Getting the low down from Art Rooney II’s year-end Steelers interview

Antinio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, Ryan Shazier, and playing in Mexico were all points of discussion.

Art Rooney II made his end-of-the-year press interviews on Wednesday, first with a small group of reporters and then on the Steelers Live show on Steelers.com. Thanks to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steeler fans were given some insight as to the private interview. Some of the topics discussed in either instance were the following:

On evaluating the 2018 season, especially not making the playoffs:

“It was a tough way to end the season. It felt like we had a chance, and it really came down to just a few plays here and there in the season, literally at the end there. So it’s disappointing that we didn’t make it. It felt like we had a team, particularly the last three weeks of the season, playing well and playing some of the playoff teams and playing well against them. So it’s disappointing.”

“I think the two things that if I had to pick out a couple things that were a problem. One was a kicking game was below average and below where we expected in to be. And second is the minus turnover ratio. That’s always a problem. We can’t be on the wrong side of that.”

On how he would evaluate the players and the coaches:

“I think that when you don’t make the playoffs, nobody is absolved. You just have to say that the players coaches, staff, front office, everybody’s got to do a better job.”

“I think we have a core group of players that can get us back to where we want to be. I look forward to working on this off-season and trying to get the pieces back in place.”

On Mike Tomlin’s performance:

“I think everybody left room for improvement. When you don’t make the playoffs you look at everything and everyone. Coach (Tomlin) and I have talked about a number of different things. And Kevin (Colbert) the same way. So we have work to do.”

On the promotion of Shawn Sarrett:

“Shawn was probably going to get an opportunity eventually somewhere, and so we’re glad it’s here. He’s been mentoring with Munch for a number of years now. So he’s comfortable in the room and he knows the guys and the guys know him. So we think he’ll be able to step up and do the job.”

On an extension for Ben Roethlisberger:

“Ben had a strong year physically and mentally. I think he’s in a good place and, as you look around the league and see guys playing into their 40’s at the quarterback position, there’s no reason to think that Ben can’t be one of those guys.”

On the Antonio Brown situation:

“I would have liked to have been able to talk with him and understand a little better from his perspective what went on the last week of the season.”

On Ryan Shazier in 2019:

“We’re going to continue to work with him and figure out how that works.”

“He just continues to be an impressive young man who is making progress beyond what anyone predicted he would make. He was jogging in the workout room the other day, so I wouldn’t underestimate him.”

On Le’Veon Bell:

“We’ve got a decision to make, so we’ll probably have some discussions with his representative here in the next few weeks and kind of talk through that.”

On playing in Mexico:

“All I can tell you is we keep volunteering to make the trip and would love to go down there sometime. We have a great fan following down there in Mexico.”

On various other topics only answered in the private interview: