The quarterback is the position that’s given the most responsibility and pressure. Every quarterback on every team always has the spotlight on them. Whether they’re Tom Brady and they constantly bring home Lombardis or they’re the quarterback of the Browns just waiting for the next guy to take over so they can be removed from their front-row seat to the pain and suffering, they’re supposed to lead by example.
Quarterbacks are expected to be the veterans you learn from. The kind of classy field generals that can handle whatever you throw their way with poise and aplomb while putting their players in the best position to succeed. If you mold all those characteristics together and search far and wide across the globe for the polar opposite player, you will find yourself in Pittsburgh, staring face to face with Ben Roethlisberger.
It’s not easy being a leader. Not everyone was born for it, and not everyone succeeds at it. Some people can look at being a leader and handle it the same way Charles Barkley handled the idea of him being a role model — just because you throw a football doesn’t mean you should lead players. While molding your professional identity around Barkley may be one of the worst ideas on the docket, it’s completely acceptable to fail to lead your players. What isn’t acceptable is bashing and berating your teammates the way Roethlisberger does.
For some reason, this man has been viewed as a solid leader. Maybe it’s because he can escape the pocket and drive his team down the field to win games. Maybe it’s because he wins over and over again, whether it’s in the courtroom fighting off rape allegations or on the football field picking apart defenses. People usually overlook certain flaws and behaviors as they dazzle longingly at the way the light bounces off a player’s Super Bowl ring, but it’s hard to ignore the way Roethlisberger hands situations with teammates outside of the locker room.
Roethlisberger: Antonio Brown created "distraction that none of us really need" https://t.co/KzqBd1Nr2L
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 3, 2017
Roethlisberger handles his business like a pissed off Kardashian that was just told she can’t date another NBA player. Look at his dispute with Antonio Brown. Brown, one of the biggest stars in the league, is no stranger to temper tantrums himself. In fact, the entire reason this incident came up is because AB went fully nuclear on the sidelines after Roethlisberger missed him in the middle of the field.
He then proceeded to swat his offensive coordinator’s hands away during his tirade so quickly it would’ve made Mister Miyagi envy his wax-on wax-off technique. Roethlisberger seemed to take the high road initially by saying things were fine during a post-game interview
“It goes a lot further than throwing a temper tantrum.”
Ben Roethlisberger on Antonio Brown’s sideline reaction
The fact that this man had the audacity to then say he wished Brown approached him first just shows how big of a sh*t-bag teammate he is. To complain about someone airing the team’s dirty laundry while he was in the middle of a radio show calling out his wide receiver is the Webster’s Dictionary definition of the word “hypocrite”.
The fact of the matter is, Roethlisberger is the GOAT of calling out his teammates instead of dealing with things internally. If there was a Mount Rushmore of poorly handling incidents with people on his team, his big dumb face would be up there four different times.
Just this offseason, Roethlisberger called out Le’Veon Bell not once, but twice.
Le'Veon Bell may not be happy about Tuesday's comments from Ben Roethlisberger to reporters https://t.co/7SrBAtYe49
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 24, 2017
First, Roethlisberger brought up the fact that he was worried about his star running back missing OTAs while he was holding out. Of course, instead of just keeping it inside closed doors, Big Ben put a divide between Bell and the rest of the team by saying he needed to be on the field for “chemistry reasons.”
Everything is filled with passive-aggressive anger where he’s acting like he’s wishing for the best for his teammates, but is really dragging them face first through the mud. Don’t think Roethlisberger is passive aggressive yet? Then you must not remember how he called out Bell once he came back claiming he wasn’t in football shape.
— theScore (@theScore) August 23, 2017
That’s the equivalent of a girl saying “Really? You’re gonna wear that?” when someone they’re probably pissed at is trying something on before going out. It’s ludicrous to think that this man can ever be considered a team player the way he’s calling out his superstar teammates each and every day, let alone a leader. Leaders are supposed to support their teammates, not seek out public apologies for things that can be handled internally.
Take two: Roethlisberger says Martavis Bryant “has to win back everybody’s trust” https://t.co/AIoSoQHEwh
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) May 5, 2017
The problem with Roethlisberger and these constant negative interactions between him and his teammates is that he’s not the one who starts it. Brown was the one who threw a fit on the sidelines, Bell was the one who wasn’t at OTAs, and Bryant was the one who missed a season with a suspension.
The blame is theirs to start, but it’s up to a leader to handle it differently. Instead, Roethlisberger sort of acts like the rat in your class who keeps bringing up the mistakes that you’ve made. This man has to be public enemy No. 1 for the Pittsburgh fire department; he’s constantly throwing gasoline onto every fire that starts around that team.
He has no problem bringing up the mistakes of his teammates and how they’re getting in his way of focusing on the season, but let’s not forget this is the same guy that was accused of rape on multiple occasions.
Can't think of any times when Ben Roethlisberger created a distraction https://t.co/ek84yj9a4B
— Dan Woike (@DanWoikeSports) October 3, 2017
Hopefully, there’s a stool big enough in Pittsburgh to help Roethlisberger off of his high f**king horse.
He’s scolded Brown for punching a Gatorade cooler, called out Bell for missing offseason training, and said Bryant had to gain the team’s trust back, yet has no problem going full out Bill Cosby on girls. Everyone has their own moral code, but when yours is clearly f**ked up, maybe it’s the smart thing to do to staple your mouth shut.
Teammates may have been upset with Roethlisberger for the distractions he caused earlier in his career, but he was still accepted back into Pittsburgh with open arms. Now, he’s in a position to lead these players whether he likes it or not, and still chooses to not side with his teammates. This team is supposed to form together like a family, and instead, Roethlisberger constantly brings them apart, just like he did after the National Anthem protests.
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) September 26, 2017
This is not an argument about Roethlisberger’s stance on the Anthem protests. It’s about the Steelers joining together to make a unified statement as a team, and him undermining every single thing they did by coming out and going against their movement.
Again, for someone with a moral compass that strictly faces south, he sure is vocal about the actions of others.
Ben Roethlisberger couldn't sleep because of the protests. Wonder how his rape victims sleep.
— Joe Seiders (@JoeSeiders) September 25, 2017
Who knows why the veteran quarterback does it. It’s clearly not just about going against his teammates, as he brought attention on himself more than anyone else this weekend by saying he possibly doesn’t have it anymore. He even debated retiring early in the offseason.
It could just be a matter of him never knowing the right thing to say in any sort of situation ever. If someone hasn’t written a “Speaking To The Media For Dummies” book yet, please do. Whether he reads it or not, one thing couldn’t be more apparent over the years: Roethlisberger never has been and never will be a leader.