2022 Offseason Questions: Is It Time For Art Rooney Jr. To Get His Due?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2021 season is over, already eliminated from the postseason after suffering a 42-21 loss at the hands of Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They just barely made the postseason with a 9-7-1 record and a little help from their friends.

This is an offseason of major change, with the retirement of Ben Roethlisberger, the possible retirement of general manager Kevin Colbert, and the decisions about the futures of many important players to be made, such as Joe Haden, Stephon Tuitt, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and others—some already decided, some not.

Aside from exploring their options at the quarterback position, the top global priority, once again, figures to be addressing the offensive line, which they did not do quite adequately enough a year ago. Dan Moore Jr. looks like he may have a future as a full-time starter, but Kendrick Green was clearly not ready. Chukwuma Okorafor was re-signed, but Trai Turner was not. James Daniels and Mason Cole were added in free agency.

These are the sorts of topics among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked. There is rarely a concrete answer, but this is your venue for exploring the topics we present through all their uncertainty.

Question: Is it time for Art Rooney Jr. to get his due?

Art Rooney Jr.’s name came up yesterday on a list of semifinalists in the contributor section for the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2023. A lot of you might not really be sure just exactly who Art Rooney Jr. is, even if his name might sound obnoxiously familiar.

Well, he is of the generation between The Chief and Art Rooney II. He is Art II’s uncle, Dan’s brother, and The Chief’s son, let’s put it that way. But he was also an incredibly important part of the organization. I say was not because he’s no longer with us (literally or figuratively), but because his title of Vice President of the organization is likely largely ceremonial at this point.

But he was pretty damn important. You know how these days we all give Bill Nunn so much credit for building the Steelers dynasty of the 1970s? Well, Art Jr. was Nunn’s boss, as Personnel Director from 1965 to 1986.

Dan Rooney gets most of the credit for changing the culture of the organization, but his brother, Art Jr., was also hugely integral in, let’s say, cleaning up some of the soft spots in The Chief’s approach to doing business, and finding the right people to run things.

Dan is in the Hall of Fame. Art Sr. is in the Hall of Fame. Nunn is in the Hall of Fame. Art Jr. was hugely important in building those Super Bowl teams and transforming the culture of the organization as well, and frankly, doesn’t seem to get talked about enough. Will the Pro Football Hall of Fame put him where he belongs?

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