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Steelers GM Colbert defends owner Rooney

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert took pains this week to defend his boss, team owner and president Art Rooney II, from whispers of meddlesome behavior.

Rooney took heat last month after he dismissed offensive coordinator Bruce Arians reportedly against the wishes of Mike Tomlin and Ben Roethlisberger.

When the big boss man steps in to overrule his Super Bowl-winning coach and star quarterback, questions are sure to follow: Do we have the next George Steinbrenner on our hands? Is there a power struggle here? When does the record-setting Jumbotron go up?

Colbert buried that chatter.

"Art Rooney obviously is the owner of the team and the president of the team," Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette this week. "Of course he's going to be in the loop on every decision as any chief operating officer would be of any corporation. I think to say he is meddlesome or dictating every decision I think is very inaccurate.

"A lot of decisions are made around here with a collective effort and, in our end, when we're talking about players, it's a collective effort between myself, coach Tomlin and Art, and that's the way we do business."

Colbert's been around the block and he promised the Steelers haven't shifted in tone or function from when Dan Rooney, Art's father, ran the show.

"It hasn't changed a bit since I've been here in 12 years," he said. "Of course, (Art) Rooney went from president to chairman, but the philosophy and operating procedures have not changed one bit."

Arians has moved on to join the Colts, and the Steelers have replaced him with Todd Haley and begun looking forward. None of this is surprising. Pittsburgh has served as a model of consistency for decades, with the occasional offseason drama quickly addressed, packaged away and wiped from memory in time to win football games come September.

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