Pittsburgh Steelers: Owner Art Rooney II Eager for First Playoff Win Since 2016
The Steelers haven't won a playoff game since 2016, which is too long for owner Art Rooney II.
Rooney still believes Head Coach Mike Tomlin can lead Pittsburgh to another Super Bowl, but said the organization feels a sense of urgency to have more postseason success.
"We've had enough of this," Rooney said, via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.com. "It's time to get some wins; it's time to take these next steps."
Rooney did not give an update on contract negotiations with Tomlin, who is the league's longest-tenured current head coach and has never had a losing season in 17 years.
Tomlin led Pittsburgh to a Super Bowl victory in 2008, but they have lost four straight postseason games, including this year's 31-17 defeat against Buffalo in the Wild Card round.
Rooney made it clear, however, that he still believes in Tomlin.
"The players still respond to Mike, and that's No. 1," Rooney said. "He still has the key characteristics that we saw when we hired him. He can keep the attention of a group of 20-year-olds for a whole season and keep them in the fight the whole way.
"So, still feel good about Mike. Obviously if I didn't, [we] would make a change, but if we didn't think Mike was able to lead us to a championship, he wouldn't be here, and that's why he is here."
The Steelers struggled offensively much of the 2023 season, and had three different starting quarterbacks – Kenny Pickett, Mitch Trubisky and pending free agent Mason Rudolph. Pickett has been named the starter heading into the offseason. Rooney believes the Steelers can win with Pickett, but he's facing a critical juncture entering his third season.
"We still feel good about Kenny Pickett and his future, but he knows he needs to work hard to take the next step," Rooney said. "And we've talked about that, and one of the things I think we liked about Kenny in terms of his career at Pitt was that, how hard he worked, and he took a step every year. So, we're looking for that to happen here."
Cleveland Browns: GM Still Weighing Options Regarding Nick Chubb
Star running back Nick Chubb is still recovering from two knee surgeries after tearing his ACL and MCL in Week 2, and his status with the team remains uncertain entering the final year of his contract.
General Manager Andrew Berry said Chubb's timetable for a return remained uncertain and that the team was still weighing its options.
"With Nick, I can say for myself (and for) the organization (that) nobody wants to see that carry in Pittsburgh be the last time he carries the ball for the Cleveland Browns," Berry said via the team’s website. "Obviously there are things that we'll have to work through, but that would not be our intention. We obviously will work to keep him on the team."
The 28-year-old Chubb will be entering his seventh season and is one of the team's most respected players. Berry said Chubb has done everything in his power to come back as quickly as possible.
"I probably came into this year, on a scale of one to 10 in terms of respect for Nick Chubb, it was a 10," Berry said. "Probably coming out of this year, it's now a 20."
Cincinnati Bengals: Jonah Williams Could Leave During Free Agency
After making a successful switch from left tackle to right tackle, Jonah Williams should be among the most coveted offensive linemen during free agency in March. Willams had an outstanding season after switching positions when Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. was signed during free agency last year.
Williams didn't say he won't re-sign with the Bengals, but acknowledged the possibility that he could be moving on.
"I gave my all over the last five years," Williams said via Mark Inabinett of al.com. "Like I said, I don't know what the future has, but I'm proud of what we built here and appreciative of the opportunity."
Director of Player Personnel Duke Tobin said Williams played right tackle as if he had been there throughout his career.
"It was impressive," Tobin said. "He showed he's versatile, which will play well over time with him."