Steelers’ Art Rooney II hints at defensive play-calling changes with new coordinator

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With the lone exceptions of individual play of T.J. Watt and Cam Heyward, the Pittsburgh Steelers defense was wildly inconsistent in the 2021 season.

Most presumed that defensive coordinator Keith Butler was to blame until Butler confirmed what was speculated for months: Mike Tomlin makes in-game calls on defense.

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Controlling Steelers defense nothing new for HC Mike Tomlin

In a press conference with Steelers media on Friday, team president Art Rooney said changes could be coming along with the new defensive coordinator.

As ESPN’s Brook Pryor tweeted: “Coach Tomlin inserts himself where he needs to,” Rooney said. “He and coordinators have to work out the best way for plays to be called … As we change defensive coordinators now, there may be some changes in how coach Tomlin handles that.”

The Steelers will never attract a top defensive play-caller if Tomlin doesn’t relinquish control.

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