5 Smoldering Questions on the Dan Rooney and the 2017 Draft
The 2017 off season has been an eventful one as Steelers Nation said good bye to Dan Rooney while welcoming the 2017 NFL Draft class. And while the “real” off season will begin soon (you know, the dead period where it gets hard to find, much less make, news articles), there’s still plenty of material here for us to wrestle with these 5 Smoldering Questions on Dan Rooney and the Draft.
1. Dan Rooney should rightfully be remembered by his unique ability to meld humility with excellence. Yet, Daniel M. Rooney was probably the most successful management specialist in modern business.
Which of these key Dan Rooney decisions do you think was most consequential to the Steelers present day AND future legacy?
- a) Listening to Bill Nunn’s complaints about how the franchise dealt with African American reporters and then convincing him to join the Steelers scouting department.
- b) Hiring Chuck Noll.
- c) Firing his brother Art Rooney Jr.
- d) Choosing Bill Cowher over Tom Donahoe and replacing the latter with Kevin Colbert.
- e) Hiring Mike Tomlin (or acquiescing to Art II’s decision to hire Tomlin)
- f) Accepting the ambassadorship to Ireland and giving up control of the team.
Choose one and defend your choice.
2. During the Steelers 2008 off season, Steelers Digest editor Bob Labriola reviewed the Steelers off season and declared that any improvement would have to come from the men already on the roster.
For a team that finished out the 2007 on a weak note, his words did not encourage.
However, Labriolia’s prediction was far more accurate than he had a right to expect, as the Steelers DID improve, marching to victory in Super Bowl XLIII without any real contributions from their now ill-fated 2008 Draft Class.
Eight years later, in 2016, the Steelers’ top three draft picks, Artie Burns, Sean Davis and Javon Hargrave, played major roles in the Steelers late-season turn around.
With that in mind, is it realistic to expect the Steelers 2017 Draft Class to put this team over the top on the Stair Way to Seven?
3. The Fourth Round represents the balance point of the draft, mathematically speaking. To put that into context, just looking at the Colbert era, the fourth round has brought talents such as Ike Taylor and Martavis Bryant to Pittsburgh. The Steelers have also laid eggs named Alameda Ta’Mau and Shamarko Thomas in the 4th round.
With that in mind, on which side of that divide will the rocket that is Joshua Dobbs land, per your crystal ball?
4. The Steelers of course shocked the world by drafting a long snapper in the 6th round (never mind that Bill Belinick used a 5th rounder on a long snapper 3 years ago or so.) One esteemed member of the Steelers sports media privately described the move to yours truly as “Arrogant.”
Gerry Dulac, one journalist not wont to hyperbole, described the draft this way:
Regardless, Kevin Colbert and Mike Tomlin did draft like a duo that gives the outward appearance of thinking it is close to a Super Bowl. So do you think the 2017 Draft represents Colbert and Tomlin’s confidence or their cockiness?
5. Finally, our own Ivan Cole has begun to address the “Unknown Unknowns” focusing on the Steelers secondary (apparently inspired by a comment left by some crackpot er, um, I guess that was me.)
If you haven’t read Ivan’s article, please do so as it is must read, as all of his are.
With that context in place, which position area’s improvement is more vital to the Steelers success (success = Lombardi Number Seven) in 2017 – wide receiver or the secondary?
And which area do you think has the best chance of success?
Okay, folks, let’s hear what you’ve got. Please use a No. 2 pencil and fill in the little bubble completely…