Heyward, the Steelers defensive tackle who was Roethlisberger’s teammate for 11 seasons, said he thinks his young teammates are as committed to the team as any players of the past.
“It looks as though we are looked at as selfish players, and I don’t think that’s the point,” Heyward said on his podcast, via ESPN. “We have a lot of young players that come from different backgrounds, have experienced different things from what others or I may have experienced. That doesn’t make them selfish or more of a me-type attitude. . . . There are a lot more team-first guys than me-type attitude. I took offense to that.”
Heyward says that if Roethlisberger didn’t think the young players on the Steelers were doing all the little things necessary to help the team win, then Roethlisberger should have done more to be a team leader.
“Obviously we haven’t had a Super Bowl in a long time, and maybe that’s where Ben is like, ‘Man, if those guys would have grown up.’ But it’s up to the older guys to step up and hold guys accountable. . . . It’s up to a vet to put you under your wing and pull you across and say, ‘Hey, this is what it’s like to be Pittsburgh Steeler.’ And that’s what I’m trying to do. Maybe Ben didn’t see it that way, but man, I’m going to protect my guys. You just can’t say it’s a ‘me-type of attitude’ now. Everyone’s out to be a Super Bowl winner, make money, one day be an MVP. But when it all comes together, we care about one thing, this logo right here. . . . I’ve always tried to extend that to my younger teammates. I think Ben was a little out on that one.”