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Dan Rooney frustrated by lack of progress on CBA

Dan Rooney, chairman of the Steelers, isn't directly involved in negotiations between NFL owners and players, but he's concerned about the lack of progress and where that could lead.

"We should have a deal," Rooney said Friday, speaking at Steelers headquarters to three reporters who cover the league on a national basis. "We should not let the disruption of next season happen because of a lockout, a strike, or whatever. ... It's in everybody's best interest to get a deal. The players, of course, want to play, and that's what should happen.

"The games this year couldn't be better. The ratings are high. So why would you step back?"

However, Rooney, who now serves as U.S. ambassador to Ireland, said owners are united in their determination to scrap the current collective-bargaining agreement, which expires in March.

"Status quo is not an option," he said. "I just believe that (the opposing sides) could work out an agreement. There are points that could make this deal better for everyone."

Rooney expressed frustration at the glacial pace of the process. His were the strongest-worded remarks on the issue from a team owner in months.

Unlike many owners, the elder Rooney is staunchly against expanding the regular season to 18 games, which is an issue in the current negotiations. Many players feel that would be too punishing to their bodies and would significantly shorten their careers.

"I would rather not get the money" than expand the regular season, Rooney said.

Los Angeles Times

Quotable

"That is good because he picked us third in the AFC North. Great coach. Terrible expert. Terrible. I don't talk to him, but if I talked to him I'd tell him he's bad at picking stuff. That's honesty. That's not me. That's the truth. He's not very good at it. Hopefully, he'll be wrong again."

Ryan Clark

Steelers free safety on Bill Cowher picking the Jets to beat the Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.

by the numbers

9: Games out of 10 that the Steelers have won this season, including the playoffs, when they have scored at least 20 points.

12: Games out of 13 that the Steelers have won this season, including the playoffs, when they lead in time of possession.

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