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On the Steelers: Tomlin claims responsibility for releasing, hiring new coordinator on Astini News

March 28, 2012 3:00 pm

By Ed Bouchette / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Mike did it.

Long after Bruce Arians was pushed into "retirement" and the Steelers hired Todd Haley to replace him, coach Mike Tomlin stood up and claimed responsibility for both deeds.

It wasn't Art Rooney II with the broom in the boardroom, but the head coach who swept out Arians as his offensive coordinator and offered the job to Haley.

And those who doubt those stories don't have a clue, at least that's how Tomlin sees it.

"I thought that it was time for change," Tomlin said Tuesday, speaking about the subject publicly for the first time.

"We're moving into a situation here where we have an opportunity to grow and develop some young talent offensively. It's awesome to have an opportunity to maybe have the division of some common opponents -- people who are comfortable with how you play football -- get uncomfortable. That's what's going to happen to us this year. We're excited about that.

"More than anything, I'm not going to apologize for change. That's football. I think all of us in this industry understand that, and our intentions are that it changed for the better."

The Steelers announced Jan. 20 that Arians had "retired." They announced Haley's hiring Feb. 7. A story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Tomlin had told Arians he wanted him back and that Arians wanted to return but that Rooney put the brakes to that.

Tomlin stated emphatically that both decisions were his, that neither came at the behest of the Steelers president.

"He didn't," Tomlin said of Rooney having influence in Arians leaving. "I don't know where some of these perceptions come from. I don't break my neck to try to combat them in any way. I don't know where they come from.

"And I hired Todd Haley as well, which is your next question, which is another funny one to me. And don't get me wrong, of course, Art Rooney owns the football team, he can do what he wants to do, but those directives did not happen."

Tomlin held a news conference the day after the Steelers lost a playoff game Jan. 8 in Denver -- stating that day he thought both coordinators would return for 2012. He has been mostly silent since then in his public discourse. He made a few remarks when Haley was introduced at a news conference but took no questions. He also has been interviewed on, the team's website, about some matters.

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