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Ben Roethlisberger: Physical practices taking a toll on Steelers

SEATTLE, WA - NOVEMBER 29: Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin talks with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers on the sidelines during a football game Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on November 29, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. The Seahawks won the game 39-30. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Steelers aren’t afraid of physical practices, and coach Mike Tomlin seems to take no small measure of pride in their being different than most teams in that regard.

But now that injuries are beginning to stack up, his quarterback wonders if they’ve gone too far.

Via Ed Bouchette of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger said during his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan there could be a correlation between the two.

We have a lot of injuries,” Roethlisberger said. “I think a lot of our stuff stems from we’re one of the most physical football teams in training camp, in practice, you know. We do more hitting than most teams do and more [practices in] pads.”

The Steelers have a long list of players missing time with injuries, with defensive end Cam Heyward (hamstring) the latest. But

Tomlin declared Cam Heyward out for Sunday’s game in Miami after their star defensive end came down with a hamstring injury in the first half Sunday against the New York Jets. But he joins players including linebacker Ryan Shazier, offensive linemen Marcus Gilbert and Ramon Foster and a number of other starters, along with outside linebacker Bud Dupree, who is on injured reserve.

Roethlisberger said the differences in routines was evident when they practiced against the Lions in the preseason.

“They hadn’t even gone a day in pads and we had already done like two weeks,” Roethlisberger said. “We’re talking to their players how physical our practices are.

“I think sometimes it takes a toll on some guys, you know, hamstrings and quads and guys reinjuring things.”

He also said: “We talk about being a physical football team and we are a physical football team, but we also have to take care of our guys.”

That’s pretty much a direct shot at Tomlin’s emphasis on being physical, though he didn’t mention his head coach by name. And while no one else has stepped up to complain, having the quarterback do so will certainly get the organization’s attention.

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84 Responses to “Ben Roethlisberger: Physical practices taking a toll on Steelers”
  1. littleseizures says: Oct 12, 2016 6:52 AM

    I guess things were going too well after two lopsided victories and Ben had to stir it up. Just talk to Tomlin privately about your issues dummy.

  2. starfan79 says: Oct 12, 2016 6:55 AM

    Aren’t they limited now to touch football anyway? Is running physical?

  3. MichaelEdits says: Oct 12, 2016 6:55 AM

    Chip Kelly would cut a player for publicly criticizing his practices. So would Rex Ryan, probably. I’d much rather play for a guy like Mike Tomlin.

  4. Lemmy Aksyadis says: Oct 12, 2016 6:56 AM

    If you can’t win with skill and execution all you have left is a physical game. Shouldn’t be surprised when it goes sideways during practice.

  5. paulieorkid says: Oct 12, 2016 6:58 AM

    If Roethlisberger has the grievance, it should stay in house and private.

    There is not a whole lot that can be gained by airing it out publicly – other than to sow the seeds of dissension.

  6. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Oct 12, 2016 7:02 AM

    Cry me a river

  7. rootpain says: Oct 12, 2016 7:04 AM

    It’s always a fine balance between the two. Game days are always crushing physical days and their bodies take a lot of punishment. Many injuries result from not being sufficiently prepared for that. On the other hand, too much stress doesn’t allow the body to replenish/repair itself.
    It just seems to me that’s its pretty early in the season to be experiencing worn down type injuries.
    Hate to see injuries of any type to any player though. I always prefer the games when both teams are playing at full strength.

  8. justbegbaby says: Oct 12, 2016 7:21 AM

    Nice Ben. Questioning the methods of the HC in the media.

  9. phinsfan66 says: Oct 12, 2016 7:27 AM

    Imagine that… A football team having physical practices… Isn’t football supposed to be physical…

  10. cardinealsfan20 says: Oct 12, 2016 7:28 AM

    In the modern NFL it is idiotic to conduct excessive padded or physical practices. In fact, all levels of football are rapidly moving away from such practices. The players need to be available for the games.

  11. edon8334 says: Oct 12, 2016 7:35 AM

    Is that the reason you guys wet the bed against the eagles???? you guys seemed plenty fine when you steamrolled my redskins though…clownsc

  12. Grugenhagen says: Oct 12, 2016 7:35 AM

    Toughen up, snowflake.

  13. steelpenguin6687 says: Oct 12, 2016 7:38 AM

    Well, if that has anything to do with it, the Chargers must be practicing in pads, body armor, and then running into 10 ft thick walls. Seems like they have someone go down to a season ending injury every 10 days or so.

  14. exinsidetrader says: Oct 12, 2016 7:42 AM

    I never complain about football players demanding money because the NFL just sees them as objects to use and abuse.

  15. lioninthehouse says: Oct 12, 2016 7:47 AM

    Somewhere, a toothless Jack Lambert is grinning while thinking, “I knew these guys wore dresses!”

  16. douchebigelow says: Oct 12, 2016 7:49 AM

    Softestberger

  17. artvan15 says: Oct 12, 2016 8:02 AM

    Look how crappy the Lions are every year. The Lions need more physical practices. Quit your crying Roth!!

  18. weepingjebus says: Oct 12, 2016 8:04 AM

    “I guess what I’m saying is we should bring back Cheeseburger Tuesday’s.”

  19. leroyquimby says: Oct 12, 2016 8:06 AM

    Play golf then

  20. mikeytoth says: Oct 12, 2016 8:09 AM

    Man up. Stop whining.

  21. coreycroom says: Oct 12, 2016 8:11 AM

    Wah Wah Wah. Cry me three rivers.

  22. xxsweepthelegxx says: Oct 12, 2016 8:17 AM

    He’s right. But Pittsburgh is 4-1 and Det is 2-3 so…..

  23. lifetimefan says: Oct 12, 2016 8:18 AM

    Correct me here……Benny says they practice with pads more than most teams. He also says they had already done 2 weeks in pads before the Lions had done any. Doesn’t the league strictly control that?

  24. cobrala2 says: Oct 12, 2016 8:18 AM

    Well Ben, there’s a good reason why your team is 4–1 and most others are not.

  25. lunar2013 says: Oct 12, 2016 8:20 AM

    It also might be the reason your team is good? Just a thought there Mr. Ben.

  26. Mike Tomlin says: Oct 12, 2016 8:23 AM

    Yeah, to the toll of 4-1 and rolling…

  27. spotsdad says: Oct 12, 2016 8:23 AM

    Wimp

  28. davebarnes21 says: Oct 12, 2016 8:24 AM

    awesome!

  29. davebarnes21 says: Oct 12, 2016 8:24 AM

    Big Ben is lucky he doesnt play in New England!

  30. beachsidejames says: Oct 12, 2016 8:33 AM

    Not to worry Ben the team your playing this week can be beat by the cheerleader after a night heavy drinking and no sleep.

  31. QB Film Room says: Oct 12, 2016 8:40 AM

    He’s right. No one should have an issue with this

  32. jobotjones says: Oct 12, 2016 8:44 AM

    Maybe that’s why the Lions are 2-3?

  33. sb44champs says: Oct 12, 2016 8:45 AM

    No one ever accused Tomlin of being the sharpest knife in the drawer

  34. annes22 says: Oct 12, 2016 8:45 AM

    Dont worry they can come into Miami with their practice squad and can beat the Dolphins. We have plenty of injuries too but the team is terrible, so don’t worry Ben. He will probably throw for 600 yds on Sunday, can’t wait to see this game, ha, ha!! 4 players traded yesterday, that tells you the situation.

  35. lgw91s says: Oct 12, 2016 8:46 AM

    Not a Steeler fan, but always respected the toughness of Big Ben. And this was the sign of a leader. Someone the players will respect .

  36. peytonwantsaflag says: Oct 12, 2016 8:54 AM

    BS – don’t buy it. The CBA severely limits the amount of hitting and padwork a team can do I’m sure the vast majority of them are hitting as much as allowed.

    Unless he’s saying they are violating the CBA if so I’d really like to hear the league’s response.

  37. daburgher says: Oct 12, 2016 9:05 AM

    Makes sense

  38. quickbooks12 says: Oct 12, 2016 9:11 AM

    Isn’t there a limit to the amount of padded practices teams can have?

  39. phinsfan66 says: Oct 12, 2016 9:15 AM

    quickbooks12… I am pretty sure there is supposed to be under the CBA… Not sure how teams can just decide they are going to be in pads if that is the case. It would seem Pittsburgh might be getting a call from the NFL offices:)

  40. steelcurtainn says: Oct 12, 2016 9:29 AM

    It’s always funny to see people say Big Bens crying when their sitting behind a computer typing in the air condition and never being hit in their life. Big Bens got a point, listen up Tomlin.

  41. jag1959 says: Oct 12, 2016 9:31 AM

    jag1959 says:
    Oct 12, 2016 7:56 AM
    So guys get hurt because of physical practices, guys get hurt because practices aren’t physical enough and of course we know guys get hurt because of the evil kickoff. Maybe, going out on a limb here, guys get hurt because it’s football.

  42. 4sacroc says: Oct 12, 2016 9:31 AM

    Hey Ben – You’re 4-1. Tomlin’s doing something right.

  43. ickky says: Oct 12, 2016 9:37 AM

    I guess the Steelers will be practicing in little pink skirts from now on

  44. couchbasher says: Oct 12, 2016 9:38 AM

    time to retire…. gramps.

  45. chippys lost binky says: Oct 12, 2016 9:41 AM

    annes22 says:
    Oct 12, 2016 8:45 AM
    Dont worry they can come into Miami with their practice squad and can beat the Dolphins. We have plenty of injuries too but the team is terrible, so don’t worry Ben. He will probably throw for 600 yds on Sunday, can’t wait to see this game, ha, ha!! 4 players traded yesterday, that tells you the situation.
    ++++++++++++++

    Do tell who exactly did Miami trade yesterday? They dumped 4 guys and signed 4 guys but what trades did they make?

  46. Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 12, 2016 9:42 AM

    I think Ben was speaking out in hopes Tomlin will dial it back a notch for his teammates. Ben’s not a doctor or trainer,but he is trying to be a leader so he is echoing those sentiments….he has had a tendency in the,past to put his feet in his mouth so this is not new. And most people following the Steelers know Ben’s tendency to exaggerate…

  47. I_Just_Like_Typing_Comments_That_Wont_Get_Published says: Oct 12, 2016 9:45 AM

    peytonwantsaflag says:
    Oct 12, 2016 8:54 AM

    BS – don’t buy it. The CBA severely limits the amount of hitting and padwork a team can do I’m sure the vast majority of them are hitting as much as allowed.

    Unless he’s saying they are violating the CBA if so I’d really like to hear the league’s response.
    ==================

    Here is the League’s response, as played out in the League office:
    “Hey Commish, we are hearing about a team breaking the padded practice rules!”

    (Goodell in his own head, “please be the Pats so I don’t need that Viagra script for the rest of the season”) “Who was it?” (fingers crossed, arms crossed, ankles crossed, rabbits foot in each hand)

    “It was the Steelers”

    (arousal gone) “No worries, Rooney is my homey, nothing to see here. We’ll just say we did a thorough investigation and everything was in order”

  48. friscokid49 says: Oct 12, 2016 9:46 AM

    Hamstring issues have no correlation to wearing and hitting in pads.

    But if Ben wants less physical practice, he should have played for Jim tomsula. How did that turn out for Jim?

    Answer : team was not prepared

  49. cardinealsfan20 says: Oct 12, 2016 9:56 AM

    Yes, the CBA limits padded practices. No, no one posting that fact has any idea what that number is or whether the practices Roethlisberger discusses exceeds that number. The logical answer is that the Steelers exceed the rest of the league but are still under the CBA allowed number.

  50. thesteelhurtin says: Oct 12, 2016 9:58 AM

    peytonwantsaflag says:
    Oct 12, 2016 8:54 AM
    BS – don’t buy it. The CBA severely limits the amount of hitting and padwork a team can do I’m sure the vast majority of them are hitting as much as allowed.

    Unless he’s saying they are violating the CBA if so I’d really like to hear the league’s response.

    11 1

    ———–
    I guess you didn’t watch all the training camp highlights and stuff. Every sporting news agency said The Steelers practices were by far the most physical they had seen.

  51. cardinealsfan20 says: Oct 12, 2016 10:03 AM

    For the wimp/snowflake crowd: Do you really want your favorite team’s players beating themselves up in practice? Do you really want the added injuries that undisputedly result from excessive physical practices?

    Every intelligent football organization at every level is wisely moving away from padded and overly physical practices.

  52. jamaltimore says: Oct 12, 2016 10:03 AM

    Sounds like CBA violation

  53. ocgunslinger says: Oct 12, 2016 10:04 AM

    He wasn’t complaining for himself with his red practice jersey but for his team who can’t play due to injuries. He makes an excellent point as a leader of the team.

  54. xsm941f says: Oct 12, 2016 10:08 AM

    Gee who doesn’t want to do things the way the Lions do? Bwahahahahahahahahah

  55. goodellisagoner says: Oct 12, 2016 10:20 AM

    Suck it up fatso!!!!

  56. tavisteelersfan says: Oct 12, 2016 10:29 AM

    I would say Ben is doing the hard work of being captain, that is, standing up on behalf of his team mates and making their voice heard.

    Nothing wrong with either side of that discussion. Any stifling of it breeds resentment and disunity.

  57. bighoser says: Oct 12, 2016 10:35 AM

    To all of the critics who just say, “4-1”, it’s NOT because of physical practices but rather because Big Ben is playing well AND healthy! How’d they do last year after he went down and the clown car full of backups tried to fill in? They’d be the same way this year: a team with a losing record and a long list of injuries. Maybe he has a point? I don’t know and neither do you as we aren’t practicing with them! I’m sure Tomlin will have something to say about this…

  58. theageofquarrel says: Oct 12, 2016 10:37 AM

    Ben is still better than almost all the other teams in the leagues QB’s

  59. dirtyback says: Oct 12, 2016 10:41 AM

    Big Ben had a better week against a better opponent. 4 TD’s and 380 yds.

  60. spartan01 says: Oct 12, 2016 10:41 AM

    Why does he insist on using the media instead of a direct conversation with his coaching staff? He’s used the media to call out players, now he’s calling out the coaches publicly. The negatives this creates out weighs the positives.

  61. mmack66 says: Oct 12, 2016 11:25 AM

    Every team has players out hurt. It’s mostly because they have such pansy preseason conditioning these days.

  62. patsfan4lifesbchamps says: Oct 12, 2016 11:39 AM

    The Steelers will be forever known as the team that lost to Tebow in the playoffs.

  63. kissbillsrings says: Oct 12, 2016 11:45 AM

    ICE UP SON!!!!

  64. throwingstones20 says: Oct 12, 2016 12:14 PM

    Waaaaaaaaahhhh practice is to tough.

  65. charliecharger says: Oct 12, 2016 12:25 PM

    Big Ben is speaking on behalf of his teammates because his job is safe.

  66. Nofoolnodrool says: Oct 12, 2016 12:29 PM

    patsfan4lifesbchamps | Oct 12, 2016, 11:39 AM EDT
    The Steelers will be forever known as the team that lost to Tebow in the playoffs.

    That maybe so and I am ok with that because it’s Tebows high point, but the Pat’s will always be known as cheaters which to most decent people is a low point. Also the Pat’s are known for having a QB that was suspend for not cooperating with an investigation.

  67. smokehouse56 says: Oct 12, 2016 12:55 PM

    Somewhere Chuck Bednarik is smiling.

  68. Lemmy Aksyadis says: Oct 12, 2016 1:15 PM

    Tough, no. Ben is durable to a point because he’s one of if not the biggest guy out there. But he does get carried off, doesn’t he.

    How hard is to be tough when you’re the biggest guy? Not so hard.

    Julian Edelman is tough. Pound for pound Ben isn’t half as tough. Let’s see how tough he is going across the middle for a pass.

    Tough? Please! Stop with that silliness.

  69. PFT loves the Steelers says: Oct 12, 2016 1:22 PM

    The Steelers are fool’s gold. Beating up on a weak schedule and sure to disappoint with a swift playoff exit. Only one (gifted) playoff win since 2010. The glory days are all in the past, yinzers.

  70. jacunn2000 says: Oct 12, 2016 2:02 PM

    Ha! The guy in the red jersey and helmet cover says practices are too physical.

  71. torebear says: Oct 12, 2016 2:04 PM

    The Lions have Abdullah on IR, Levy, Ansah and now Ngata out. +++

    I don’t know what the correct answer is. It’s certainly a good question to ask.

  72. In Teddy We Trust says: Oct 12, 2016 2:08 PM

    I never thought I’d hear a Steeler say he wishes they could be more like the Lions.

  73. tb12bestqbevah says: Oct 12, 2016 2:08 PM

    Roethlisberger said the differences in routines was evident when they practiced against the Lions in the preseason.
    “They hadn’t even gone a day in pads and we had already done like two weeks,” Roethlisberger said. “We’re talking to their players how physical our practices are.

    *********************

    Roethlisberger further added: “Not only that, but they said their season ends in December EVERY YEAR!! Meanwhile sometimes I have to play all the way to the first weekend in February!”

  74. thesteelhurtin says: Oct 12, 2016 2:12 PM

    Lemmy Aksyadis says:
    Oct 12, 2016 1:15 PM

    Tough, no. Ben is durable to a point because he’s one of if not the biggest guy out there. But he does get carried off, doesn’t he.

    How hard is to be tough when you’re the biggest guy? Not so hard.

    Julian Edelman is tough. Pound for pound Ben isn’t half as tough. Let’s see how tough he is going across the middle for a pass.

    Tough? Please! Stop with that silliness.

    ________________________
    Let me know when Edelman takes a frying pan of a hand from Ngata exploding his nose and he doesn’t miss a down furthermore comes from behind and ins the game. Let me know when Edelman is standing still and gets destroyed by Bart Scott coming untouched on a blitz and gets back up.

  75. nflgiant says: Oct 12, 2016 2:12 PM

    Beginning of the end for Steelers

  76. fishyinalittledishy says: Oct 12, 2016 2:27 PM

    If the Steelers would wear their helmets back to front on Sunday we might give them a game Sunday. Scouting report should read, they can’t block, tackle, catch, run, throw, other than that they are pretty good. But watch out for the Punter not only is he playing to all pro level he has a nasty streak, he got personal foul penalty Sunday lmao.

  77. inozwetrust says: Oct 12, 2016 2:29 PM

    Ben has all the physical talent in the world. But when God was handing out brains Ben was nowhere to be found.

    Keep it in house moron

  78. inozwetrust says: Oct 12, 2016 2:31 PM

    thesteelhurtin says:
    Oct 12, 2016 2:12 PM
    Lemmy Aksyadis says:
    Oct 12, 2016 1:15 PM

    Tough, no. Ben is durable to a point because he’s one of if not the biggest guy out there. But he does get carried off, doesn’t he.

    How hard is to be tough when you’re the biggest guy? Not so hard.

    Julian Edelman is tough. Pound for pound Ben isn’t half as tough. Let’s see how tough he is going across the middle for a pass.

    Tough? Please! Stop with that silliness.

    ________________________
    Let me know when Edelman takes a frying pan of a hand from Ngata exploding his nose and he doesn’t miss a down furthermore comes from behind and ins the game. Let me know when Edelman is standing still and gets destroyed by Bart Scott coming untouched on a blitz and gets back up.
    .————————————–
    Agreed. Ben is one tough SOB. Just not very smart

  79. inozwetrust says: Oct 12, 2016 2:33 PM

    P.S. That Bart Scott hit was just about the best hit on a QB I ever saw. Awesome. The only thing that would have made the hit better is if he hit Tom Brady. Tom would still be trying to get up. lol

  80. damcmp says: Oct 12, 2016 2:46 PM

    this is BS there is a limit to the number of padded practices allowed by the CBA so the Steelers can’t have more than any other team.

  81. damcmp says: Oct 12, 2016 2:48 PM

    » Gone are the grueling two-a-day practices that have long been a staple of training camps. In their place, teams are able to conduct one full-contact padded practice per day accompanied by a walkthrough period.

    » The league has also placed limits on the number of full-contact padded practices during the regular season. Teams are permitted a total of 14 for the year with 11 of those practices conducted during the first 11 weeks of the season (a maximum of one per week).

  82. TebowedOutOfThePostSeasonsAndNeverToReturn says: Oct 12, 2016 8:59 PM

    Much ado about nothing…

    Tomlin said he had no problem with Roethlisberger sharing his opinion.

    “We’re a transparent group. Opinions are valued,” said Tomlin. “We don’t care where good ideas come from. We are just trying to win football games.

    “Ben’s been around here long enough to have an opinion and also express it.”

  83. smartcollegefootball says: Oct 13, 2016 12:51 AM

    Circus

  84. bubbahotepp says: Oct 14, 2016 12:04 PM

    Tomlin’s not the brightest crouton on the salad.

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