James Jones, a former NFL wide receiver who’s now on NFL Network, said on the air that he has heard from multiple people on the Steelers that Roethlisberger’s needling of Brown has caused damage to their relationship, and it reached a boiling point last week.
“I have talked to a couple people in the Pittsburgh Steelers organization and they told me this has been lingering on,” Jones said. “I’ve been told in meetings [Roethlisberger] would take shots at AB. Like, ‘I don’t got to throw you the ball,’ and things like that. Wednesday in practice, I heard he ran the wrong route, Big Ben threw the ball on the ground, said, ‘Get him out of here. Get somebody else in there,’ and that’s when AB was at his boiling point and that’s when he went off.”
Jones suggested that Brown doesn’t respect Roethlisberger enough to talk face-to-face with him about their issues.
“I do think it’s hard to sit down and have a conversation with a man you do not respect or trust,” Jones said.
Jones did not name the people in the Steelers organization he’s spoken with, but they’re clearly people who want to get Brown’s side of the story out. However, even if Brown’s side of the story is accurate, it’s hard to defend Brown’s actions: Roethlisberger’s words wouldn’t justify Brown walking out on his team before the biggest game of the season.