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“Blunt” message from Joey Porter sparked change in young Ben Roethlisberger

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Remember all those rumors about what a jerk Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was during his early years in Pittsburgh? They apparently were true.

Former Steelers assistant Bruce Arians, whose close relationship with Roethlisberger arguably contributed to the team’s decision to “retire” Arians five years ago, explains in The Quarterback Whisperer that Young Ben was a big problem for the Pittsburgh Steelers — and that one key moment changed things.

“During the [2005] season Ben often acted immature, as if all the stories that documented the greatness of ‘Big Ben’ had gone to his head,” Arians writes. “He wasn’t signing as many autographs for teammates as he should; some days he would sign, some days he wouldn’t.”

Late in the year, with playoff hopes dwindling, several veterans addressed the team. Linebacker Joey Porter, according to Arians, singled out Roethlisberger with “blunt language,” telling the quarterback that he “needed to be ‘one of us.'” Per Arians, Roethlisberger instantly “became a different person” and “grew up fast.”

Some would argue that the change was neither immediate nor permanent, but the anecdote from Arians confirms that Roethlisberger was once on the Ryan Leaf track and that, to Roethlisberger’s credit, he changed. Eventually if not immediately.

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26 Responses to ““Blunt” message from Joey Porter sparked change in young Ben Roethlisberger”
  1. steel420 says: Jul 10, 2017 1:40 PM

    Ryan Leaf track? That’s a bit dramatic

  2. 3rdngoal says: Jul 10, 2017 1:55 PM

    Was this before or after he raped that girl in the Bar bathroom? Or before he smashed his face on a windshield when riding his motorcycle?

  3. nbooat says: Jul 10, 2017 1:59 PM

    You know you have poor character when character advise from Joey Porter is seen as useful. I wish both of these guys would go away!

  4. Slow Joe (Bucs fan) says: Jul 10, 2017 2:16 PM

    From now on, when I have a moral decision to make, I’ll ask myself, “What would Joey Porter do?”

  5. meetadam says: Jul 10, 2017 2:18 PM

    Probably less to do with Porter and more to do with rightfully being accused of rape. Being told “you’re not a god” is probably quite sobering.

  6. schmitty2 says: Jul 10, 2017 2:18 PM

    Joey Porter calling out someone on their immaturity? Oh the irony!

  7. wrongnessmaximus says: Jul 10, 2017 2:28 PM

    For Joey Porter, with multiple arrests for multiple violations, to tell you what’s up is sad. By the way, Porter had another bump with the legal system just this yr

  8. bbb82 says: Jul 10, 2017 2:29 PM

    Roethlisberger was a duche? Big surprise.

  9. realfootballfan says: Jul 10, 2017 3:20 PM

    Yeah, that changed him, except for the incident with his junk hanging out in a Georgia bathroom, lol. Roethlisberger has been one of my favorite players to watch during this era because he pushed the ball down the field, but let’s not act like the guy is that great of a person or probably ever will be. People don’t fix that kind of stuff at 30.

  10. vicnocal says: Jul 10, 2017 3:21 PM

    Why would he sign autographs for teammates?

  11. Find My Data says: Jul 10, 2017 3:37 PM

    Why should anyone believe an “anecdote” published by Bruce Arians? He nearly ruined Ben’s career by calling too many empty set plays against ferocious pass rushes, resulting in Ben getting sacked at near-record frequency. Only Jay Cutler kept Ben from first place in that distinguished category.

  12. thirdand43 says: Jul 10, 2017 3:56 PM

    Ryan Leaf was a total dud. Roethlisberger was very good from the moment he arrived in the ‘burgh.

  13. cobrala2 says: Jul 10, 2017 4:03 PM

    Bruce has it all figured out.

  14. steeldominance says: Jul 10, 2017 4:06 PM

    Wait, Ben was charged with rape? No, no he wasnt. He was accused. Last I checked, anyone can accuse anyone of anything. How many rape victims do you know that brag to their friends about having been raped? Did Ben act like a privileged frat boy early in his career? Yeah, probably so. Was he an idiot for riding a motorcycle without a helmet? Yes, just like thousands of people do every day. Were both rape accusations money grabs? The evidence (or lack thereof) certainly makes it seem that way.

  15. hamlet423 says: Jul 10, 2017 4:35 PM

    Well, I wish Joey took his own advice. Putting your hands on a cop when you are drunk is never a good idea. Amazing his history as a Steeler saved him from some jail time.

  16. @SteelersNasty says: Jul 10, 2017 4:50 PM

    100% wrong. The cop in Porter’s South Side incident was admonished for his conduct working OFF DUTY security.

  17. boys3rsk says: Jul 10, 2017 4:50 PM

    Big Ben had an immature problem early as a Steeler. But I think he finally grew up. The rape allegation was bad, but he apparently didn’t do it or got off. Don’t know which. He has been a good role model since he got married, and settled down. Good quarterback.

  18. medialovesthecowboys says: Jul 10, 2017 5:17 PM

    Still a big time drama queen.

  19. intellectualpenury says: Jul 10, 2017 5:20 PM

    Fire Todd Haley

  20. stuvian says: Jul 10, 2017 5:46 PM

    no one deserves the Ryan Leaf tag, not even Jamarcus Russell

  21. wrasea says: Jul 10, 2017 6:59 PM

    what about Johnny Football? He seems Leaf-ish

  22. stucats says: Jul 11, 2017 8:05 AM


  23. crownofthehelmet says: Jul 11, 2017 3:48 PM

    ‚ÄúDuring the [2005] season Ben often acted immature,…”

    During the [2005] post-season Ben often acted like the best QB on the planet, leading his team to a historic 5th Lombardi trophy.

  24. 8oneanddones says: Jul 13, 2017 9:49 AM

    Big Ben’s super bowl history:

    2005: Rode his defense and the refs.

    2008: Great game winning drive, but only made the super bowl because Tom Brady was on IR.

    2010: Backbreaking pick six, failed to rally against a Packer team that lost two starting DBs on consecutive plays in the first half.

  25. @SteelersNasty says: Jul 13, 2017 10:47 AM

    You obviously missed the three road playoff games in 2005. Up to that point, it was the greatest three road game steak by a QB in NFL history.

  26. strength531 says: Jul 13, 2017 7:17 PM

    Sounds like all the haters here were super mature in their 2nd year out of college, or maybe more accurately, their 5th year out of high school (since he came out as a junior).

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