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With Ben coming back, his teammates' arms may not be open wide

On Monday, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will return from his four-game suspension for violating the league’s Personal Conduct Policy.

And as he returns, the question is whether and to what extent he’ll be accepted by his teammates.

On one hand, the Steelers need him.  Even with Charlie Batch playing well, Ben gives the team the best option to keep winning.

On the other hand, Ben still has work to do to get back in the good graces of his teammates. 

There’s reason to believe that things won’t be as hunky and/or dory as the team’s success would suggest.  As one league source pointed out, Roethlisberger and former Steelers teammate Santonio Holmes, who both were suspended four games at the same time, spent no time working out together in the past month.  The source, who has knowledge of the dynamic between Roethlisberger and Holmes, explained it this way:  “It would be very hard to find a player who played with [Roethlisberger] who likes him.”

Perhaps not coincidentally, Roethlisberger has been working on improving his relationship with his teammates, and specifically his linemen. One source who personally observed the dynamic between Roethlisberger and his offensive linemen at a meal in the preseason concluded that the attempt by the quarterback to cozy up to his teammates looked forced and contrived.  Still, Ben will continue to try to reverse any and all damage from past seasons.

In this regard, the key could be quarterback Charlie Batch.  Ben and Batch have a close relationship, and Batch’s success as Ben’s short-term replacement (since Dennis Dixon was injured in Week Two) likely will give Batch even more authority in the locker room.  If/when Batch tells the rest of the guys to let bygones be bygones, they’re more likely to do it.

Making it even more important is the fact that the Steelers are winning — and that they need nothing to distract them from the success they’ve had.  So the players need to put the past in their behinds and move forward.

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52 Responses to “With Ben coming back, his teammates' arms may not be open wide”
  1. dldove77 says: Oct 3, 2010 1:50 PM

    How many Steelers’ articles can you guys write each day?

  2. HereThere says: Oct 3, 2010 1:52 PM

    Yeah, cuz otherwise, they might not have their five upcoming undefeated seasons, isn’t that right you couch-burning tool?

  3. Steeler says: Oct 3, 2010 1:54 PM

    This story feels forced and contrived.

  4. HarrisonHits says: Oct 3, 2010 2:01 PM

    When you’re a dick to everyone around you as Ben apparently was, funny how you don’t have many friends when you really need them.

  5. gazretired says: Oct 3, 2010 2:01 PM

    Stir the pot, Florio. No news, just rumor.

  6. steeler560 says: Oct 3, 2010 2:23 PM

    Hmmmm…I thought Ben and the oline have ALWAYS been very close. Also Kiesel and Heath Miller are said to be very close to Ben off the field.
    Who are PFTs wacky sources???? All BS!

  7. Steeler fans are tools says: Oct 3, 2010 2:25 PM

    I’m sure the beastly Pitt women will have their arms open. Bring a razor Ben, you don’t want that moustache ride.

  8. Freamon says: Oct 3, 2010 2:25 PM

    With Ben coming back, his teammates’ arms may not be open wide
    ———————-
    lol, what? Aside from this laughable article, no sources are listed which just makes this sad. Think before you hit ‘publish’ Florio.

  9. RaiderChile says: Oct 3, 2010 2:28 PM

    Montana and Rice didn’t like each other but still put up numbers and won titles that made them the best at their positions. Rich Ganon wasn’t the most popular guy in the Raiders locker room either.
    Lots of the best players are not the most popular teammates. They demand more from the others around them. But that’s what makes them great. Manning isn’t the most popular either especially when he gets irritated by a player choking on a pass.
    Big Ben might be a jerk and unpopular but why would you / should you care about that crap if he’s winning games and winning 2 titles. What a bunch of babies griping about this garbage.

  10. Chiefs2010 says: Oct 3, 2010 2:32 PM

    the dude’s the reason they won two superbowls..
    his “teammates” are expendable, he isn’t.

  11. funi says: Oct 3, 2010 2:32 PM

    1. Vick KILLED animals= welcomed to open arms
    2. Vick went to federal prison= welcomed with opened arms
    3. Vick is winning games vs. bad def= welcomed with opened arms
    4. Vick admits he never tried hard in Atlanta= welcomed with open arms
    5. Ben never charged and won’t be welcomed back???

  12. realitypolice says: Oct 3, 2010 2:40 PM

    As one league source pointed out, Roethlisberger and former Steelers teammate Santonio Holmes, who both were suspended four games at the same time, spent no time working out together in the past month.
    ===============
    Umm……whaa……huh….?
    Why the hell would they? They’re not teammates anymore, and who knows if they were ever close?
    I mean, is anyone who works in a company with 53+ employees ever close with all of them?
    Of all of the ridiculous reaches I’ve seen in my years reading this site, this is by far the most embarrassing.
    I mean, seriously. Even if every member of the Steelers hates BR (which I doubt- wasn’t at least one Steeler in Milledgeville with him that night?) They all want to win.
    And there is no question who gives them the best opportunity to do that.

  13. CaptainFantastik says: Oct 3, 2010 2:47 PM

    Wow Florio, this is a new low for you. This is quite possibly the dumbest and most baseless piece ever placed on the internet.

  14. marinewife says: Oct 3, 2010 2:55 PM

    First of all Ben is really close with the O-Line, secondly, Ben and Brett are the best of friends and even Hines admitted that Ben & Him text a few times doing Ben’s suspension… So where ever you got your sources, I think you need to find better ones…
    When I was Training camp this year, for a team that doesn’t like Ben, they sure where all joking around and having a great time….
    It’s time to let this go and enjoy the season….

  15. florioisadramaqueen5 says: Oct 3, 2010 3:05 PM

    LOL this clearly shows Florio is an idioit.

  16. majer says: Oct 3, 2010 3:16 PM

    Ben wasn’t charged who do all of you PERFECT people judging him think you are? I am a huge STEELER FAN and I can’t wait for him to come back our defense needs him more then ever. You all are jerks who are cutting Ben down he wasn’t even charged and all these other losers Ray Lewis T.O. all the druggies give me a break this girl was under age in a bar and drinking stop judging people and worry about yourself. I met Ben this summer he is an amazing person so shut the hell up and keep your mouth closed and for everyone else on here cutting him down you should be ashamed of yourself. Go Ben and Go Steelers I wish him the best when he comes back I’m feeling another SUPER BOWL. Big Florida Fan Marreen

  17. robsterNY says: Oct 3, 2010 3:21 PM

    YES….Florio is an idiot…*LOL*

  18. football311 says: Oct 3, 2010 3:46 PM

    It’s a shame NBC continues to allow trash like this to be published….

  19. Bdrunk says: Oct 3, 2010 4:02 PM

    Schism?

  20. J.T. says: Oct 3, 2010 4:08 PM

    Florio, you really need some new material bro. LOL

  21. Danwhitmer says: Oct 3, 2010 4:09 PM

    Hey Florio, can we write an article of howthe steelers are no longer in first :)

  22. Nasty says: Oct 3, 2010 4:09 PM

    “As one league source pointed out, Roethlisberger and former Steelers teammate Santonio Holmes, who both were suspended four games at the same time, spent no time working out together in the past month.”
    Is this league source aware that Santonio Holmes was permitted during the week to be at his teams complex in New York while Ben Roethlisberger was not?
    Why would Ben and Holmes be working out together in Pittsburgh when they play in different cities and Holmes can go into his building during the week?
    Morons.

  23. Einstein's mother says: Oct 3, 2010 4:10 PM

    Dude (Florio), shut up. Stop creating turmoil where there is none. This article just shows you have absolutely no idea what Ben and his teammates feel about him coming back. This is nothing but another of your hit-seeking pile of blog BS…

  24. Cup says: Oct 3, 2010 4:15 PM

    Ummmmm I guess Santonio hasn’t stopped smoking the green yet… I hear Ben is actually a fairly decent guy to fans and his teammates. He and Hines Ward have their little spats, but they still produce.
    I seem to remember hearing that Terry Bradshaw wasn’t much like either, by some of his teammates. It’s a JOB, not everyone is going to like everyone.

  25. Macadamia says: Oct 3, 2010 4:19 PM

    Who cares? The Ravens got that arse today regardless and they will again with Big Jen at QB.

  26. Macadamia says: Oct 3, 2010 4:20 PM

    Big Jen just ran a Batch WhichLeft his fellow teammates upset.

  27. Macadamia says: Oct 3, 2010 4:21 PM

    Waaaaaaaaaaaah! Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I’m a Stillers fan whose team just BLEW it by letting Joe Flacco win the game in the final minute.

  28. Troy p's hair says: Oct 3, 2010 4:25 PM

    Florio has a grudge against Ben Roethlisberger…I don’t know why, or what for, but he does. Every chance he gets to post negativity about Ben, fact or fiction, he does. Charlie Batch had one great game and struggled today. I think they will all be happy to have Ben back; back to being consistent, back at the helm and back on their team. Someone else posted how Vick and Lewis have been welcomed back, and they were accused and charged of much worse than what Ben was accused of. I am a lifelong Steeler fan and I will certainly be thrilled to have him back as our quarterback. We need him. He completes our team…and I would think the majority of the Steelers are in agreeance with me on that.

  29. c haller says: Oct 3, 2010 4:31 PM

    yeah this is the dumbest article ive ever seen, and that is coming from a ravens fan. who are your sources, the steelers ball boy?

  30. Macadamia says: Oct 3, 2010 4:31 PM

    Someone put an APB out on Hines Ward as he wasn’t smiling at the end of the game today.
    James Harrison slapped him mammy because he was so mad with roid rage.
    Big Jen ran a batch up in any Stillers fan who would accidentally bend over.
    Tomline pumped his fist but then realized he’s a black frog and not a prince.
    Ray Lewis rules.
    Joe Flacco to Housh seals the deal. Ravens #1 biatches!!!!!!!!

  31. Deb says: Oct 3, 2010 4:34 PM

    Florio, love, with much affection and all respect for building this wonderful site from scratch …
    Piss off!
    Welcome home, Ben.
    GO STEELERS!!!!!!!!

  32. Orpheus says: Oct 3, 2010 4:34 PM

    Are you guys for real? Nobody likes Ben. NOBODY. Have y’all turned blind eyes to the stories of his legendary self-serving behavior? He’s won two Super Bowls and even his offensive line can’t stand him. He’s a total douchebag. So, how is this not a story? Oh, everybody already knows what an ass he is. So, I guess you’re right. No news here.

  33. SteelTown-6 says: Oct 3, 2010 4:35 PM

    I think after Batch’s performance today, they’ll welcome him back just fine.
    / it could be worse, we could have lost to the Browns today / snicker

  34. steeler560 says: Oct 3, 2010 4:36 PM

    Ummm who’s the ‘tard that is giddy about the Steelers not in first? They’re STILL tied for first place and their franchise QB is coming back next week…
    Think about it dummies…where would Baltimore, Cincinatti, new England, Indy be without their starting QB? Not 3-1!

  35. SteelTown-6 says: Oct 3, 2010 4:43 PM

    somebody better give Macadamia a Depends before he pisses his pants…
    / I wonder if he’s outta hand lotion yet?

  36. steeler560 says: Oct 3, 2010 4:49 PM

    Hey wait Florio…you also say in your story that Batch and Ben are close but your “source” says it would be hard to find exposure who liked Ben….makes no sense! Doesxanyone really think Steelers would have lost if Ben was playing? Batch left a lot of plays on the field!

  37. Tobias Jodter says: Oct 3, 2010 5:13 PM

    Yep. This particular entry is another one in a long string of posts about Ben Roethlisberger by MF that appears to have been written for the sole purpose of stirring up controversy where none exists. NBC should be embarrassed to be associated with this kind of garbage. There is nothing other than meaningless, aimless, worthless and totally useless speculation in this non-newsworthy piece of drivel.
    Consider this: if Ben is ALREADY hated by his teammates and has been for years- what possible difference could it make if he is welcomed back or not? Ben and the Steelers have been doing pretty well the past 6 years despite any lack of love for Ben. Why is this going to be any different? Explain.
    Secondly, WHO was hanging out with Ben down in GA when the off-season trouble started. Oh yeah, it was an offensive lineman.

  38. majer says: Oct 3, 2010 5:15 PM

    Thank you Troy P’s hair great letter you’re amazing Robster NY You’re great also Macadamia you’re a complete idiot you sound like “white trash,” and Orpheus you’re the ass they should never write your trash you LOSER. And yes we lost today because we didn’t have BIG BEN grab a clue everybody it’s obvious we need him we held everybody until he could get back that’s because of the LOVE get over yourselves we will be #1. You all shut the hell up. Marreen

  39. Joe C says: Oct 3, 2010 5:26 PM

    I happen to completely agree with this article. Think about it. His irresponsible actions put his whole team in a real bind. And as we saw with the rotating merry-go-round at QB, the Steelers were VERY fortunate to go 3-1. They very easily could have went 1-3.
    If Ben steps back in and the offense catches up to the defense, then yes, most of these kinds of thoughts will subside quickly as winning cures (almost) all ills.
    However, given the way Cleveland played today, that’s no gimme, and then it’s 3 road games in a row (Miami, NO, Cin).
    I think it’s safe to say if the Steelers are 7-1 coming out of that stretch no one is going to be questioning the Steelers chemistry anymore.

  40. Steelersfan799 says: Oct 3, 2010 5:29 PM

    Florio, I don’t believe this article ONE BIT!!! You don’t know crap when it comes to Ben and his teammates. Are you in the locker room? Do you spend time with any of them? I imagine the answer to those questions are NO. You need to stick to writing what you do know, and stop your obession of writing about Ben on the things you do not know!!
    Ben’s teammates support him; and they will welcome him back! Shut your mouth, florio and only write about things you do know!!

  41. C.Bass says: Oct 3, 2010 5:40 PM

    “One league source”? Please, this isn’t Fox News Florio where they get around making statements up with “some people say” and “it’s being said that…”.
    Please stop the TMZ/Fox News/E-News “journalism”.

  42. Steelvegas says: Oct 3, 2010 8:15 PM

    Once again Florio shows what a jackass he is!!! Hey Florio,,have u ever played a sport in your life. Because I have never seen a journalist with such a lack of knowledge of the sport he covers. I would love to see how Florio would do on the NFL networks pregame or postgame show. The ex-players (SAPP) would eat him alive. TOOL!!!!

  43. khall says: Oct 3, 2010 8:21 PM

    So according to Florio’s anonymous source (gee, imagine that) Ben’s attempts to cozy up to his teammates look forced and contrived?
    I don’t know, they looked awfully happy to be with him in the photos (and from their comments) when he took most of the O-line to Chicago for a teammate’s birthday last year. They looked happy on his boat when he took them down to his vacation home for the weekend (which was shown on ESPN’s Inside the Lines), and they looked equally happy when he invited them to appear with him on WWE’s RAW last autumn….
    This was from teammate Chris Kemoeatu during training camp this summer:
    “Ben is like a brother. He’s like family. So we need him around. It’s always good to have Ben around. He motivates you. He’s one of our inspirations, and he’s one of our brothers, so it’s good to have him. It’s always good to see him in the mix with us.”
    I guess he didn’t get the Florio memo!
    As for Ben working out with Santonio? Why would they hook up when one in is PA and the other is in NY and can work out at his own facility? Ben worked out with QB coach George Whitfield for the past month:
    This is what he said last week about working with Ben:
    “It’s not like I have Mike Tomlin standing behind me to reinforce what I say. But I might as well have. Ben’s been very coachable. He’s fired up to do this. I was a little intimidated at first, because I didn’t know what to expect. But he’s excited to come to work every day when I’m with him, and he’s putting his time to good use.”
    This story was low even for you Florio, and that’s saying a lot!

  44. JohnnyUlives says: Oct 3, 2010 8:22 PM

    Poor little squeeler fans!!!!

  45. Spacemonkey says: Oct 3, 2010 9:04 PM

    Wow, look at all the angry new folks at the site. Welcome to ProFootballTalk, the football website launched by AN ATTORNEY. One who openly jokes about his hairdo and blatantly plugs his kid on the drums (who may well be the best person in the band, if you ask me).
    Come on fellas, these here articles are posted in a section called RUMOR MILL.
    Even I, a long-time Steelers fan (since around 1972 IIRC) – can laugh at an article like this. However the comments are perhaps even more entertaining than the article itself, thanks to you.
    “This website is a sham, this is all lies, you are all the spawn of Satan, OMFG WTF ROFL BBQ!!!11!”
    Good grief.
    Let me repeat again – this article was written BY AN ATTORNEY for a blog in a section called RUMOR MILL.
    Maybe y’all are just mad that you fell for that whole “hey I’m a random former general from Nigeria and need you to accept my five-bajillion-dollar wire transfer” thing and think that somehow this is all the fault of this here website.
    And yes, losing at home today to the Ravens was frustrating – even with a backup quarterback – but then again, hearing that the Browns beat the Bengals somehow makes the medicine easier to swallow.

  46. Deb says: Oct 3, 2010 9:27 PM

    JoeC …
    Wait just a minute … let’s inject some realism. Ben has engaged in some reckless behavior, but no more–and much less–than most other NFL players. That includes high-profile players whose behavior subsequent to Ben’s has been ignored.
    Reportedly, Ben has sometimes been an egotistical jackass to fans. But just as many accounts say he’s gone out of his way to accommodate fans and contribute to the community. He’s gotten publicly intoxicated and messed around with the groupies that flock to pro athletes. That’s unique???
    Bottom line: He never assaulted anyone. Nevada texted that their sex was consensual. DNA test proved there was no sex with Georgia. They lied–and that’s not unique either. It’s happened to Sanchez, Batch, Bettis, and a lot of other players. Twice to Michael Irvin. These guys are big targets. The media reported only the statements of the accuser & friends, none of the dozens of refuting statements or evidence. The public responded with torched and pitchforks, and Goodell bowed to the pressure. Ben was the first player ever suspended w/no prior disciplinary action or any arrest or charge. I don’t know that you can say he brought that on himself and the team. He may have triggered it, but he was largely a political scapegoat for the NFL’s effort to save face. Others have done much worse and been ignored.
    Personally, I’m glad for the suspension because I was concerned about some of his high-risk behavior. Left unchecked, that could get him killed. He needed a wakeup call, and if he’s genuinely taken it to heart, it will make him a better person and a better QB. But Goodell didn’t do this for Ben or for justice. He’s a political animal who did what was expedient. Right or wrong didn’t enter into it.
    By the same reasoning, Florio’s job is to get page hits, and Ben is a draw. That make this a worthwhile topic for a post … no matter how silly the premise.

  47. khall says: Oct 4, 2010 12:31 AM

    Hmmmmmm…..
    Defensive end Brett Keisel, Roethlisberger’s best friend on the team, said the quarterback has been “doing good” despite missing the game, the competition and the camaraderie with his teammates for the past month.
    “Getting anyone that has done what he’s done back is going to be great for us,” Keisel said. “We’ll just welcome him with open arms and move forward. … It’s been hard on him, but through it all, it’s made him a better person. We’ll be glad to get him back.”
    From Sunday evening’s Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

  48. Nasty says: Oct 4, 2010 1:09 AM

    “I’m sure Ben is going to give us a little extra pep-me-up this week after this tough loss,” Steelers linebacker James Farrior said.
    “Dude is a competitor and a winner,” Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel said
    “We have to treat it like we can’t rely on Ben. We can’t say to him, ‘OK, we know you haven’t played in four games, but we’ve done our part, now you take over.’ It can’t be like that. Now that doesn’t mean we’re not excited to get him back. Believe me, we’re all excited.”
    Hines Ward, “Ben definitely makes us a better ball club. We’ll be better as an offense when he comes back.”
    Yeah Mikey, no one likes him.

  49. Deb says: Oct 4, 2010 9:43 AM

    Mike …
    This might not have been the best article to hype during the game last night. Newcomers reading this thread might think you don’t do your homework … or that we don’t like you.
    ‘Tisn’t true folks … well, at least on the liking him part. Mike is just a crafty provocateur. Some of us like him in spite of it … most of the time ;)

  50. SoFlor Steeler says: Oct 4, 2010 1:01 PM

    I am actually surprised that this only got 50 comments – Florio is slipping a really good post with Ben in the headline used to get 80+ comments easy….
    Wonder how NBC feels about this investment these days…

  51. Tobias Jodter says: Oct 5, 2010 6:46 PM

    Everyone knows PFT entries under “Latest News” is just rumors. Right?
    So I am driving home from work this afternoon listening to The Sports Reporters with Steve Czaban & Andy Pollin on ESPN 980… and what do I hear? A discussion about a story on Mike Florio’s PFT about how the Steelers team is giving Big Ben the cold shoulder. They certainly seemed to buy into the story.
    Mike Wise anyone?

  52. majer says: Oct 7, 2010 9:15 PM

    Any of you who are cutting down Ben are IDIOTS!! You don’t know the whole story and you are big losers who have nothing else to do. Mind your own business and worry about yourselves.

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