DALLAS -- In the wake of the snippet in
The clarification is
Now for three questions many of you have posed to me via e-mail and on Twitter, and my answers, in the wake of the story:
For the past 14 years, since I started writing Monday Morning Quarterback, I've used the column, in part, as a repository for the information I felt was worthwhile that I couldn't get in the magazine that week. And this was the week the magazine chose to use my story on Goodell. So I used stuff in my Monday column -- from Paul Tagliabue about the 2006 negotiations that led to these labor issues, from two owners worried Goodell is working too hard, to what Goodell wants his tombstone to say, to the nugget about Roethlisberger -- to bring what I considered good information to the public.
The interview when Goodell mentioned Roethlisberger was done in New York on Jan. 7. A lot of people have asked why Goodell would talk about this at all. I spent a lot of time with Goodell since I began reporting the story in early November, and we talked about many issues, from his grade-school days to today.
Great journalism lesson here, and it illustrates what a mistake I made. My question on the transcribed interview before Goodell's answer referred to the "many people I know in Pittsburgh'' who wanted Roethlisberger "on the Steelers.'' In Goodell's answer, I assumed he was referring to the Steelers when he referred to the players he spoke with before sanctioning Roethlisberger. You know what they say about assumptions. I should have asked him if he meant the Steelers.
I've spoken to Roethlisberger's agent, Ryan Tollner, relaying my regrets. And Tuesday afternoon, I spoke with Steelers co-owner Art Rooney II, head coach Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger to clarify my remarks.
I take errors seriously. This story is a good cautionary tale about making assumptions, and I'll redouble my efforts to not do so in the future.
Tweetup information: I'll be at The Common Table, 2917 Fairmount, in Uptown Dallas on Thursday night from 7:30-9 central time. Stay tuned to @SI_PeterKing for more information. I hope to bring along at least one NFL player and a couple of scribes, but follow me on Twitter in the next day or so, and I'll let you know who will be there with me.
Now for your e-mail:
• IT'S A COINCIDENCE.
I think the 3-4 is gaining momentum leaguewide, and it's fair to look at the reasons. I like that Green Bay's Dom Capers uses three players who could play the nose in a 3-4 on the field at the same time (B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Howard Green); that helped gain an advantage over the Chicago running game in the NFC Championship, and I expect Capers to use that at times to try to shut down Rashard Mendenhall in the Super Bowl. As far as more teams adopting it, you saw Mike Shanahan do it in Washington before last season, and you could see more of it this year. But the fact that there could be limited offseason classroom and practice time due to a possible work stoppage may prevent most teams from making major schematic changes in 2011.
• I LIKE THE COMBINE. BUT HOUR AFTER HOUR OF WATCHING GUYS RUN 40s?
I don't hate the combine. I enjoy my three days there every year. I was referring to people -- like a good friend from New Jersey -- who watch NFL Network for hours of combine coverage all weekend. Stuns me. How many times can you watch some 327-pound guard run between orange cones? Maybe that's why the NFL's so big -- because so many people want to study that stuff.
• BAN TWITTER? HERESY!
Interesting point. I don't think teams will ban Twitter use, but I do think team PR folks, when players gather for the first time this year (whenever that is) at a full squad meeting, will have Twitter use on the agenda. NFL teams want their players to be more accessible to fans, and many teams love the personal touch of Twitter. But it's obviously dangerous too, because knee-jerk reactions can often be tinged with regret.
• HE QUESTIONS THE RAVENS.
The reason Zorn got let go, reading the tea leaves, is because his teaching methods didn't mesh with offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's, and the Ravens feared Joe Flacco getting different messages from the coaching staff. Firing another coach wouldn't have addressed that problem.
And the Super Bowl has always been such a great vacation, too. I will put away the Kleenex, Joe.