Steelers president Art Rooney II reflects on ‘unusual’ 2019 season

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers President Art Rooney II met one-on-one with Channel 11’s Alby Oxenreiter to reflect on what many fans say was both a disappointing and encouraging season.

Rooney himself even referred to it as “unusual,” after going through three quarterbacks and nearly getting to the playoffs.

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The Steelers struggled offensively without Ben Roethlisberger and other key players, but the defense really shined.

“I was proud of the guys for hanging in there and fighting through adversity,” Rooney said. “It’s too bad we couldn’t carry through there in the last few games of the season, but we were in it down to the last game. And it was a great effort by them to keep fighting.”

That fight fell short and left them open to possibly being selected as the NFL team for HBO’s “Hard Knocks” series this upcoming season. Rooney said candidly that while the Steelers have no choice in the matter, they would rather not be a part of it.

“If it gets made and we’re selected, we’ll have to make the best of it. It’s not something we’re necessarily looking forward to, but it’s something different teams have gone through and survived. So, like I said, we’ll have to find a way to make the best of it,” said Rooney.

As for Ryan Shazier, Rooney told Channel 11 he’s been doing great work -- helping coach and scout for the team -- and they want him to stay with the organization.

“We’re talking with Ryan. As time goes on here over the next few weeks, we’ll be finalizing some plans with Ryan, and we’d love to have him continue with the team -- and we’ll be making that decision over the next few weeks along with Ryan,” he said.

Watch the full interview with the Steelers’ president in the video above.