Art Rooney II on the schedule

<b>ART ROONEY II<br><br></b> The president of the Steelers met with the media to discuss the team's 2005 schedule. Here's the transcript:

What was your reaction to the Monday night games?
Well we expected a lot of Monday night games and really a lot of national exposure games on the schedule, so we kind of expected it and we're looking forward to it.

On holiday games:
I guess we're going to be part of everybody's holiday. Two years in a row on Halloween. It was pretty good to us last year so maybe it'll work again this year.

Is it a double-edged sword with the tougher schedule?
It's kind of the reward and the curse, playing that many Monday night and Sunday night and 4:15 games. I think most of the coaches would at least like to have everything at one o'clock but it goes with the territory and you have to be prepared for the challenge.

Was the schedule release an even bigger deal this year?
Well, it has gotten to be a bigger deal every year, and I think this year in particular people were very anxious to see where we were going to be. I think it's a good schedule. Opening up at home is always a good thing. Then we come back with our second home game against New England. We'll be off to an interesting start right there in the early part of the season, and then later we go to a couple of places we haven't been to for a long time, Green Bay and Minnesota, so those will be some interesting road games.

On being the first team to play in San Diego on Monday night since 1996:
We get to be the team that goes to the West Coast for Monday night, which is always the dreaded trip. But as we've been saying, you have to be prepared for those challenges. The good teams find a way to be ready.

Is the schedule overrated at this time of the year?
There's a lot of anticipation, particularly for a team coming off a playoff year. I think with two home nationally televised games, people around here have something to be excited about. I think our fans around the country will have an easy time finding us.

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