There was a pleasant attack on Fraud Graham (Yes, I would like to make that one stick) from the Steelers.
The Steelers practically threw a party when they heard that Pitt coach Todd Graham quit. That goes from the top to the bottom, from those who work in the offices to the coaches and every-day workers who came into contact with Graham and his staff in the building.
They described Graham as an arrogant man who had no use for anything the Steelers might have offered, and they say he resented having to share the building and the indoor practice field at the UPMC complex with them.
Before Graham, the Panthers and the Steelers ate in the same cafeteria, although at different times. Graham came in and put an end to that. The cooks at the cafeteria still prepare the food for the Panthers, but it is then brought over to the other side of the building, where Pitt created its own cafeteria to serve Graham’s players and his wishes.
Instead of embracing the advantages that an association with the Steelers might bring, Graham rejected them, even if there was little he could do about the shared facilities. That really came down to just sharing the indoor practice field and the parking lots because everything else is separate, including weight rooms, outdoor practice fields, locker rooms, etc. It’s one building, but it’s really two, like a big duplex.
I admit, I don’t understand the resentment. Other than the fact that just about every college football headcoach has at least a touch of “little dictator” in him and hates the idea of not controlling everything.
One thing I will caution about this hit piece. Despite the Pitt/Steelers shared Southside complex, there has yet to be a coach for Pitt that has done much with the Steelers side. Walt Harris, Dave Wannstedt and now Fraud Graham. None — and it never comes out until after they are gone — seem to interact much with the Steelers side. Graham seemed to have taken it to another place, but it isn’t entirely atypical.
For a pro football coach — from a position to the head coach — there just isn’t much time for much else. Especially at work. They’re in film. Meetings. Non-stop. And it is much the same for college coaches. Only with recruiting
Think about Jabaal Sheard talking before the Browns-Steelers game. Eating in the cafeteria and little else.
The shared facilities are a great selling point for recruits and is a very cost effective thing. But even the Steelers beat writer admits that it is a duplex. That suggests more like seeing each other in the parking lot more than in the hallways.
Also, I would dismiss that suggestion that Pitt consult the Steelers and Rooneys for the next coach. That was pretty much how Tom Bradley got his interview last year. And dear god no to this bit:
While they were at it, Pederson might even think of asking Rooney if he had anyone on his current coaching staff who might make a good candidate.