Ex-Steeler says Roethlisberger once fumbled on purpose to spite Todd Haley

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Former Steelers running back Josh Harris says Ben Roethlisberger fumbled on purpose late in a 2014 game because he wanted to spite offensive coordinator Todd Haley, who had called an offensive play when Roethlisberger thought the Steelers’ lead was large enough to kneel down.

It was the very last game of the 2014 regular season, Bengals-Steelers with the AFC North on the line. The Steelers had the ball and a 27-17 lead with 1:09 to play, and they could have just kneeled three times to run out the clock. But the coaching staff decided to call a play. That’s when, according to Harris, Roethlisberger fumbled intentionally.

“Todd Haley called a run play with very little time left in the game,” Harris wrote on Twitter. “Ben wanted to kneel. He rolled his eyes in the huddle. He then purposely fumbles the ball. I had to recover it. At that moment I knew what kinda person he was.”

Harris, lined up at running back in an I-formation, said he was supposed to get the handoff on the play, and Roethlisberger intentionally stuck the ball out in front of fullback Will Johnson to cause a fumble. After Harris recovered the fumble, Roethlisberger kneeled to run out the clock on the next play.

“And I was a fan of Ben,” Harris wrote. “I was star struck when I first saw him. It was an honor to see Big Ben. Then I saw what he was. It made it sour for me. That’s why they tell you never meet your hero’s.”

Fumbling on purpose late in an important game sounds so ridiculous it’s hard to believe, but Harris is adamant that it happened, and he says it’s an example of the kinds of things Roethlisberger does that make him fall out of favor with many in the Steelers’ locker room.

74 responses to “Ex-Steeler says Roethlisberger once fumbled on purpose to spite Todd Haley

  1. Watched a few times and can’t tell anything from the game tape. Would love to know if anyone else felt it was intentional or if it was discussed back then going over the game tape in film study.

  2. First, it’s old news. Already reported by Steelers Depot days ago. You’re so fussy about being credited, maybe you could credit others.

    Second, it was a two score game and little time left. Running a play in that situation also tells you a fair bit about the kind of person Haley is.

  3. Big Ben has been a big turd all his life, tho a shiny one, you can see it in his eyes. Awesome talent but If he had half the work ethic of TB12 they would of won a few more Super Bowls.

  4. Todd Haley seems to have a confrontational history that seems to be at the root of his issues dealing with players, coaches, management and ownership.

    Do a little research into Haley’s past and see if you can figure out why he keeps getting fired.

  5. I find this hard to believe and the timing is suspicious. On the other hand, after he put his head through a Buick his rookie offseason, I thought he might have brain damage, so, who knows?

  6. Strange this guy would pop up out of nowhere. He’s the guy who accused his college coaches of sabotaging him after he went undrafted. He said interest in him was very high, but he said that they slandered him and suggested he had locker-room and work ethic issues. Now he’s suggesting an NFL QB chose to stumble and fall and risk injury so there could be a fumble? Okay.

  7. He told one side of the story. I need to look at the video to decide whether the accusation is baseless or whether it is supported by facts.

  8. Just like how he decided on many instances to deliberately not throw the ball AB way and some wonder why AB had a problem with him,Thats why you don’t have to be a reader of humans/psychologist to figure out after all these yrs that Ben Roethlisberger is a petulant EGOMANIAC.

  9. Inexcusable for many reasons, but think about the scrum that occurs to get the recovery. Making teammates susceptible to injury is probably the worst part of it.

  10. I’m not buying it.
    It seems like a fad to rip Big Ben these days so many ex-Steelers are doing it.
    I hope that Ben releases a Josh Harris story in retaliation.

  11. Duh. He has also been this person. His whole act is about power. I’m pretty sure he only got married because the organization needed him to clean up his image. Dude is the worst.

  12. I can’t really say I’m surprised considering the culture in that locker room.

    I guess you are basing that on all the time you spent in the locker room …..right. People making those assumptions are often proven wrong but never own it.

  13. Sweet Insanity says:
    March 17, 2019 at 8:37 am
    Just like how he decided on many instances to deliberately not throw the ball AB way and some wonder why AB had a problem with him….
    =====================

    This is almost as funny ad Harris’ claim. Wonder how AB gets racks up all those great stats? Must be when the backup QB is on the field.

  14. Tomlin silent, Ben silent and Kevin looking kike he doesn’t know what he is doing….the Steelers ship is sinking !!!

  15. Does it really matter? If Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers did this they would be called geniuses. Ben is right. Why call a play at the end when you have already won? This is more about the Ben vs. Haley war.

  16. This is one of the more ridiculous things I’ve heard in a while. I guess, applying his reasoning, we can all conclude Wilson intentionally threw the goal line INT in the Super Bowl too? After all, it was a terrible play call.

  17. I remember a few years ago Ben started a game as the backup, the “starter” got hurt, Ben came in and threw for over 300 yards and multiple TD’s.. led his team to victory.. rather than everybody lauding his heroic effort. A lot of people questioned why he didn’t start the game to begin with.

  18. If true, it says a lot about Big Bum, and his so-called leadership status. I’d rather follow a snail outta that locker room, than him.

  19. Harris wasn’t good enough to get his 15 minutes of fame in the NFL so he’s trying this route. He’s needing some relevance.

  20. I like Ben even more now. I wish he did it sooner. Haley (and Tomlin) are the downfall of this team.

  21. I dont know that this is true. I can understand BR being angry at the unneccesary play, its certainly stupid to add the needless injury risk in a game dangerous enough already. But if faced with the same situation, rather than sabotage the team in any way, I would have simply ignored Haley and done a kneel down anyhow. Imagine if in the huddle Ben said “forget that, I dont want any of you getting hurt, we are doing a kneel down” I think he would have gotten buy in and certainly his leadership stock would have gone up. Maybe after the kneel down look over at Haley right in the eye if feeling really defiant. But thats IF this is even a true story.

  22. No matter what these ex Steelers say, Ben has won two Super Bowls for the franchise so you can’t take that away from them. So matter how much they bitch and moan about the QB, number 1 who would they replace him with, number 2 how many Super Bowls have these ex players won on their current teams? Is AB going to win one soon with the Raiders? How about these other guys, how many? Probably none.

  23. This happened four years ago and it’s just now surfacing? I’m not convinced this is true.

  24. I’m a Browns fan and while I’m happy with the direction they’re going, I’m still not taking the Steelers or Ravens lightly at all. I think the Steelers will still be really tough to beat and will contend next year. That said, I think the Steelers’ handling of Roethlisberger is the main reason that has led them to where they are today. They have enabled him and let him run roughshod which has sent a bad message to the rest of the lockerroom. I’m not sure Tomlin is that good of a coach, but it’s really not his fault where things are at because he doesn’t have much power, certainly less than Roethlisberger has. To be fair, I’m not sure how many teams would have handled this guy better because having a franchise QB rules all in this sport. I have no doubt the Browns would have kissed Ben’s behind just as much. But if the Steelers want to truly right their ship and truly build a champion, they have to start by dumping Ben and developing a plan for getting their next franchise QB while continuing to build their roster. If anyone in the league can do it, it’s the Steelers. I hope they don’t, to be honest, but that’s what I think they need to do. I don’t see them winning another title with Ben at QB.

  25. I once asked Roethlisberger for sideline passes and to get me a suite for some games. He never even responded back to me. I don’t care much for him either.

  26. I’m not a Steelers fan or a Ben fan but I have to say I find this highly implausible.
    I really dont know why anybody would quote or repeat such an unverifiable accusation.

  27. Josh Harris now has his 15 minutes of fame. With as highly competitive as Ben is, I doubt this guy’s story.

  28. Like I said through the whole Antonio Brown thing, just because he’s half crazy doesn’t mean he’s wrong. Roethlisberger is the number one reason by far that team hasn’t won anything else. Tomlin can’t rein in someone the GM publicly has said his teammates are like his kids and who has the character flags in and out of the locker room that he has demonstrated in the past. But hey, I’m sure everyone else is the problem. I always preface the criticisms I have of him in that he’s probably one of my top three QBs ever to watch, but this is an unmistakable pattern of him being a poor teammate from being late in, early out guy early in his career, to the off-field antics in the middle of it including the no helmet accident, to these kerfuffles that he’s had with various teammates and a coaches. He’s the number one person in that organization, and he’s low character any way you try to slice it.

  29. Tomlin should have been gone two years ago. Whether this is true, or just some guy piling on, it is apparent that Tomlin lost control of this team years ago. Not only that, but he isn;t even that great of a coach. Not to mention the time he intentionally stepped on the field to get in Jacoby Jones way on a long kickoff return. Watch the slow mo replays, you see him looking behind him and then knows exactly when to step to his left…

  30. Like I said through the whole Antonio Brown thing, just because he’s half crazy doesn’t mean he’s wrong. Roethlisberger is the number one reason by far that team hasn’t won anything else. Tomlin can’t rein in someone the GM publicly has said his teammates are like his kids and who has the character flags in and out of the locker room that he has demonstrated in the past. But hey, I’m sure everyone else is the problem. I always preface the criticisms I have of him in that he’s probably one of my top three QBs ever to watch, but this is an unmistakable pattern of him being a poor teammate from being late in, early out guy early in his career, to the off-field antics in the middle of it including the no helmet accident, to these kerfuffles that he’s had with various teammates and a coaches. He’s the number one person in that organization, and he’s low character any way you try to slice it.

    For someone you only know as a sports figure that is a very harsh assessment, would you like to be judged by a Boss who doesn’t work with or even knows you? I am sure you thought Tiger Woods was an angel until he wasn’t so you are coming off as another loud mouth.

  31. Ben sure didn’t roll a 20 on charisma, but Haley is so turrible he got fired by the Browns. I love my Steeler’s, but all the drama during the AB fiasco shows that they have been more dysfunctional than the Kardashians. I like to bang on Tomlin like everyone else, and he does deserve some criticism, but I also think it’s obvious he has had a very difficult job keeping all of those egos in check.

  32. We’ll never really know if this is true, but it wouldn’t surprise me. While the evidence showed he wasn’t guilty of sexual assault–which is why no charges were ever filed–there are more than enough anecdotes demonstrating the guy is a jackass. He may be less overtly obnoxious since his suspension, but I doubt his character has changed significantly. He’s a top-notch quarterback, but being an athletic star doesn’t make you a great person anymore than being a great person makes you an athletic star. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if stuff like this happened on other teams as well.

  33. nflgm says:
    March 17, 2019 at 6:02 am
    For some reason this really doesn’t surprise me. The Steelers will be better off when he is no longer playing.

    275 60 Rate This
    ——————————-

    2 Super Bowls and a Mendenhall fumble away from a 3rd… what a bum!
    300+ yards passing per game the last 5 years with a 96+ rating… what a loser!
    Throwing a pair of perfect TDs to Santonio on the game winning drive behind the worst O-line in football … lets all laugh at him!

    90+ rating in 10 playoff games just like Drew Brees
    Rivers has 5
    Luck has 2
    Goff has never done it in 4 tries.
    Brady has done it 21 times
    Montana did it 14 times
    Elway did it 9 times

    Yeah, replacing Ben will be easy…

  34. Nofoolnodrool,

    I don’t put any of these athletes on any kind of pedestals, even the ones advertisers tell me that I’m supposed to like. So no, I wasn’t surprised by Tiger’s shenanigans any more than I was with anything to do with Roethlisberger. The fact is that he’s not demonstrated great character in or out of the locker room over many years. Even his bff Bruce Arians kind of called him out in his book on how he carried himself. I’m just saying, he might want to look in the mirror now that he’s getting another reset with another guy with conflict with him leaving the organization to stop this from happening and maybe stop the Steelers from coming up short in big spots on his watch, which has happened a lot since they transitioned from all of those strong defensive leaders that would pick him up to now where he’s the elder guy in that locker room all of the “kids” are looking up to. Not going back and forth with Brown was a good start and hopefully it stays taht way, but he also needs to look at how he interacts with his teemates, especially his receivers, so that this stuff stops coming up where multiple guys who have left there have questioned his leadership.

  35. I’m not surprised – the Pittsturd Rusty Nails have been devoid of professionalism for years. There isn’t one player on there that is worth more than the price of a big mac when it comes to being decent men.

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