Steelers President Weighs In On Hits, Fines

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — With six Super Bowl championship celebrations, Steelers fans have grown used to success and they don’t take too kindly to anything that puts those winning ways in jeopardy.

Fans and players alike have expressed frustration over the NFL’s recent crackdown on hits — particularly with Steelers linebacker James Harrison shelling out $125,000 in fines on four separate occasions this season.

KDKA-TV’s Rick Dayton recently had a chance to sit down with team president, Art Rooney III, to get his thoughts on hard hits, fines and what his grandfather The Chief might think about the state of the game right now.

“I think our fans want to think that the games are being officiated fairly and in a consistent way,” Rooney told KDKA, “and so that’s why you get some of the questions that have come up in some of our games. And it’s been an unusual year — there’s no question about it — for our team.”

Unusual is one way to describe it.

While there are many more wins than losses as another playoff run draws near, the fines have also piled up quickly against Harrison.

“There have been some challenges, no question about it,” continued Rooney, “but I think our guys are doing a good job of trying to make sure we are playing within the rules and are not doing things that can hurt the team when it comes to what might happen with penalties.”

Against the Raiders in November, the Steelers were flagged for a team record 163 yards and Oakland Defensive Lineman Richard Seymour was tossed from the game for a shot to Ben Roethlisberger’s jaw. The league later fined Seymour $25,000.

Rooney says the Steelers simply want consistency in the calls.

“The league has put a new emphasis on discipline on hits that are against the rules,” Rooney continued, “and I think everybody is really trying to understand how the discipline is going to be applied.”

When asked what his grandfather might do or say about all the fines and debates over officiating, Rooney paused for a minute and then said he’s sure of one thing: The Chief would have made his point to the league, but it would have been a private conversation — behind closed doors.

More from Rick Dayton
  • pbsteelerspb

    No matter on all the calls the Steelers are still rolling. They may slow us down, but they can not stop the best NFL team Franchise!!!!

  • mike

    You can bet the Chief would be giving Goodell a good tongue lashing behind those closed doors.

  • Johnny Alaimo Sr.

    when will tomlin step up to the plate and defend his players !!!
    can you imagine noll or cower not saying anything ?

  • Ted_C

    Coaches are not allowed to criticize officiating – they get mega reprimands and fines

  • Bill

    Hits to Ben’s head continue to happen with no flag being dropped. So where is the consistency? Not to mention Heath’s head. But instead we get Phantom calls on Ryan Clarke for helmet to helmet when he hit the receivers mid back. The NFL does not want the Steelers to play in the superbowl. We have to many Lombardies and that does not play well for parity.

  • Honey L.Malik

    We all have to ask if the officials are playing fair in there ,cause it seems like they only are flagging certain teams & Steelers are the ones getting the unfair penalties. And then giving certain QB special treatment by the officials now. God Bless !

  • Dave Conn

    A thought: I’m pretty sure the league doesn’t want the talk around the Super Bowl to be Ben and Georgia???

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