Transcript: Art Rooney II Reflects On Coach Cowher

<b>ART ROONEY II</b> <br><br> I'm pleased to announce this morning that we have agreed on a contract extension for Coach Cowher. It is a two-year extension, which means Coach Cowher will be under contract through the 2007 season. We're excited about the upcoming season, as well as future seasons.

We have a lot of young players on the roster and we feel that Coach Cowher will do a great job in developing these young players into a championship-caliber football team. That's why we're pleased to be able to extend the contract and have the stability that he's brought to us for at least four more years.

Q: What made you decide to extend it?
A: I think there are a lot of reasons. As I mentioned, I think the most important reason was that we feel that with the number of young players we have on this team it would be important to have stability and having them come along and develop, so I think that would be the most important reason I would give.

Q: Do you feel you can contend this year?
A: Sure. I think we have a good team. We're confident about the team we can put on the field this year and we certainly feel we'll be able to contend this year.

Q: What does it say for having stability in a coach? Is it a better way?
A: We do feel like stability's important in this day and age, particularly at the coaching level where our overall philosophy can remain consistent year in and year out. We have a system now where players come and go. I think the best way to deal with that is to have coaching stability and we think that the record our two coaches have had over that period of time (36 years) has proven that it's a pretty good way to go about it.

Q: When did you make the decision that you wanted to enter negotiations?
A: We always take our time with these types of decisions, so we always look at things through the off-season. We began the discussions sometime in early May. It was somewhere in that time frame that we decided to go ahead and start having these conversations.

Q: Since he had two years left on his contract, why not wait until after this season?
A: There are a lot of reasons. I can't go into every one of them. I think we looked at where we were as a team and an organization and we thought about where we were going through the off-season and we just felt like rather than wait another year we were very comfortable that Bill was the right person for the job for an additional number of years. Again, there are a lot of good, young players hopefully coming up that we feel that he and the staff he's put together will do a good job with. That's the most important reason.

Q: What do you like about Bill?
A: Well, there are a lot of things about Bill I think he does a good job on. Number one, he wins a lot more games than he loses. That's certainly the thing we look at most importantly. I think that where Bill is in his career he's at a point where he's made enough money, he's raised his family, he's been successful. There's really only one thing left for him to do and we feel he can do it here, and that's win a championship. I think that's what it comes down to.

Q: Do you believe your coach can win a championship for you?
A: We certainly believe Bill can do that and with the cast of players developing here we think we'll have a chance to do that hopefully in the course of the next four years.

Q: Did he get a raise?
A: Yes, he got a raise.

Q: How are the negotiations with Ben Roethlisberger coming along?
A: I would say normal for this time of year, and ongoing.

Steel City Insider Top Stories