What Art Rooney II spoke this week won't matter. What action he takes, that will matter.
So, to that end, oh, you bet, he's off to a lousy start.
Because in espousing accountability the other day at the Rooney Complex, saying, "When you miss the playoffs, nobody gets absolved — coaches, players, scouts, front office," he also was fresh off singling out one favorite media outlet for a one-on-one questioning the previous week. Say what one will about Mike Tomlin's press conferences or Kevin Colbert's lack of accessibility, neither would pull a bush-league stunt like that. Especially not so soon after what should have been an embarrassing, humbling episode for all concerned. When those two are available, they're available to face questioning from everyone.
Once all major outlets were eventually invited to meet with Rooney, our Dale Lolley asked the owner about the perception that his team's setting has become circus-like, and this was his response: “As far as I’m concerned, it’s nonsense. We work hard to get to where we are. I think you evaluate the season, we didn’t achieve our goal of winning the division, but we finished a half-game of winning the division. We had a lot of opportunities to get there. It’s disappointing, but I’m not sure how that makes you a circus.”
This, not surprisingly, generated the bulk of the public fuss afterward. Which is one of countless reasons that facing questioning from everyone comes with real value.
That aside ... I know this won't be popular, but I'll agree with Rooney on this specific stance.
There isn't a circus. There's never been a circus.