The 2013 Pittsburgh Steelers limped into their bye week with an 0-4 record that included losses to the Tennessee Titans and the Minnesota Vikings. It might not have been rock bottom, but it certainly wasn’t how the team figured the season would start. Fast-forward to the end of the regular season, and the Steelers came out with a respectable 8-8 record and had an outside shot at actually making the playoffs.
It appears that the latter is what stuck out most for President Art Rooney II in 2013. He told Steelers Digest that overall he liked the direction his team was heading in.
“I certainly liked the way we finished,” said Rooney in his first interview since the end of the regular season. “As far as I’m concerned, we should be in the playoffs. On the other side of it, we made our bed. Unfortunately, we got off to a slow start. I liked the way we finished, I liked the fact we got better as the season went on, which is what you want. You want a team that’s playing its best at the end. I think for the most part that’s what we did, and that leaves me excited for next season already. We’re looking forward to getting started on preparing for next year.”
Rooney gave coach Mike Tomlin a thumbs up for his work with the team as well.
“I thought Mike did a very good job in the sense that even though we created our own situation (with the 0-4 start), our team continued to play hard through adversity,” said Rooney. “That’s not always easy to do. They continued to fight, continued to believe in themselves, and most of that is a tribute to Mike and the kind of coaches and players we have here.”