It\’s not often that Dan Rooney Jr. , the Pittsburgh Steelers Player Personnel Coordinator, gives a radio interview, but when he does, they usually are a good listen. Rooney joined Bob Labriola and Mike Prisuta Wednesday evening on 970 ESPN Radio and he was asked right off the bat about offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who he called the Steelers most significant offseason addition last year at around this same time.
“I wouldn\’t say that I know enough about the specifics of the system, I just think that he seemed to have a concept of the Pittsburgh Steeler way, that we\’re going to try to be physical, control the ball some and mix in our passing game so Ben can be effective, because Ben is outstanding,” said Rooney. “His numbers are unbelievable as a play-action quarterback and I think we got a big running back now and the other guys are still there that are also in running, but I\’m impressed with Le\’Veon Bell.”
Rooney, who has long been involved in the Steelers scouting department and perhaps best-known for his recommendation that the team sign running back Willie Parker in 2004 as an undrafted free agent, said he looks forward to not only Bell playing in 2013, but the use of more outside zone blocking in addition.
“One of the things as a scout that you learn is there\’s not a lot of big people that are athletic,” said Rooney. “So when you get those defensive linemen moving one direction, its hard for them to plant and get their foot back into the ground and come back and make the play. So what you\’re hoping is, the line starts moving, the backers start moving, this guy cuts back and maybe a backer runs into a defensive lineman as he\’s trying to go make a play.”
Rooney really is optimistic about the upcoming season as he believes the defense can carry load while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger gets the offense rolling. Despite his optimism, however, there is one team that scares him in the AFC.
“I would have to say that the team that scares me is the Ravens,” he said. I just like the way their built.”
You can hear the entire interview with Rooney below.