Former NFL player and coach Herm Edwards appeared on ESPN Radio this morning and offered a different take on the Ben Roethlisberger story, criticizing the Pittsburgh Steelers for overlooking Roethlisberger’s bad actions while the Steelers were winning Super Bowls but now trying to kick Roethlisberger when he’s down by trying to trade him.
“As a coach and a guy who’s been in this league for 30 years, and understands about protecting the shield, I agree with the commissioner about suspending Ben,” Edwards said. “But what I don’t get is rumors about Ben being traded.”
Edwards said that as a coach he would have tried to get involved in personally helping Roethlisberger at the first hint of off-field problems — even if that hint came at a time when Roethlisberger was winning a Super Bowl.
“He has a problem,” Edwards said. “When the Pittsburgh Steelers won two Super Bowl trophies, he probably had those problems.”
Edwards questioned whether the Steelers are really doing the right thing if they get rid of Roethlisberger.
“We preach the team is a family,” Edwards said. “When your son gets a DUI and wrecks the car, do you take him to the adoption agency and say you don’t want him as your son anymore?”
Edwards noted that he has two daughters and doesn’t want to sound like he’s condoning anything Roethlisberger did, but he also said that he thinks the ownership and coaching staff should have been working with Roethlisberger to try to get him to see that he needs to change the way he acts off the field.
“I made it my business to understand what players have issues,” Edwards said. “Those are the guys that you reach out to.”