Others may debate whether the Steelers are in a period of transition, but Dan Rooney certainly finds himself in one. Back as the team's chairman, he traded in his three-year job as U.S. Ambassador to Ireland for one that employs him as Steelers ambassador to everywhere. The overlap of old job with renewed job found him in the White House movie theatre Tuesday with President Obama and Harrison Ford, among others, for a showing of the upcoming release of "42," a film about Jackie Robinson. What better crowd to celebrate Robinson breaking baseball's color barrier than the first African-American president and the man who brought to the NFL the Rooney Rule, which has helped minority assistant coaches land head-coaching jobs. Rooney was there to help out Steelers partner Thomas Tull, a producer of "42," and there will be more jobs like it as he resumes his duties with the Steelers. His transition from the team's daily boss to its chairman and the transfer of decision-maker to his son Art Rooney II occurred years ago. Now, after a brief career change, he returns to the team on a daily basis more as an advisor and ambassador than administrator. "I still talk to players and things like that," Rooney said in an interview at the team's South Side offices Tuesday. "Now, I get involved in a lot of community things and try to do things that are good for us, like what I did yesterday." He will not hesitate in that capacity to offer his opinions, though, as he did Tuesday, both on the direction of the NFL and his own team. Opposing some opinions from sections of the Steelers fan base, he likes the direction in which both are going. Start with the Steelers, the ones who missed the playoffs at 8-8 and are losing key players faster than they did games in the second half of the 2012 season. "With us, 8-8 is a bad season," Rooney said. "Some other teams, they're happy to get 8-8. We need to keep that focus that our goal is to go for the Super Bowl, we've got to make the playoffs and we've got to do this. I think that everybody here, especially ... Kevin [Colbert], Mike [Tomlin], Art, me, and other people, that's the goal, to win."
Dan Rooney settles into new role with Steelers
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | Apr 4