PITTSBURGH -- Team president Art Rooney II spent about 20 minutes with a small gathering of local reporters at Steelers headquarters. From a conference room, Rooney touched on a variety of topics, from contract matters to the Steelers' 13-win season that ended in disappointment.
One clear theme from that talk: Rooney is satisfied with the job performance of Mike Tomlin, who was a convenient target for Steelers fans after a surprising divisional-round playoff loss to Jacksonville.
"It’s always easy for people to say, 'Well, you know, you should get rid of your coach.' OK, well, who are you hiring next? So, there’s another part of that question that people don’t want to get into. And I’m very comfortable that Mike is our coach and happy that he’s our coach. I think he’s one of the best coaches in the NFL."
Last month, Pro Football Talk reported that a handful of "limited partners" of the Steelers wanted Tomlin out. Asked about that dynamic, Rooney joked that he never got that letter.
In the short term, the Steelers' defense did not look ready for the playoffs in front of a stunned Heinz Field. In the big picture, Tomlin's 116-60 record since taking over in 2007 is among the league's most consistent.
The Steelers would like to see improvements in a few areas -- namely, third-down/red zone offense and rushing defense, Rooney said -- but the team president stuck with the stance that a 13-3 record doesn't happen by accident. Tomlin is a big part of that accomplishment.