Name, intent of NFL's 'Steelers rule' isn't fine with Dan Rooney

Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney doesn't like two things about the NFL's crackdown on flagrant hits.

First, Rooney believes "there's too many things involved" to allow the league to fine teams for their players' on-field behavior. And second, he dislikes people associating that initiative by naming it after his Steelers, although he doesn't believe the NFL specifically is picking on the team.

"I don't think (the NFL is) calling it the 'Steelers rule;' I think the press is," Rooney told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review on Friday. "It's just one of those things where you have to play and just do what you have to do."

What one Steeler, linebacker James Harrison, did last season was make hits that drew four fines for a total of $100,000. Harrison, linebacker LaMarr Woodley and wide receiver Hines Ward all have spoken out against the league's increased emphasis on hits.

NFL officials said at last week's spring meeting in Indianapolis that teams whose players repeatedly deliver flagrant hits will be fined. The league also hasn't ruled out stripping teams of draft picks as punishment.

If the Steelers receive such punishment next season, Rooney won't be around to deal with it. He said Friday that he'll likely remain the U.S. ambassador to Ireland for one more year. His son, Art Rooney II, is running the team.

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