Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rooney to Judge Feasibility of a London-Based Team

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rooney to Judge Feasibility of a London-Based Team

Article excerpt


While several of his players shuddered at the thought of teams playing eight games a year across the Atlantic Ocean, Steelers president Art Rooney II said it is still too early to decide if the NFL should consider placing a franchise in London.

"It's still something we're exploring," Rooney said Friday after coach Mike Tomlin and several players took part in a morning news conference at a London hotel. "There are challenges to it, but this will be an interesting experience for me to really evaluate that and see how it affects the team and see if it's something that can be done eight times a year."

This is the first year the NFL will play two regular-season games in London. Rooney said the league might add another in 2014 and play three games at Wembley Stadium -- the site of the game Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings.

He was asked if the travel, time change and logistical planning were worth it for just one game.

"We'll see. It's going to take time to evaluate that. It's a process of evaluating whether we can keep doing this. London is a great city, so obviously it would be a great market to have a franchise. But certainly there are challenges, schedule-wise, that we're still trying to digest."

LaMarr Woodley, who complained he got only two hours of sleep on the overnight flight, was asked what he thought about a team that would have to make eight such trips a year if a franchise was placed in London.

"It would be rough," Woodley said. "I'm lucky I'm in Pittsburgh. I don't have to worry about that."


Tomlin said tight end Heath Miller, who was limited in practice Thursday, is fine and had no setback after making his return from offseason ACL surgery.

Tomlin said he purposely limited Miller's workload in practice Thursday because he practiced in pads on Wednesday.

"It wasn't in response to anything negative in any way," Tomlin said. "I wanted him to [practice in] pads on our padded practice day on Wednesday and wanted to give him the opportunity to recover from it on Thursday."


Rookie running back Le'Veon Bell is scheduled to make his NFL debut against the Vikings, barring any last-minute setback, and several of his offensive linemen are eager to see him in the lineup. …

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