When the Steelers didn’t use the 15th overall pick in the draft on a receiver, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t happy.
“I got caught up in doing what I always say not to do, and that’s listen to the media,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday, via Alan Robinson of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “[The Steelers] obviously have their agenda, the things they want, and they got two guys that they felt can help this team.”
Roethlisberger was referring to third-round running back Dri Archer and fourth-round receiver Martavis Bryant. The fact that the team’s quarterback admits to initially being miffed about the decision to use the 15th overall pick not on receivers like Brandin Cooks or Kelvin Benjamin but on linebacker Ryan Shazier doesn’t show much faith in Bryant or 2013 third-rounder Markus Wheaton.
Of course, it’s not the first time Roethlisberger has said something that could rile up his receivers. In early 2008, Roethlisberger lobbied for a tall receiver. Not-so-tall receiver Hines Ward didn’t like that very much.
“I don’t hear Tom Brady or Peyton Manning asking for that,” Ward said at the time. “I don’t know, whatever he says. I have no idea. To me, it’s a rare combination of receivers out there who are good and tall. We won a Super Bowl, we didn’t have a tall receiver then. I don’t see Tom Brady caring about who’s tall or not.”
The Steelers that year drafted a tall receiver named Limas Sweed. And Sweed never did anything before washing out of the league.
Since Sweed, the team has acquired several solid receivers in the third round or later, including Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, and Antonio Brown. With two of those three gone, the team Wheaton and Bryant to perform. Otherwise, Roethlisberger may start listening to the media again.