In the aftermath of the Steelers’ playoff-killing loss to the Bengals yesterday, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was quick to take all the blame.
All of it.
“Nothing to talk about. You saw it. I threw it to them,” Roethlisberger said, via Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
Asked about his feelings, he replied: “Disappointment. Pain. Letting a lot of people down.”
“We should be [going to the playoffs],” he said. “… if it wasn’t for me.”
The reality of the situation is, Roethlisberger and the Steelers have a lot of healing to do this offseason.
First and foremost, he needs to get well, as he clearly wasn’t the same player after his shoulder and rib injuries. In the first nine games, he threw 17 touchdowns, four interceptions, for a 100.0 rating and a 6-3 record. In the three games after coming back, it was six touchdowns, four picks, an ordinary 82.5 rating and an 0-3 record.
But in addition to the physical, he clearly needs to mend (or create) a relationship with offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
The two have went through ups and downs, which became public in recent weeks. And it’s hard to deny, as wide receiver Mike Wallace pointed out.
“You don’t have to like the people you work with,” Wallace said. “He doesn’t have to like Ben; Ben doesn’t have to like him. But we’re all on the same team, so we have to work together.”
And until they can get well and get on the same page, the Steelers are going to have more seasons which end in December, not the playoffs.