Emmanuel Sanders: Ben Roethlisberger needs to be a better leader

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Former Steelers wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders says that if Ben Roethlisberger were a better leader, some of the issues with Antonio Brown wouldn’t have arisen.

Sanders said on NFL Network that Roethlisberger should have taken it upon himself to see to it that things never reached the point where Brown is now on the trade block. Brown said that he and other Steelers receivers have noticed that Roethlisberger will go on the radio and blame them for problems with the team’s passing game, and it wears on the team over time.

“Me and Mike Wallace used to talk about this,” Sanders said. “If Ben called me out on a radio show, I would walk up to him and say, ‘Don’t do that. Keep my name out of your mouth.'”

Sanders said when he signed with the Broncos that he instantly saw how Peyton Manning was a better leader than Roethlisberger, and Sanders reiterated those comments this weekend.

“You’re the leader of this team. Be a leader,” Sanders said. “That’s the reason why my comments, when I first became a Denver Bronco, and I said Peyton Manning is a better leader than Ben Roethilsberger, all that has come to fruition. I don’t lie. I don’t hate anybody. I just speak the truth. And that’s the truth.”

Sanders isn’t alone in feeling that way. Just because Brown was in the wrong in how he acted during the last week of the season, that doesn’t mean Roethlisberger hasn’t been in the wrong in his dealings with his receivers, too.

47 responses to “Emmanuel Sanders: Ben Roethlisberger needs to be a better leader

  1. I think the Steelers respect Ben’s football talent but wouldn’t follow him anywhere but on a football field.

    He’s one of the bad guys.

  2. dont see how this is a problematic statement. if anyone out there believes ben to be on par with peyton than i have a bridge to sell you

  3. Antonio Brown needs to take some responsibility.Heacts in ways that are not professional and detrimental to the team.He should let his play do the talking and the criticism will only be praise.There is no denying that the Steelers are not a tight locker room.

  4. Ben routinely throws his teammates under the bus but everyone else is the problem there. I agree, Brown should of handled things much differently. Not quite sure how Ben always gets a pass.

  5. Rothlisberger is way overrated and I’m a Steelers fan. They gave him the keys, loaded up the offense and still can’t win a championship.

  6. It is an area that one could see the growth of Manning. Early in his career it was cringe-inducing hearing Manning in post-game interviews blame his offensive line for a bad game. I am sure the linemen did not take well the public criticism and blame.
    Either Peyton figured out on his own or someone set him straight.
    Brady seemed to always have known to take responsibility for failures, heap praise and credit on teammates and coaches, and keep problems in-house. I remember specifically how week after week he would be asked about Chad Ochocinco, and how Brady would keep talking about how hard he worked, what a great athlete he was, and how he was doing everything he was been asked to do. Any casual fan could see that Ocho was not running the routes correctly. Brady was surely blowing steam through his ears, but was wise enough to know that there was nothing to gain for blaming Ocho for incomplete passes.
    Roehtlisberger has been in the league for like 15 years and has not figured it out. A.B. is probably the biggest diva in the NFL and has plenty of blame to carry in regards to the fallout of the relationship with his team. But in the NFL, the quaterbacks are the leaders of the teams. Doubly so for a player of Roethlisberger’s stature. Part of this job is to try to bring A.B. back into the fold. But looks like Roehtlisberger does not have the maturity or leadership skills to recognize the impact of his public utterances. And probably at this stage of his career he never will.

  7. That was THEN.Sanders has no idea about the NOW. Dragging Wallace into this only adds more fuel to the fire.

    If Sanders wants to be helpful maybe he could suggest accountability on both sides.

  8. Well, Sanders is not wrong. It takes 2, and Ben seems to always get a pass. Ben’s radio interview the Tuesday after the reg season was a microcosm. He called Antonio one of his best friends, which I think he truly believes; in a very delusional type of way.

  9. Finally someone understands the cause of the cancer that’s destroying this team. No one respects Ben because he’s still running from the truth. Look at what’s happened to the Steelers since. They’ve gone from losing Superbowls to losing AFC championships to getting bounced out of the first round by Tebolw, Flacco, and even Bortles. In the meantime, the players have become more undisciplined and the fans more unruly.

  10. Brady/Brees/Manning would eat broken glass dipped in hot sauce before they would throw their receivers/line under the bus.

    (if Eli tried to throw his receivers under the bus it would probably be intercepted. You’ve been great, I’ll be here all night, be sure to tip your waitresses).

  11. I have yet to hear Ben ever blame his OL “protection problems” like Manning did. To say Manning realized this and grew up after already being in the NFL for 7 years is BS. If Ben sees that the WR’s are not doing what they should be doing then I would rather he keep it in house, but to say he is a bad leader because if this seems to be coddling to the divas.

  12. Big Ben is who he is, he’s not going to change after 15 years in the league. Sanders needs to be a better receiver and worry abut his own problems on his team.

  13. As usual people are talking about issues with no personal experience it’s the individuals in question therefore speculation is their game. Surely Ben and Brown Both share in the blame. Why aren’t there more Brown supporters from the team rushing to his defense? I think Ben wants AB back because of what he brings that is good and Brown needs to grow up s his star is beginning to fade. It could be patched up but I think Brons ego is way to big for it to happen…….and Ben is the Steelers only hope for a Lombardi.

  14. jgreiner9 says:
    January 13, 2019 at 11:52 am
    Ben routinely throws his teammates under the bus but everyone else is the problem there. I agree, Brown should of handled things much differently. Not quite sure how Ben always gets a pass.
    He doesn’t always get a pass. I’ve seen Ben call himself out along with some of his teammates and he has been blasted numerous times throughout his career. Have you heard Brown, Emmanuel or Wallace say they were at fault and needed to play better? This is nothing more than one diva receiver protecting another diva receiver. “See? It wasn’t me…it was Ben and here is my proof” Leadership does not mean babysitter. If a WR wants the QB to “keep my name out of your mouth” they should probably start by running the right routes and catching the ball. If you play lights out the QB won’t/can’t criticize. Did any of those guys complain when Ben said they played great? The name came out of his mouth then too, right? These guys need to grow up and accept responsibility and criticism when it is deserved. Brown has acted inappropriately for quite a while but he has been coddled because of his talent. He is now being replaced by JuJu and is not happy about it and his toddler mentality cannot handle it like a man.

  15. Roethlisberger has been on the planet long enough to know it doesn’t pay to get in a urination contest with a skunk(s) yet he continues to initiate them. Have to conclude he either doesn’t realize he is doing it or he doesn’t care. Either way it doesn’t speak well for that portion of his leadership skills. That said, even though he may be dramatic about how he takes his physical beatings and injuries on the field he does in fact take them and keep getting up for more. That is another form of leadership and one even his critics have to acknowledge. The pluses outweigh the minuses with Roethlisberger, the same can not be said at this point with Brown and last anyone looked the QB position trumps the diva position. Say what you will but from this non Steelers fan standpoint with no dog in the fight, Roethlisberger is almost as good at what he does as AB is at what he does and it’s a lot harder to come by a franchise QB than it is to come by a top flight WR. Heck the Steelers have another one of those on the roster already and have shown time and again they are very good at evaluating the position.

  16. I’ve been saying this for years in between all of the blame of Tomlin for their inability to win another Super Bowl. Roethlisberger is more to blame. That loss last year to Jacksonville was a perfect example. After he threw for so many yards in playing catch-up all day, everyone just glossed right over that he changed the play at the line for both of those failed fourth down attempts. No big deal. Same guy who nearly ended his career right after the first Super Bowl with Cowher when riding a motorcycle with no helmet and probably why Cowher was exasperated and got out when he did. Imagine having to constantly cover for that lack of leadership, which is basically what’s happened to Tomlin the last 10 years. After he got back his footing after his sexual assault stuff, people just have given him a pass for being such a poor leader and having so many former teammates call him out on as much.

  17. He also said that what Brown did was the ultimate disrespect. BR may not be the best leader, but if there if one thing I do know, he has never quit on the team. The same cannot be said for AB. That tells me all I need to know about him.

  18. I have zero interest in anything most quarterbacks and all receivers think. The real “skilled players“ are on both sides of the line. No team in the history of football has been good without them. You see very good teams with mediocre quarterbacks and receivers all the time.

  19. There is something wrong with Big Ben and we all know it and have seen it throughout the years.
    I have no problem believing that Peyton Manning is a much better leader than Ben Roethlisberger.

  20. “I’ve been saying this for years in between all of the blame of Tomlin for their inability to win another Super Bowl.”


    Tomlin is the one to blame. Ben has been throwing teammates under the bus for his entire time in the Burgh. Has Tomlin ever intervened and ordered him to cut it out? Either he has not, or he is not being listened to. Either way, he is the problem.

  21. Ultimately you have to blame Mike Tomlin for the dysfunction in Pittsburgh. We’ve all heard multiple interviews where Ben Roethlisberger threw his teammates under the bus. Sometimes it is their fault and sometimes it’s not. In either case, Rothlisberger’s should not publicly throw them under the bus. The first time Rothlisberger through a teammate under the bus, Tomlin should have IMMEDIATELY put him in check. Any discipline, if there was any, from Tomlin to Antonio Brown and Rothlisberger obviously wasn’t enough.

  22. 2000-2009 – Won 2 Super Bowls
    2010-2019 – Won 0 Superbowls
    What does that tell you about “Big” Ben?

  23. Is this Manning guy, that most here think walks on water, the same Manning who called out the team’s kicker, called him a drunk or some such? High character dude, right there…

  24. TimTebowGodOfFootballKarma says:
    January 13, 2019 at 4:26 pm
    2000-2009 – Won 2 Super Bowls
    2010-2019 – Won 0 Superbowls
    What does that tell you about “Big” Ben?


    It tells everyone that he’s been on two super bowl winning teams. Two more than the vast majority of NFL players. Also it’s not breaking news that the Steelers have lost to some sub par QBs. Pretty sure every team has. Even really great QBs like Brady. As far as I know, the QB doesn’t play defense.

  25. At the end of the day, AB failed to honor his contract by faking an injury. With the amount of money AB signed for, he needs to be there every single day.

    Let’s face it, whether Brown likes it or not, Roethlisberger is a huge part of his success because as been reported, he doesn’t run the good route. Without Ben’s ability to extend a play, Brown doesn’t get open and make the terrific catches that he makes.

    Find me another QB that can extend a play like Ben who will put up with Brown’s diva-like tendencies. Ben has proven he can throw the ball to any receiver: Sanders, Wallace, Rogers, Holmes, Burress, Brown and now Shuster. Other than Sanders who has had success in Denver, please tell me where these other guys are?

  26. Ben Roethlisberger has shown with his “Big Ben” actions and the supposed rape of the woman that he is the stereotype jerk athlete. Roethlisberger’s own father said that Ben became an egotistical arse. He may be a good QB but I doubt that many who know him would see him as a real “leader”. The words “self centered jerk” sounds more appropriate.

  27. It amazes me that there are people that call out Big Ben for things and they don’t actually even know the guy. Big Ben isn’t the reason the Steelers missed out this year. Bozwell played poorly, the defense hasn’t improved especially the inside linebackers and secondary. Tomlin is still doing Tomlin things and yes throw in a few games where Big Ben didn’t have his best game in the second half and it all adds up to a non post season year. The Steelers are always going to be in contention as long as number 7 is around and that will be next year too. It’s the the other things they need to fix including the drama this team shouldn’t be known for.

  28. I watched the Sanders interview and he had plenty of criticism for AB, too. Rich Eisen kind of goaded him in to criticizing Ben. There is plenty of blame to go around in Pittsburgh, and Ben is certainly accountable. Steelers fans should take up a collection and pay Ben whatever amount he receives to do his weekly radio show NOT to do it. He only hurts his reputation and seemingly his team relationships every time he opens his mouth.
    I continue to believe that its in the best interests of both AB and the Steelers to work this out so that he remains in Pittsburgh. If that is to happen a huge amount of theresponsibility falls on Ben to mend fences with AB — privately, with no cameras and radio mikes around.

  29. All Brown does is make plays. So one of his 600 routes he cut off or was an option route and Ben thought he would zig when AB zagged. What’s the excuse for him always playing down to competition and throwing the most untimely picks. Ben is a shell of himself and if not for guys like AB he would already be retired. Good luck next year without Bell and AB. Get a new coach and QB in 2020

  30. TimTebowGodOfFootballKarma says:
    January 13, 2019 at 4:26 pm
    2000-2009 – Won 2 Super Bowls
    2010-2019 – Won 0 Superbowls
    What does that tell you about “Big” Ben?

    It says what most people who know about football know. That Ben cannot win and will not ever win without a great defense to protect him. He is a turnover machine who is not good at putting points on the board! During those early years when he had great veteran leadership is when he was successful – Since those guys retired and it was time for him to step up and become that leader, the results are evident! BB= overrated!!

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