Amid questions regarding the presence (or absence) of leadership in the Steelers’ locker room, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wisely waited a week or so before stating his case that, yes, there are still leaders on the team.
If Ben had shared his views last week, the contrast with one of his former teammates would have been far more glaring.
Nine days ago, Hines Ward joined me during a guest-hosting stint on The Dan Patrick Show and said, unequivocally, that there currently is no leadership in the locker room. Hines later repeated his position elsewhere. By Friday, however, the subject had changed.
Intentional or otherwise, Roethlisberger shared his own views after the dust settled, avoiding a more obvious conflict with the Super Bowl XL MVP, who retired after the 2011 season.
Still, the conflict is there. And since Roethlisberger has a vested interest in helping his team be successful, he’s got no reason to say there’s no leadership — especially since he’s one of the obvious leaders who may or may not be leading.
And that’s the most important aspect of what Hines said. By saying there’s no leadership in the Pittsburgh locker room, Ward is saying that Roethlisberger isn’t a leader.