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If you were looking for Pittsburgh Steelers team president Art Rooney II to call for a change in the offensive coordinator position that was heavily maligned this past season under Matt Canada, you'll have to keep waiting.
Rooney spoke earlier today and delivered a message of positivity, saying that he was "encouraged" by what he saw as progress made by the team down the stretch that would ultimately result in a 9-8 record, though they would not qualify for the postseason.
"They're going to be hard to compete with in the future," Rooney said.
“Even though we fell short of making the playoffs, I thought the second half of the season was encouraging,” Rooney continued. “We still have a lot of areas we need to improve on, but I liked the way the team kept fighting down the stretch and kept ourselves alive.”
Despite the dismal 2-6 start, Rooney believes that his team rebounding to finish 7-2 from that point on is a sign that things are moving in the right direction.
“You want to see a team improve over the course of a season, start to finish, no matter what your record is,” Rooney said. “That’s what you’re shooting for, to get better as the season goes on, and I thought we did that.
“You’d rather not dig too deep a hole in the beginning, which, unfortunately, we did, but the fact we were breaking in new quarterbacks — two of them, in fact — was something that was a factor with at least some of the difficulties we had early in the season. But we weren’t playing that well on the defensive side early in the season, either.
“I don’t dismiss the first half of the season. You can’t ignore it, but the key is to see that improvement over the course of season was encouraging.”