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Roethlisberger tries to bury talk of locker room unrest

Ben Roethlisberger AP

For weeks, stories have been percolating about the problems within the Steelers locker room.

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had finally heard enough.

As valuable as any salary cap space he created, Roethlisberger tried to restore some peace inside his own team.

“For anybody to say there are locker room issues or leadership issues are completely off base,” Roethlisberger told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I believe that’s the frustration. I believe that it’s frustration of last year, I honestly do.”

What began as anonymous criticizing of linebacker LaMarr Woodley grew until players began talking more and more about the internal strife, with safety Ryan Clark saying there was a “fracture” in the locker room.

“Obviously, last year was frustrating for all of us, and when you’re frustrated and the season doesn’t go the way you want it to and things don’t go the way you want them to, things are said. I know all too well, after the Dallas game I was frustrated and said some things,” Roethlisberger said. “The important thing to know is, there are no issues in our locker room. There are no issues with LaMarr. There are no issues on our team.

“The big thing for us is to move forward. Last year was last year, it was 8-8. We’re not happy about it. There are frustrations, but you know what? We’re done with it. We’re moving forward and we’re moving into this year … with whoever’s here, we’re looking to move forward. And we know Woodley’s going to be here and we know Woodley’s going to be ready to go as we all are going to be.”

Roethlisberger took exception with the idea it was a leadership issue.

“No matter how the season goes, there’s always going to be some kind of issue come up,” he said. “There’s never perfect harmony in any locker room, never. There’s always going to be some issue at some point in the year, that’s how it works. But the thing is, how do you move on from it? These things should be put in the rear-view mirror and we should be looking forward.

“I’m hoping by doing this to put a stop to it, to say, listen, everybody, as a leader in this locker room, as a guy who has been around here for a long time, I’m hoping that by saying there is no issue and this is fine, that this could be our exclamation point. Let’s move on with this offseason, to training, to getting ready. I don’t think there’s a reason to look back anymore.

“That’s what I’m hoping to just say: Done.”

Of course, saying there are no issues on an 8-8 team with as much chatter as this one has created is one thing. Making it the truth is something entirely different, and will prove to be more of a challenge for Roethlisberger and the Steelers.

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14 Responses to “Roethlisberger tries to bury talk of locker room unrest”
  1. ravenator says: Mar 1, 2013 8:25 AM

    The funny thing is they think they couldve done what the Ravens had accomplished. Hahaha, thats so laughable the way they played down the stretch. Back to back pick 6s, losses to the raiders, titans, browns, ugh. Why would you ever think you can win the lombardi with that resume.

  2. dirtdawg54 says: Mar 1, 2013 8:25 AM

    Since most of the “chatter” is coming from the press, I doubt any player can say anything to put this to rest. The best thing all players can do is respond with “that’s old news. Today we are focused on the 2013 season”. They should repeat that until the press stops asking the question (which may take a year or two, especially with the Pittsburgh press).

    One player made a comment. One. And frankly, it is only getting play because 8-8 does not come close to the results expected of the Steelers. I’m pretty sure that even in their Super Bowl years you could find one player with something negative to say.

    No team, no work environment, has 100% buy in and harmony. No team. No work environment. If you have a team of 54 primary individuals (not counting coaches, management, practice squad and supporting roles) you will have disagreement. It does not mean your team is fractured.

  3. ravenator says: Mar 1, 2013 8:27 AM

    The only thing Ben can lead is a comeback for the opposing team.

  4. reed20fence says: Mar 1, 2013 8:37 AM

    With all sincerity, way to step up and get your troops in line Ben.

    We don’t want any off the field excuses when the Ravens and your guys collide.

    All other things aside, Raven Nation has been taught to appreciate the value of lockerroom leadership.

  5. lovefootball4life says: Mar 1, 2013 8:48 AM

    Hate to admit this was well said. But I still don’t like him and think he’s a drama queen.

  6. joejen4614 says: Mar 1, 2013 9:02 AM

    The Ravens won the Super Bowl, Thats good. The Ravens went 1-1 with the Steelers last season, thats fair. They had a victory parade and added a Lombardi to go with thier other one, thats cute.

    Come back when you have atleast four and then you can talk trash. Until then just keep it down. Your going to over pay for a average QB, Reed and Lewis, retire this year. (Its gotta be Reeds last season unless he takes that one big contract before hitting the door, somewhere else.) How quicly you forget the 0 – 3 seasons agianst the Steelers.

    Lets see how you do next season with the whole league gunning for you.

  7. mitchitized says: Mar 1, 2013 9:09 AM

    I’m glad to see Ben attempt to be the leader of the team. I don’t recall him being much of a leader, so this is a badly needed step in his evolution as a player and athlete.

    As he becomes a more senior member of the squad, he should become more demonstrative AND vocal.

    What he says is truth, and he delivers it without drama. This was an ace quote from Ben, whether you like him or not.

    Here’s to hoping all the seniors on the squad show up IN SHAPE and ready for camp this time! You can’t lead by example if you spend 80% of your time in the hot tub with hamstring and calf issues!

  8. nysteelerfan says: Mar 1, 2013 9:19 AM

    The funny thing is they think they couldve done what the Ravens had accomplished. Hahaha, thats so laughable the way they played down the stretch. Back to back pick 6s, losses to the raiders, titans, browns, ugh. Why would you ever think you can win the lombardi with that resume.
    —————————-
    No, the funny thing is that Raven fans such as yourself think that the NFL only started 2 years ago . You seem to forget that just prior to your short bit of success, the Steelers OWNED the Ravens year in and year out during our run of 2 SB wins/3 appearances in 6 years. So yeah, this year we had a down year. We still have 6 rings, which is still more than any other team in the SB era. No disputing that.

  9. jimthebuilder27 says: Mar 1, 2013 9:28 AM

    Locker room “schism!”

  10. engymass2 says: Mar 1, 2013 10:04 AM

    I think Ben doesn’t really know what’s going on in the Steelers locker room.

  11. joewilliesshnoz says: Mar 1, 2013 11:27 AM

    It starts at the top, Tomlin has allowed way too much internal chaos.

  12. cmdrsmooth says: Mar 1, 2013 12:03 PM

    See what happens when Rex Ryan is the coach of a team. Oh wait? Rex doesn’t coach this circus?

    There goes the media’s theory.

  13. washstnative says: Mar 1, 2013 8:18 PM

    Shut up Rothlesraper and go back to your stall…. Why pay any attention to him?

  14. Nofoolnodrool says: Mar 2, 2013 8:33 AM

    ravenator says:
    Mar 1, 2013 8:27 AM
    The only thing Ben can lead is a comeback for the opposing team.

    41 65

    Said proudly by the third shift working moms boy while stuffing his face on Doritos and typing his usual junk…you dream you had Bens talent but you don’t….it’s ok mom still loves you better than your dog, but its close so behave.

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