Ben Roethlisberger has permission to call out everyone, including the G.M.

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The Steelers are trying way too hard to justify quarterback Ben Roethlisberger‘s habit of calling out teammates publicly.

On Wednesday, G.M. Kevin Colbert explained the situation in a way that goes a long way toward explaining why some players on the team may feel entitled to do whatever they want. We previously shared a small chunk of what Colbert said. It’s worth considering the entire quote.

“Ben is the unquestioned leader of this group,” Colbert told reporters. “Like I said, he’s the elder statesmen and the Super Bowl winner. If our players were smart, they’d listen to him because he’s been there. He’s done it. He can tell them, ‘No guys, what you’re doing is or is not good enough to do this.’ And I honestly believe that that can be a burden on him more often than he may like to admit, because he has to — he’s got 52 kids under him, quite honestly. I want them to step up and say, ‘Hey Ben, what do I have to do? Can I do this better? What do we have to do to win a Super Bowl?’

“I think that once you win it, you’ve got 53 guys who can say what it took. Right now, he’s the only one, so I have no problem with him. He can call me out and that’s fine. What he does, I totally respect because I see him too many times win games for us and come through in situations. That’s why I talked about the Jacksonville game. He brought that team in. It was hot. It was nasty, and they weren’t allowed to get water. It was that immediate. Everybody over here right now. And the speech he made and the challenges he made, he backed up because he played better in the second half. He didn’t play well in the first half, and he said, ‘I’m the first one that needs to look in the mirror, and the rest of you better, too.’ So I have absolutely no problem with him.”

The concept makes sense, but Colbert has allowed Roethlisberger to take it to the extreme. What player has the power to call out the General Manager of the team? Does Roethlisberger also have the power to call out the coach? The owner? Once that line is crossed — and Colbert is encouraging Roethlisberger to leap over it — there’s no going back.

Moreover, there’s a big difference between privately urging players to step up and publicly calling them out. Who in the NFL does that, other than Roethlisberger? What team in the NFL allows that, other than the Steelers?

What are the Steelers doing? Fans of the team, instead of circling the wagons and attacking the messenger, should take a careful look at the message. The message is this: Your favorite team is currently riddled with drama. Le'Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Ben Roethlisberger aren’t the cause of it; they’re the symptoms.

The cause is residing somewhere at or between the coaching staff and ownership. Until that cause is identified and rectified, this names will change by the dysfunction will stay the same.

83 responses to “Ben Roethlisberger has permission to call out everyone, including the G.M.

  1. Somebody let this GM know it’s been 10 years since Ben delivered a championship to the Steel City.

    Ben doesn’t know as much as he thinks. Meanwhile Brady gets his team further, every year.

  2. “Huddle up boys and listen good: if you want to win a Super Bowl, you have to throw a bunch of ints with a passer rating in the low 20s and then have the refs repeatedly stick it to the Seahawks to bail you out. Break!”

  3. And that’s why you have the problems you have! Why is this QB given special treatment?! SMH!

  4. Steelers fans…….you need to appreciate having a quarterback and leader not only with the experience and ability to lead but also having the balls to lead. It’s not easy. The world is full of people that raise their hands and say “not my job,” when the going gets tough. He calls out players in public? So what? When they’ve earned the privilege, they can do the same. Too many players come and go to get concerned with bruised egos and hurt feelings. The old way of getting results is settling for “yes-men.” You don’t have one of those, and neither do we. Be glad for it.

    -Packer fan.

  5. who’s calling him out for holding on to the ball too long? Or throwing picks in crunchtime?! or Running stupid fake spikes?!

    Glad I am not a fan of this guy/team!

  6. “The message is this: Your favorite team is currently riddled with drama. Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Ben Roethlisberger aren’t the cause of it; they’re the symptoms.”
    =====================

    It’s 53 grown men with 53 different personalities. Every locker room has drama that no one hears about but still happens. This ain’t high school – deal with it.

  7. I feel for Steeler nation. What a damn mess! This team ‘s culture is severely compromised. GM and Head Coach somehow have lost their spines. Franchise QB does not mean full and uncheck able authority to do/say what you want , whenever you want. No other team tolerates this type of behavior or does it allow ONE player this level of authority(Green Bay) might be close. Sure, you want your QB to be a leader.But, you also want your leader to possess Integrity! Big Ben has placed himself on a pedestal and no one in Pittsburgh can knock him off( owner,coach, and GM included). What a damn mess!

  8. Mr. Colbert, I’m not sure if I’ve read something as stupid come from a GM’s mouth before. Any Steeler fan should be embarrassed reading that. What a disgrace to those that wore that uniform in the 70’s that this once proud franchise has come to this.

  9. jurgyisgod says: “Tomlin has lost control of the team. He has to go and go now.”
    ========================

    Please explain why this is on Tomlin. Every head coach has said they DO NOT enter the locker room. That is the players’ sanctuary and it’s up to the veterans to police themselves on group behaviour.

  10. I have to admit, I am thoroughly enjoying the drama the past couple of months. It couldn’t happen to a more deserving franchise! This almost tops Tim Tebow or Blake Bortles destroying the Steelers in the playoffs… Almost

  11. I want them to step up and say, ‘Hey Ben, what do I have to do? Can I do this better? What do we have to do to win a Super Bowl?’
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Big Ben’s answer will be “I need the defense to carry me on its back and hand me 13-9 wins and then have everybody rave about how clutch I am.”

  12. It’s been like this. Finally the rest of you are catching on. I’ve said it several times, it’s him, not Tomlin, why they haven’t won anything else. You just see now that it’s mandated from the top, and everyone else has to work around that, including the coach, and it only got worse as they went from a defensive team with all of those defensive vets that either preceded Roethlisberger and carrieed him especially to his first title and to some extent his second to an offensive first team. Maybe the rest of you will get a clue now.

  13. “The cause is residing somewhere at or between the coaching staff and ownership. Until that cause is identified and rectified, this names will change by the dysfunction will stay the same.”
    ==========================

    Dysfunction? Shaq and Kobe absolutely HATED each other, yet won three championships together. The 1990s Cowboys had Michael Irvin STABBING his own teammate with a scissor. Reggie Jackson and manager Billy Martin fought ALL THE TIME, yet won the World Series.

    Team “dysfunction” is overrated by the media. 53 guys are not all going to get along. Heck, I only have two siblings and we can’t get along.

  14. jurgyisgod says:
    February 21, 2019 at 10:48 am
    Tomlin has lost control of the team. He has to go and go now.

    27 4 Rate This

    ———————

    he should have been canned years ago…Colbert has also not built a good D in about a decade

  15. Long time Steelers Fan. I watched the team go from a model franchise to, well not a laughing stock yet, but headed that way. The problem may be Tomlin, and many problems started cropping up around then, but I wonder if the problem runs deeper. If memory serves me Dan Rooney stepped away around that same time. I wonder if the problems run all the way to the top.

  16. Ben has only had 1 losing season at 7-8 after his head went through a windshield that offseason. He has played in 3 Super Bowls and won 2 of them (he carried them to that 1st game even if he played poorly in it).

    He has 5 road playoff wins and 13 playoff wins overall
    -Eli and Rivers combined have 13 wins

    This offense has transformed from a running team to a team where Ben has averaged 300+ yards passing per game since 2014.

    If his crime is not being Brady then billions are also guilty.
    Representing the AFC in 3 Super Bowls during Brady’s career is amazing.

  17. akira1971 says:
    February 21, 2019 at 10:51 am
    “The message is this: Your favorite team is currently riddled with drama. Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown, and Ben Roethlisberger aren’t the cause of it; they’re the symptoms.”
    =====================

    It’s 53 grown men with 53 different personalities. Every locker room has drama that no one hears about but still happens. This ain’t high school – deal with it.

    ———

    and yet the Patriots are 53 guys acting as one with one personality. And that is why they win more often than not.

  18. tylawspick6 says: “he should have been canned years ago…Colbert has also not built a good D in about a decade”
    ======================

    Um, they were the 5th-ranked defense as recent as 2017…

    As for Tomlin, he’s 125-66-1 (.654) with only Belichick having a better record. Who exactly are you replacing him with that’s gonna do a better job?

  19. I think everything he said including calling Ben’s teammates, “Kids” is spot on and will help the locker room. — Ravens Fan

    Joking aside WOW

  20. Short of cleaning house, which will not happen this year, hard and fast rules need to be laid down for ALL players. Bring Mason Rudolph up, if he’s half as good as he’s supposed to be, he should be the number two QB. Start grooming him for the future, or find out if he can do the job.

    At this point, for me (as a fan) anyway, I’m not worried so much about the upcoming year as long as I see positive steps within the organization to get this thing back on track. If this is a sign of what the Steelers will continue to be under AR2’s stewardship, I hope they sell the team. That’s how frustrated I am with this mess.

  21. jurgyisgod says:
    February 21, 2019 at 10:48 am
    Tomlin has lost control of the team. He has to go and go now.

    ************************************************************************

    Tomlin or Colbert? Colbert’s the one coming out and saying this stuff, but we get people blaming Tomlin.

  22. With great power comes great responsibility. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. If it’s about improving your team do it in private. If it’s about feeding your ego and deflecting blame I guess you can go public. It really doesn’t adhere you to your teammates. I know if a high profile coworker was criticizing his coworkers publicly or in front of clients (fans) not too many people would like that coworker at all. Especially if it’s a one way street and the others couldn’t do the same to him.

  23. Not sure why people are criticizing the Steelers here. This is the same formula that has always worked so well for the Patriots, with Brady regularly calling out teammates and management on his radio show.

  24. I don’t have a problem with this statement. What they really need to focus on is added upgraded talent add LB and secondary. It takes a team to win the S.B. not just B.R.

  25. SWFLPC.INC says: “and yet the Patriots are 53 guys acting as one with one personality. And that is why they win more often than not.”
    =========================

    Please explain how “acting with one personality” affects actual game results.

    Does it help Chris Hogan run a better route than JuJu? Does it help Trent Brown against a 6-technique DE on a bubble screen playcall? How does Hightower utilize “acting as one with one personality” against covering a RB on a wheel route?

    Maybe, just maybe, it is possible that Belichick is a great coach at FOOTBALL and all these “drama” issues are overblown media concoctions that means nothing to actual gameday scores?

    Seriously, how did Tomlin get to 125-66-1 (.654) by being so completely “dysfunctional”?

  26. This is all on the Coach. The Rooneys wanted an empathetic “players” coach and they got one…. he coddles the selfish me me me divas (including Ben) and they become so entitled the team now crumbles. Long gone are the days of the Iron Crutain or even the teams from 10-15 years ago with everyone pulling the Steel chain in one direction….. towards a Super Bowl.
    Now they’re all just pulling their own stat sheet towards the bank
    In Belichik We Trust!!!

  27. Looks like Big Diva is going to lose the two players responsible for him being so successful the last 5 years.

  28. A lot of the problems with the Steelers were caused by Roethlisberger calling players out in the media. Now the G.M. personally gives him permission to keep on doing it? Talk about throwing gas on the dumpster fire…

  29. akira1971 says:
    February 21, 2019 at 12:14 pm
    SWFLPC.INC says: “and yet the Patriots are 53 guys acting as one with one personality. And that is why they win more often than not.”
    =========================

    Please explain how “acting with one personality” affects actual game results.

    Does it help Chris Hogan run a better route than JuJu? Does it help Trent Brown against a 6-technique DE on a bubble screen playcall? How does Hightower utilize “acting as one with one personality” against covering a RB on a wheel route?

    Maybe, just maybe, it is possible that Belichick is a great coach at FOOTBALL and all these “drama” issues are overblown media concoctions that means nothing to actual gameday scores?

    Seriously, how did Tomlin get to 125-66-1 (.654) by being so completely “dysfunctional”?

    ————
    His team has spectacular level of talent and plays in the cupcake AFC North

  30. It’s not even an argument that the Browns… the team that won ONE flipping game in two entire seasons prior to this last one… is currently the most stable and least dysfunctional team in the AFC North. I, for one, am LOVING watching the Steelers implode. This team has been a ticking time bomb for years, and it’s honestly fun to be watching right now.

  31. Lifelong Pittsburgher, former Steeler Season ticket holder here…STOP, Ben does not have the right to call anyone but himself out publicly. As a lifelong Steeler fan, I expect him, as the leader, to have his players back and any comments about an individuals play should be between him and the player, that’s what a true leader does. It’s time that he and the rest of the players that are constantly mouthing off put a cap in it and get back to worrying about playing good quality football. Someone needs to get this organization under control and put an end to all of the drama, and if they can’t, then stop chopping and get people in who can.. end of story!

  32. What does Tomlin’s record have to do with anything? The team doesn’t have the mental fortitude it takes to win important games, and that is all on the head coach. Any decent coach, given Roethlisberger, Bell, and Brown, coupled with that pathetic division, wouldn’t have to barely squeak into the playoffs every season.

  33. SWFLPC.INC says: “His team has spectacular level of talent and plays in the cupcake AFC North”
    ===================

    Every team goes through the same draft. Antonio Brown was the 195th pick (and 22nd WR). Three of the great O-Line were undrafted, including Pro-Bowler Villaneuva.

    Mike Tomlin coached these guys up to reach your “spectacular level of talent.” But again, how does “acting as one with one personality” actually do to help win a game?

  34. So let’s concede that Ben is a leader on the team. As we all know, there are good leaders and bad leaders, just like there are good bosses and bad bosses. Some leaders use encouragement and confidence building to get the most of out people, others use intimidation. I’ve seen both. My experience is intimidation creates a toxic environment and causes people to leave.

    On a sinking ship, the rats that can swim jump off first. I think we are seeing this in Pitt.

  35. What does Tomlin’s record have to do with anything? The team doesn’t have the mental fortitude it takes to win important games, and that is all on the head coach. Any decent coach, given Roethlisberger, Bell, and Brown, coupled with that pathetic division, wouldn’t have to barely squeak into the playoffs every season.

    I guess you forgot Tomlin has led his team to to Super Bowls winning one. Ya his record has nothing to do with anything…….think think. Oh and he coached a team that trashed the Pats this year.

  36. I’m actually beginning to feel sorry for Tomlin. He can only be as strong enforcement-wise as his GM. Colbert needs to go…. no, wait, I’m a Patriot’s fan … everything’s fine….

  37. Nofoolnodrool says:
    February 21, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    I guess you forgot Tomlin has led his team to to Super Bowls winning one. Ya his record has nothing to do with anything…….think think. Oh and he coached a team that trashed the Pats this year.
    ———————-

    That Super Bowl was 10 years ago. 17-10 is a trashing?

  38. 17-10 is a trashing?
    ____________________
    It wasn’t a trashing but it certainly could of been. The Steelers D was lights out on brady while Big Ben played subpar the entire game. The Steelers are capable of beating any team at anytime and it will be like that this season too. It’s the bad teams they need to get up for.

  39. If not for the refs in 2005 and if the cardinals just handed the ball off from the one yard line at the end of the half in 2008 instead of throwing a pick six to James Harrison or if Brady wasn’t hurt that year, Ben wouldn’t have any rings. Joking of course but I’ve heard a lot of people say Brady should have less rings if Seahawks ran the ball and if Atlanta didn’t choke. Also, wasn’t the Jacksonville game the one where he threw a game ending pick in the end zone but got bailed out because it was overturned by a penalty that was away from the play? Maybe not the right time to call out the rest of the team.

  40. Coaches have no say over what goes on in the locker room and I wish people would stop pushing that false narrative. They are not disciplinarians. They are guys who are paid to do the Xs and Os, motivate the team to win games (something Pittsburgh has done under Tomlin) and they typically make less than the team’s stars. Also, that 52 kids comment is going to haunt Colbert.

  41. akira1971 says:
    February 21, 2019 at 1:12 pm
    SWFLPC.INC says: “His team has spectacular level of talent and plays in the cupcake AFC North”
    ===================

    Every team goes through the same draft. Antonio Brown was the 195th pick (and 22nd WR). Three of the great O-Line were undrafted, including Pro-Bowler Villaneuva.

    Mike Tomlin coached these guys up to reach your “spectacular level of talent.” But again, how does “acting as one with one personality” actually do to help win a game?

    ————–

    Gumby could do as much or more with the Steelers’ roster over the past decade than Tomlin

  42. Nofoolnodrool says:
    February 21, 2019 at 1:53 pm

    I guess you forgot Tomlin has led his team to to Super Bowls winning one. Ya his record has nothing to do with anything…….think think. Oh and he coached a team that trashed the Pats this year.

    ————–

    Just think, if Tomlin and the Steelers beat the Patriots the next 8 games straight they will be at .500 since BB and Brady took over

  43. It just keeps getting worse. AB has had problems off the field, but Ben had even worse problems. AB and Bell May be high maintenance, but Ben started that too before those two even mattered. Ben had early success and basically became entitled. We can now see why Cowher left and where the problems started. What GM wants the qb to disrupt the team publicly through the press or on the radio? People get into these positions and feel that their way is the right path because they chose it and they’re the smartest person in the room, but Bill B has a philosophy on keeping everything in house. You’d think more teams would see that and follow it. Nothing positive comes from venting about your teammates in the media except alienating players or turning the team into a sideshow as we have here.

  44. “ he coached a team that thrashed the Pats this year”??? 17-10 is your definition of a thrashing???
    They didn’t even make the playoffs this year, but it is okay since they beat the Pats?? That’s ridiculous!!!!
    Plus they have not won a Super Bowl in TEN years!!!

  45. ebpatton says:

    February 21, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    Not sure why people are criticizing the Steelers here. This is the same formula that has always worked so well for the Patriots, with Brady regularly calling out teammates and management on his radio show.

    ___________________________________

    I would sure like to know when this happened. The Patriots NEVER do that. If anything, Brady blames himself when a game goes badly.

  46. So when the G.M. gives Roethlisberger, the passive-aggressive troublemaker, the keys to the kingdom, we get a glimpse into what the coming season will be like in Pittsburgh. No doubt that Brown and Bell are trouble as well, and quit on the team, but this is only going to make thinks worse, rather than solve anything.

  47. SWFLPC.INC says: “Gumby could do as much or more with the Steelers’ roster over the past decade than Tomlin”
    ===================================

    Tomlin is 125-66-1 (.654). Name me a NFL head coach in the past decade other than the Belichick that has a better record. YOU CAN’T. Every single NFL team has trouble beating Belichick/Brady – that’s why they’re considered the GOATs. Still doesn’t diminish what Tomlin has accomplished in the Patriots Era.

    And you still avoiding the MAIN POINT – how does “acting as one with one personality” actually contribute on the field in winning a game.

  48. “Wicked funny “reading all the Steeler fans trying to justify how great their team is (that did not even make the playoffs ) and has not won a Super Bowl in TEN years, because they beat the SUPER BOWL Champs this year!

  49. Breaks my heart. I’m a 40+ year Steeler fan. I was a big Roethlisberger fan when he first entered the NFL. Without going into detail, my eyes were opened. He has no business calling anybody out publicly. As a leader call them out privately. He’s a great QB but not a very good person. Tomlin may not be directly the problem, but the staff he chooses is terrible especially Keith Butler. He has solely cost the steelers multiple games by himself. The absolute worst defensive schemes I have ever seen. Any team that would keep Butler deserves everything that happens to them. I want the Steelers to win, but win or lose, I’m ready to move on from Roethlisberger.

  50. The pathetic lack of discipline since Cowher left is finally firing on all cylinders. For all of the Tomlin apologists who cry “Who else will do a better job coaching the Steelers?”, I say go and rip a random name out of any phone book and that person won’t do any worse than the drama-plagued joke they’ve become under Mike Tomlin. It’s absolutely embarrassing. #FireMikeTomlin

  51. hexy27 says:
    February 21, 2019 at 11:34 am
    Ben has only had 1 losing season at 7-8 after his head went through a windshield that offseason. He has played in 3 Super Bowls and won 2 of them (he carried them to that 1st game even if he played poorly in it).

    He has 5 road playoff wins and 13 playoff wins overall
    -Eli and Rivers combined have 13 wins

    This offense has transformed from a running team to a team where Ben has averaged 300+ yards passing per game since 2014.

    If his crime is not being Brady then billions are also guilty.
    Representing the AFC in 3 Super Bowls during Brady’s career is amazing.

    14 64 Rate This

    ———————–

    Not really.

    One of the years, in 2005 Goodell cheated in Denver, knocking NE out, while having the worst performance ever in a SB by a QB. And ,then Ben led the 2008 Steelers to the SB when Brady missed all of 2008.

    There’s nothing amazing about this.

  52. thinredline69 says:
    February 21, 2019 at 4:38 pm
    The pathetic lack of discipline since Cowher left is finally firing on all cylinders. For all of the Tomlin apologists who cry “Who else will do a better job coaching the Steelers?”, I say go and rip a random name out of any phone book and that person won’t do any worse than the drama-plagued joke they’ve become under Mike Tomlin. It’s absolutely embarrassing. #FireMikeTomlin

    1 0 Rate This

    ————————-

    As long as Steelers fans and Rooney claim “who can do better?”…This is what Pitt is going to be. ABove average at best.

  53. Here is an example of how the Patriots treat all players, starting with the GOAT.

    Aqib Talib: “Once, in practice, Brady threw a seam ball that was intercepted, and Bill, man, he chewed Tom out, saying, ‘You got 130 career interceptions,’ or whatever it was, ‘and half of them are on this route. You keep doing the same s— over and over and this is what happens.’ Right then you know two things about the Patriots and Bill Belichick: Everybody is treated the same, and you better get your s— together.”

  54. People blame Tomlin but he’s only the Head Coach. He’s not the GM and he definitely isn’t the owner. It all starts from the top down, the guys up top could of easily silenced all of this but decided not to which means that they’re complicit. And Colbert’s statement only added to that truth.

  55. youngnoize says:
    February 21, 2019 at 2:14 pm

    Coaches have no say over what goes on in the locker room and I wish people would stop pushing that false narrative.
    ———————–

    Head coaches set the tone for the players. Good coaches don’t let the inmates run the prison, like Tomlin does.

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