Steelers President Rooney II Claims Hiring of Haley Was Up to Tomlin

There have been reports out of Pittsburgh that Art Rooney II has been meddling in the football side of the team.

Not only did Art Rooney II say he had nothing to do with the hiring of Todd Haley, but the Steelers president also was a bit surprised that coach Mike Tomlin wound up hiring him as his new offensive coordinator according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“I think the bottom line is, Mike was comfortable that’s who he wanted to come in,” Rooney said Thursday afternoon. “It may be fair to say that when he started the discussions and Todd’s name was on his original list, I don’t think he expected that Todd was the guy he was going to wind up hiring. But as he had more conversations with him, he became more comfortable that he was the right guy for the job.”

“Mike identified a number of candidates that he wanted to talk to and did all of the initial discussions,” Rooney said. “We talked about who he was talking to. Kevin and I talked to him, and he sort of kept us in the loop as to who he was thinking about.

“Then he decided who he wanted to bring in for a follow-up interview into Pittsburgh. I did talk to the guys who came into Pittsburgh. I’m not even sure I’d call it an interview, but I had a conversation with them.

“I wouldn’t want my role in it to be overestimated because Mike has to decide who he wants on the staff. Even though there’s always a discussion between me and Mike about who he’s hiring and how much we’re paying him and those kinds of things, it’s normally a discussion of the business side of the arrangement than, ‘Are we going to hire a guy who’s going to run the ball so many times a game.’ It was a fairly normal process as far as I’m concerned in terms of how we’ve done those kinds of hirings in the past.”

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