Share This Page

Rooney: Steelers aren't in NFL's crosshairs

Dan Rooney doesn't believe the NFL is singling out the Steelers in its attempt to make the game safer. That doesn't mean the Steelers' chairman emeritus entirely favors the league's latest initiative, which will hold teams accountable for on-field behavior of their players.

"I think there's too many things involved to have that rule," Rooney said Friday at Heinz Field.

Last week, NFL owners unanimously approved rules changes that expand protection for defenseless players. The league will fine teams whose players are repeatedly punished for unnecessary roughness. Commissioner Roger Goodell also is considering docking teams draft picks if their players don't fall into line with the policy.

Many Steelers players felt the league singled them out last season when Goodell cracked down on hits to the head. All-Pro outside linebacker James Harrison was fined four times for a combined $100,000.

Harrison bashed the new rules during several interviews and on his Facebook page. Harrison, the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year in 2008, also wrote a lengthy blog post explaining his opposition to the rules. Outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley and receiver Hines Ward also have come out strongly against the changes, which have been tagged the "Steelers Rule."

"I don't think (the NFL is) calling it the 'Steelers Rule;' I think the press is," Rooney said. "It's just one of those things where you have to play and just do what you have to do."

The Steelers showed off some hard hitting yesterday when they aired their 2010 season highlight film at Heinz Field. Sponsors and team officials were treated to a montage of highlights, including safety Troy Polamalu's strip and sack of Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco in December.

Among the Steelers officials in attendance were Rooney and director of football operations Kevin Colbert. Team president Art Rooney II was not at the event; he was attending a funeral.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.