up call here:
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert shot down the perception that team president Art Rooney II has taken a more active role in football decisions.
Some believe it was Rooney's decision -- and not coach Mike Tomlin's -- to part ways with Bruce Arians as offensive coordinator and hire Todd Haley to replace him.
"Art Rooney obviously is the owner of the team and the president of the team," Colbert said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "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."
Colbert said, "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."
Hensley's slant: I'm not sure Colbert would have acknowledged Rooney as being meddlesome even if he has been asserting more influence. It was telling that Rooney was the one who first informed Arians that his contract wasn't not being renewed and not Tomlin. You can't fault Rooney for making decisions that he thinks is best for his team. I certainly would do the same. The only concern is whether he is taking away Tomlin's power in doing so.
BENGALS: Former Raiders cornerback Stanford Routt is scheduled to visit Cincinnati on Friday, according to NFL Network. Routt remained in Kansas City for a second day of meetings and is still talking to the Buffalo Bills. Routt was released last week just one year into a five-year, $54.5 million contract, ending his seven-year tenure in Oakland. Hensley's slant: The Bengals are in need of cornerback depth because Kelly Jennings and Adam Jones are both free agents and Leon Hall is coming off a season-ending Achilles injury. It was assumed that the Bengals would address cornerback in the draft. But Routt would be an upgrade over Jennings and Jones and could press Nate Clements for his starting job.
BROWNS: Cleveland remains uncertain on Peyton Hillis' future with the team, according to CBSSports.com. Some in the organization want to re-sign the running back, but others want to go in a different direction and draft Alabama's Trent Richardson, the website reported. Hensley's slant: I've said for months that I think it's in the Browns' best interest as far as team chemistry to part ways with Hillis. But, even if the Browns keep him, they should still look to address running back in the draft. The Browns wouldn't be signing Hillis to a long-term deal and they can't have much faith in backup Montario Hardesty, who is constantly injured.
RAVENS: The Baltimore Sun's Mike Preston says wide receiver Randy Moss wouldn't be bad for the Ravens for a year or two. "At the right price, I wouldn't mind seeing him line up opposite Torrey Smith with Anquan Boldin in the slot," Preston wrote. "The Ravens had similar plans for Lee Evans last year, but he spent most of 2011 on the sideline with a high ankle sprain." Hensley's slant: If Moss is motivated, there is no doubt that he would help the Ravens. But that's a big "if." I'm not sure he can bounce back like he did in 2007. Remember, three teams gave up on Moss in 2010. He reportedly wore down the patience of Tom Brady in New England, undermined then-head coach Brad Childress in Minnesota and never showed up on the field in Tennessee.