Steelers G.M. is OK with Big Ben calling out teammates on radio

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During this soap opera-like offseason for the Steelers, a consistent theme has been that some players don’t appreciate the way Ben Roethlisberger will use his radio show to call teammates out publicly. But the Steelers’ front office won’t ask Roethlisberger to change.

Instead, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert strongly backed Roethlisberger as a leader today, and told other players they ought to listen when he says what they need to do better, whether that’s on the practice field or the radio.

“Ben’s the elder statesman. If the players were smart, they’d listen to him. He’s been there,” Colbert said, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

Even if Roethlisberger is right, it’s fair to question whether the radio is the right forum for him to tell teammates what they need to do to improve. But it’s clear that the Steelers aren’t going to ask Roethlisberger to change his ways.

72 responses to “Steelers G.M. is OK with Big Ben calling out teammates on radio

  1. If the Steelers get anything for AB it will be from one of the old boys helping Rooney not look like a total fool. Billionaires must stick together whilst managing their toys.

  2. “Ben’s the elder statesman. If the players were smart, they’d listen to him. He’s been there,”

    Translation:

    “Ben won a Super Bowl in his second season, and since the franchise has held onto him for dear life through truly despicable controversies, drama, and nonsense he is now considered untouchable and can do what he wants, the rest of the roster be damned. I myself have been instructed to encourage and elevate Mr. Roethlisberger’s words and actions at all costs, and intend to do so.”

  3. Totally disagree. I’m an elderly statesman at work and I would never call anyone out publicly. I’m man enough to say it in person. Ben should be too.

  4. On the Radio? Seriously? Thats no leader. A leader will do that talking face to face and behind closed doors. No use public humiliation as a tool.

  5. I agree with the GM.

    If Big Ben didn’t throw teammates under the bus, we’d have very little to talk about.

  6. Ben should emulate the eldest statesman, Brady. Take the blame and don’t throw his teammates under the bus, publicly at that.

  7. Publicly chastising someone is bad management plain and simple. You might get through to them but it also pisses them off and makes them both not want to comply and not want to listen to you in the future.

    Always better to discuss issues privately. For an NFL team isn’t that what watching the film of the last game in the meeting room is supposed to be for? That’s the place to call people out, not on a radio show for fans.

  8. Ben could also just say that stuff directly to the players and not air dirty laundry in public. The need to say it in public is a sign of a terrible relationship.

  9. Publicly chastising someone is bad management plain and simple.

    Bingo — it’s also the mark of a coward, which makes any characterization of Ben as a respected leader downright laughable.

  10. There’s a team out there where this stuff rarely if ever happens. They win a lot of games every year. You don’t have to be them, but you might want to take on a few of things they do. There’s a high percentage every year that they also have fun in February.

    The other funny thing is, when players are banished from the team, those players rarely if ever state a reason for their banishment.

    Their way isn’t for everyone, but it’s a pretty good better it’s better than this way.

  11. When held to the standards of “What would Brady do?” and “What would Belichick do?” the Steelers are a mess everywhere but the ability to draft offensive players.

  12. Behind the curtain the Steelers should tell Ben to temper his remarks regarding teammates. If he was a retired player sitting on the set of a pre-game show analyzing players/games; that’s one thing. If an active player is airing things out on the radio and it’s affecting team chemistry; maybe it’s not the best approach. That being said, he often takes a lot of blame in post-game or lockeroom interviews, so it’s a little odd that he chooses the radio show to ‘call teammates out’. If he is in a position to lead by example, he should.

    It comes down to ‘what’s best for the team’, right?

  13. Wally says: “On the Radio? Seriously? Thats no leader. A leader will do that talking face to face and behind closed doors. No use public humiliation as a tool.”
    —————————-

    For all we know, Ben does do that behind close doors but guys like AB doesn’t listen. Perhaps going public is the ONLY way to get through to some knuckleheads.

  14. Steeler / Big Ben leadership style has led to 4 wins and 11 losses versus Patriots/Brady since 2002. Keep on calling people out Ben. Working out beautifully!

  15. WOW! The stupidity from this franchise starts at the top and trickles (or floods) on down. No wonder they’re falling apart. I can’t wait for Can-Do-No-Wrong Ben to call out Colbert on the radio and see how well it motivates him.

  16. Ben is almost as much to blame as Tomlin for that team not winning anything for so long. The people he calls out, not nearly as much.

  17. I watched Peyton Manning when the Broncos had Willis McGahee. Willis would run on the wrong side of the QB and miss the hand off or try to take the ball on a play action pass. They would take McGahee out of the game and talk to him on the bench, not publicly embarass him. Ben should talk to players one on one and not give oxygen to the fire in the dumpster.

  18. The game is better when the Steelers are good, but I’m thinking this whole era of the Steelers is going to need flushed. Start anew.

  19. First off Ben is not going on the radio every week and throwing guys under the bus. He does it very irregularly and usually to help motivate guys. Ben has taken the blame far, far more frequently that he has ever placed it on anyone else. Calling a player out, sometimes publically is part of what is necessary at times by a leader.
    But don’t let the uninformed narrative be upended, he’s just a bad teammate and all the issues with AB are his fault, because once – literally once – he said publically that AB did something wrong.

  20. I used to believe the margin for error for the other three teams in the AFC North was small because of Pittsburgh’s status as an elite organization.

    Say goodbye to that.

  21. If you’re the GM, all you can be is all in with Roethlisberger even though he’s never once taken a shred of accountabilit. I know Bell and Brown are divas, but those 2 should have been the future of Pittsburgh, not a washed up QB who does nothing but blame others for his shortcomings.

  22. Can’t figure out why people say BR never takes the blame for a loss? He has taken the blame or says he has to play better many, many times. I know it’s hard for the haters to believe, so if you don’t believe me, Google it.

    He should temper his words on the radio, but if he is explaining a play or turnover, and says the route was supposed to be run this way or that, and it was not, I don’t consider that calling someone out.

    I don’t think he’s the greatest leader to ever play the game, but all of this “he constantly throws guys under the bus” stuff is not what it’s made out to be.

  23. I think what’s worse is Brown showing up the quarterback and other players on the field and sideline. If Brown can’t take it he shouldn’t dish it out.

  24. There in lies part of the problem. Does anyone in the Steelers front office have a working brain? How on earth would Ben publicly calling out his teammates help an already fractured locker room? Pittsburgh is a dumpster fire from top to bottom. Sheesh.

  25. Of course they won’t ask him to change, with the circumstances around AB and Bell, they have no leverage. The fact that Ben feels the need to call out his teammates in public, shows what a low life he is.

  26. Antiono Brown and his “owner mentality” statements about Big Ben, albeit with Antonio Browns horrible grammar are staring to make sense. He basically said that Big Ben can do and say whatever he want’s and if someone dare talk back they are shunned, with the backing of the organization. The GM has confirmed such with his statements. I wonder what the dynamic with Mike Tomlin and Big Ben is.

  27. Dysfunction all the way to the top. GM should not condone Ben using a public show to criticize team mates . That is what meetings and practice are for! What a damn mess this Steelers organization has become. Seems that even the GM is afraid of the franchise QB. That is such an unprofessional stance to take by no less than the GM.

  28. You praise your guys in public, and give them hell in private. There is nothing to be gained by publicly calling out team mates.

  29. I am what you call impartial on the subject. Do I personally think it is cool to call out team members publicly. No, in fact I abhor it and have “counseled” people about it in the past. But do I think this somehow speaks to his character or his leadership? No. Let’s face it…90% of people who comment on blogs and news stories do the exact same thing – and unless you are a “close friend of the organization” (glad we rarely if ever see that anymore!) have no idea what is going on behind the scenes.

  30. But I’m sure this is Tomlin’s fault somehow. Like I said last week about a lot of this being Roethlisberger’s fault because he’s a poor leader who is enabled by his Hall of Fame talent, here is exhibit A. The coach can’t check him since he makes three times what he does and has a mandate from ownership and the GM, but most of you still blame him. One day, you’ll get a clue. It’s not high school football, and juggling this circus yearly is admirable to say the least.

  31. It’s been pretty much a rule of sports that you keep things “in house” and it’s always been frowned upon to call out teammates in public. Been that way forever. You save that stuff for the locker room. Obviously the Steelers are pretending to have no idea what this rule is, just to protect Ben. They’re enabling Ben and making the situation worse. Players will resent Ben as long as he criticizes them publicly. Also, who is Ben? He only won championships thanks to LeBeau’s defense. How many playoff wins does he have since LeBeau left?

  32. Anyone arguing that a radio show is not the place to call a teammate his no idea whether or not personal and/or locker room attempts preceded the public version.

  33. Publicly calling out your teammates on your radio show, sometime days after the incident happened is not a good leader nor is somebody that you would respect or listen too. Being a SSGT and squad leader in the Marines when one of my guys mess up I pull them aside right then and talk to them; I don’t wait days later to gather the remaining squad to then publicly humiliate them.

  34. Rather than over the radio, the better forum to call someone out is inside the bathroom of a bar. Big Ben can have his way and pay hush money to keep everyone quiet. Classy guy.

  35. Possibly the dumbest thing I ever heard. If people think Antonio is the only one who felt that way then people weren’t paying attention to his tweets. There are other players in that locker room who feel that way but since they don’t have the same status as AB, they don’t talk. Ben has even called out coaches. I am guessing those coaches weren’t smart.

    What Colbert said is the type of idiotic thing you say in private but he decided to say this publicly. wow.

  36. The dumb things people say,,,smh. It isn’t right to call people out in public, air dirty laundry of your teammate on tv or radio, or publicly slam your co-workers outside of work when they can’t defend themselves. Isn’t right, never will be right. I can see if a QB chews another players a– on the field during a game/battle because it needs to be straightened out right now so it doesn’t hurt the teams chance of winning a game, but this doesn’t sound right. The GM is saying stupid things on one side and Ben is acting like he’s the Owner on the other side. Where the heck is Tomlin? It sounds like Tomlin isn’t doing his job and Ben is taking it upon himself to lead the team causing anger from his fellow teammates.

  37. Roethisberger is only calling out players who hurt the Steelers. Let me know when he calls out T.J. Watt. Both Brown and Bell were in it for themselves. This reminds me of when the Eagles got rid of Desean Jackson and Shady McCoy. They won the super bowl the very next season. You can’t win with selfish players. If you guys haven’t been paying attention to Bill Belichick after all these super bowls, I got no answers for ya.

  38. jman967 says:
    February 20, 2019 at 4:39 pm
    First off Ben is not going on the radio every week and throwing guys under the bus. He does it very irregularly and usually to help motivate guys. Ben has taken the blame far, far more frequently that he has ever placed it on anyone else. Calling a player out, sometimes publically is part of what is necessary at times by a leader.

    ——————————
    So he’s not doing it every week. Hoorah!. Seriously, doing it at all is horrible leadership. It is not only never neccesary, its lousy to do it even once.

  39. charliecharger says:

    February 20, 2019 at 9:04 pm

    This reminds me of when the Eagles got rid of Desean Jackson and Shady McCoy. They won the super bowl the very next season.

    ____________________

    Um lets see the Eagles got rid of DeSean Jackson in 2013 and Lesean McCoy in 2014 they went 7-9 in 2015. So will you like to explain how they won the Super Bowl the very next season?

  40. Embarrassing to watch the GM try to soothe and appease the QB as their best RB and WR quit on the team. The Steelers used to be tough but this whole season and especially its ending is a bad look any way you slice it.

  41. I remember Ben R taking blame for his performance only after he has had horrible games like the one against Jags when he threw like 4-5 INTs. So, it’s not a big deal to take responsibility after such games, everyone knows who is to blame. Don’t remember him taking blame for throwing INTs at the end of the game against the Pats and Broncos, that is when he should hold himself accountable. AB may not have the stats that he had in Pitt but Ben R will definitely struggle w/o AB. If Pats’ rookie J C Jackson was able to shutdown Juju, imagine what other #1 CBs would do to him. Steelers are going to need a top 5 running game next season to get double digit wins.

  42. I always blamed Coach Tomlin for the dysfunction in Pittsburgh for NOT reigning in Ben for throwing teammates under the bus. We all see that it starts higher up the chain. SMH

  43. The drain is officially circling, coming from a lifelong Steeler fan. Absolutely the wrong message to send at this critical time.

  44. For those who don’t get it – NFL players are elite athletes and to a man they have egos. There are ways to handle things. “Leadership” is not embarrassing a teammate on your radio show. If Ben wants to deal with some internal business, he should do it in person.

    There’s nothing good or productive about airing these things in public.

  45. charliecharger says:
    February 20, 2019 at 9:04 pm
    Roethisberger is only calling out players who hurt the Steelers. Let me know when he calls out T.J. Watt. Both Brown and Bell were in it for themselves. This reminds me of when the Eagles got rid of Desean Jackson and Shady McCoy. They won the super bowl the very next season. You can’t win with selfish players. If you guys haven’t been paying attention to Bill Belichick after all these super bowls, I got no answers for ya.

    —————
    Bill Belechick? The next time he publicly calls out an individual player will be the first time.

  46. SWFLPC.INC says:
    February 21, 2019 at 8:56 am
    charliecharger says:
    February 20, 2019 at 9:04 pm
    Roethisberger is only calling out players who hurt the Steelers. Let me know when he calls out T.J. Watt. Both Brown and Bell were in it for themselves. This reminds me of when the Eagles got rid of Desean Jackson and Shady McCoy. They won the super bowl the very next season. You can’t win with selfish players. If you guys haven’t been paying attention to Bill Belichick after all these super bowls, I got no answers for ya.

    —————
    Bill Belechick? The next time he publicly calls out an individual player will be the first time.

    ———————
    Belichick, if a direct question forces him to assign blame, will say the coaching could have been better (in itherwords takes the blame himself), he never says anything negative about a player. If he has a problem with a player the first you know of it is either the cut or you might notice the player is less featured in the plan. But even then if asked he will just say that the game plan is dictated by the circumstances of the game and what they feel works best for the opponent being planned for.

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