Hines Ward on Ben Roethlisberger: “You should know better”

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While most of the the blame for this year’s Steelers drama has fallen at the feet of wantaway wide receiver Antonio Brown, a former Steelers great says that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s role in this should not be undersold.

Via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, former Steelers wideout Hines Ward said during an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio that Roethlisberger needs to be a better leader, specifically by not criticizing teammates so openly on his weekly radio show.

“When you wear that ‘C’ on your jersey, that stands for a lot,” Ward said. “It’s not just what you do on the football field. You have to hold every man accountable. Ben, you’ve been there the longest. You should know better. . . .

“If we say we are a band of brothers, come talk to me like a brother. You don’t have to put me on blast in front of the media. That’s not the way you go about handling and communicating brotherhood.”

During his radio appearances, Roethlisberger took aim at Brown’s route-running after the loss to Denver, as well as other players along the course of the season. Ward pointed out that Tom Brady does weekly radio too, without the same degree of rancor.

“You never hear him throwing guys under the bus,” Ward said. “That’s what leaders are. At the quarterback position, you are automatically looked at as leaders because of the position. It’s what you do on a day-to-day basis. Are you the first guy coming in? Are you the last guy leaving the building?

“It seems like he picks and chooses his moments. As a wide receiver, I’ve been there. I’ve always respected Ben Roethlisberger, but we always didn’t see eye to eye.”

Ward also said Brown needed to “grow up,” after reports of skipping team meetings and not returning calls from coach Mike Tomlin or owner Art Rooney II, but there are plenty of people ripping Brown already.

41 responses to “Hines Ward on Ben Roethlisberger: “You should know better”

  1. ben needs to be removed from the weekly radio show. nothing good has ever come out of it

  2. Agree completely. Support your team mates in public, save the criticism for the locker room or the practice field.

  3. Hate the Steelers, but always loved Hines Ward. Give me Hines and Rod Smith over TO & AB any day and my team will win more games. While “initial guys” may be amazing physical specimens, they rarely make everyone around them better. Guys like Hines & Rod truly help win your team a Super Bowl. Guys like TO & AB only go as far as Hawaii every January.

  4. This sounds more and more like a divorce is on the horizon! Looks like that sam wickersham report was about the wrong afc team🤔

  5. Any player troubled by the following answer to a fan’s question: ‘I still have confidence in him (Washington). I’m still going to throw to him. But yes he has to catch that ball’ needs to find a sport other than football.

    But there are those who throw their hands up in a faux panic and suggest James can’t handle a single mild criticism amongst his likely a hundred compliments. And Brown can’t handle hearing ‘yes he had to run that route flatter’ among all the compliments he gets. The PC world is getting weaker and any sense of perspective has been lost. Two mild criticisms amongst many compliments in 17 weeks…oh my goodness how awful.

  6. Far be it from me to defend Ben but you say Band of Brothers to this generation they think video games.

  7. Andrew Luck publicly accepts the blame for everything, I heard one of the Colts say that and how much easier it makes it on the whole team. Good leader.

  8. Hold on, Hines, Ben is pretending to ponder retirement for the next 2 months… got no time for that.

  9. No reason to be a leader if you aren’t allowed to lead .. speak up .. call people out. I think that is sort of why you wear the “C”. You can get paid $5.00 or $20 Million .. you will be held accountable.

  10. I wouldn’t compare what the Patriots’ players do with what the Steelers’ players do. The Patriots are structured in a way that gives their head coach complete control over the roster. All the players understand that Bill Belichick has the final say on all personnel matters, and they don’t cross him. The Steelers don’t allow their coaches to have that same power, so some of the players who don’t have self-control, are able to linger around and cause problems. It’s apples and oranges. Tom Brady won’t reach Ben’s level of frustration because his players know the coach is the man with the hammer. Ben gets frustrated when grown men act like irresponsible kids. So maybe those radio shows are designed to send a signal to the Rooney’s that if they don’t fix their own problems, Ben ain’t gonna keep quiet about it. Ben’s the only guy on the roster that can get away with it, and I’ll bet he has the blessing of a lot of his teammates. Antonio’s behavior has pissed off a lot of the guys, and coaches too. You can’t have one guy coming and going as he pleases. I’m sorry to disagree with Hines Ward on this. I kind of understand why Ben does what he does.

  11. Love and respect for Hines, but a couple things. He was not there for Brown’s antics that apparently have been going on for years, that was wearing thin on teammates. Second, I recall that one time Hines publicly criticized Ben for not playing when he had a concussion. So there’s that. While nobody is perfect, Ben is not the problem here. Brown won’t contact anybody in Steelers management to work this out one way or the other, and that is the major issue right now.

  12. Hines Ward publicly criticizes Ben Roethlisberger for publicly criticizing a team mate. OK.

  13. For all we know, Roethlisberger could be saying the same thing in the locker room every single day but it never gets through to Antonio Brown.

    Brown does seem like a guy that’s only motivated by his own public image, so calling him out was the last hope of getting through to him?

  14. As a Patriots fan the mess in Pittsburgh works just fine for me. And isn’t it interesting that the most obnoxious prima donna jerks in football often seem to be wide receivers. Look at the list of whiners and see what position they play, although Hines is right… in this case Ben also qualifies as well…. And Hines and Larry Fitz certainly are both class guys. Too bad the rest of them don’t follow their lead….

  15. Even former players can’t resist the chance to run their mouths . Thinking there would be another SB win or two if the Steelers paid more attention to their opponents instead of calling out teammates to the media .

  16. thewizardsrevenge says: “Andrew Luck publicly accepts the blame for everything, I heard one of the Colts say that and how much easier it makes it on the whole team. Good leader.”
    ========================

    A good teammate would also stand up and accept the blame too. Can’t let your QB be the fallguy and punching bag for the media all the time.

    I remember Kirk Cousins got killed by everyone for the two interceptions against the Giants in Week 17 in 2016 that knocked them out of the playoffs. But on both plays, Maurice Harris slipped on his corner route and and Pierre Garcon fell on his inside cut allowing the CB Rogers-Cromartie to make the INTs.

    Neither INT was Cousins fault, as the ball was already released and in the air. Yet neither receivers stood up to accept blame and maybe take some of the undeserved heat off Cousins for their failure to win that game and make the playoffs.

  17. Even former players can’t resist the chance to run their mouths . Thinking there would be another SB win or two if the Steelers paid more attention to their opponents instead of calling out teammates to the media .

    I think the game is still won on the field and not in the media so your analysis is just typical of of an internet troll…..obtuse.

    Hines always had problems it’s Ben so his comments are not a surprise nor are they wrong, but better said to Ben in person.

  18. I feel like that’s pretty good advice for everyone to follow, not just Big Ben: We all should try and be more like the Great Tom Brady. The world would be a much better place.

  19. Nofoolnodrool says:
    February 1, 2019 at 9:04 am

    your analysis is just typical of of an internet troll…..obtuse.

    ——–

    Do you see the irony in this statement? It’s not lost on the rest of us

  20. Hines Ward is right. When a supposed “team leader” goes to the media and tears guys down or calls them out, it stays with them. They don’t want to do their absolute best for him. It snowballs and the next thing you know, the team is imploding. Roethlisberger should take responsibility for his part in it, which was huge. No, Antonio Brown isn’t exactly the adult in the room, but it’s NOT just on him, either. Roethlisberger is a passive-aggressive troublemaker.

  21. nookers says:

    February 1, 2019 at 7:42 am

    No reason to be a leader if you aren’t allowed to lead .. speak up .. call people out. I think that is sort of why you wear the “C”. You can get paid $5.00 or $20 Million .. you will be held accountable.

    _________________________

    This would be the surest way to get your teammates to hate you.

  22. Do you see the irony in this statement? It’s not lost on the rest of us

    Who anointed you the spokesperson for the rest of us……? And who is the rest of us…..not counting your dog sparky….ok?

    Hines and Ben have a history that is conflicted so this is not surprising from Hines….but shouldn’t he practice hat he preaches. And you Patriot lap dogs stop with the this wouldn’t happen with the Pats….everybody is tired of the Pats.

  23. Where is Mike Tomlin in all of this? It’s great that Hines Ward calls out Roethlisberger, but is shouldn’t even come to this. The Steelers are missing leadership. They have talent.

  24. I listened to James Harrison sing Brady and Belichick’s praises on NFL Network last night. He was earnest in his admiration. Today, Hines Ward spanks Big Ben for not being Brady-like.

    Steelers fans must be crying into their yellow towels. The truth, you know, it don’t come easy.

  25. One thing that I came away with from watching James Harrison. He’s thoughtful, articulate, and a bright guy who is not afraid to tell the truth and shame the devil.

  26. I am a life long Steelers fan and am glad Ben is our QB. But for some reason despite the greatness he has played with Ben has only been voted team MVP one time in 15 seasons. True team leaders with his kind of numbers don’t get voted team MVP only once.

  27. bcjs0108 says:

    February 1, 2019 at 11:21 am

    I am a life long Steelers fan and am glad Ben is our QB. But for some reason despite the greatness he has played with Ben has only been voted team MVP one time in 15 seasons. True team leaders with his kind of numbers don’t get voted team MVP only once.

    _________________________________________

    Could be because his teammates don’t appreciate being called out in the media, which causes a lot of resentment, and instead, they vote for someone else. If Roethlisberger has a beef with anyone, he should be a man and say it to the guy’s face, in private…not on the radio. That’s where the trouble starts, and Tomlin sits idly by and lets him do it.

  28. After hearing about all Ben’s rapes, it came to light what a prima donna he is. Pittsburghers knew he was truly a jerk, few bought his jerseys. Time for the ‘burgh to pull a KC and draft and develop our next QB.

  29. Hines Ward cheap shot artist & pedicure aficionado who would still be crying about playoff losses if not for Ben making that tackle against the Colts

  30. WRs are so sensitive. I’d hate to be a QB in today’s league – always coddling and stroking their egos, just so they’ll keep their heads right long enough to go out and do their jobs.

  31. Hines has always had a beef with Ben. One of the things I don’t understand is everyone saying Ben doesn’t take the responsibility for the loss or bad play. I have heard him numerous times take the fall, even when the WRs dropped numerous balls that should have been caught. Never gets the credit he deserves . . . Hines needs to keep his trap shut because w/out Ben, the Bus doesn’t get his ring in Detroit… Remember the game saving tackle after his fumble????

    And the “catch” by Santonio Holmes, great catch, but it’s Ben that threw that perfect ball to him, and Ben that developed that play in the preseason and they held on to in all season long and used it in that game. So please, spare me the responsibility lies with Ben…. AB just wants all the glory and none of pain. Grow up.

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