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Bush League: Ron Cook's Column

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The Post-Gazette's Ron Cook just wrote a highly questionable column, in my opinion, speculating that the Rooney family was more interested in its legacy than in finding the right person for the Steelers head coaching job. Take a moment to read it, and come back.

Seriously, Ron? You think this kind of column is responsible? Appropriate at all? Cook, who was barking for the Steelers to hire Whisenhunt from the get-go, sounds curiously like a guy who's trying to plant the seeds of doubt in Steeler fans' minds.

Cook's argument is a pretty weak one: the Steelers are coming off of an 8-8 season, and are only a year removed from the Super Bowl. Therefor, stick with the current staff and hire from within.

Does that sound myopic to anyone else?  The Rooneys, of course, are definitely not the short-sighted types. The real Rooney Rule is not about minorities - it's about finding the right man for the job for the long haul. That's how they found Chuck Noll. That's how they found Bill Cowher. And that's what led them to choose Mike Tomlin, instead of someone internal. That is the Rooney way, and to hire someone internally would have been the more inconsistent practice.

The Rooneys believe Mike Tomlin was the best man to lead the Steelers for the next 10-20 years. That, anyway, is the conclusion they reached after talking to everyone. Ron Cook, though, wants to take the short view. And throw the race card in the mix. Why, Ron? To what end?

I'm disappointed that Ron Cook would write something so speculative, so quickly, without evidence, which only serves to make the Steeler fan base more nervous about Tomlin. It's most disappointing because the Rooneys merely did what they have done the last two times they've needed a new coach. They've not hired from within. They've chosen a young guy. They've hired with the long-term vision of the franchise in mind. Not just next year. This is the Rooney way, and the Tomlin hiring is entirely consistent with that. He just happens to be black. And Ron Cook wants to speculate that his race is the only reason he was hired?

Pathetic, Ron. Totally pathetic. Not worth the paper it was printed on.