After all the dust has settled, the Steelers went from having the “Killer B’s” to just Ben Roethlisberger left in Pittsburgh leaving many to wonder if he’s the problem.
Steelers Have Been Dysfunctional for A Few Years
The Pittsburgh Steelers are one of the model franchises in the NFL although they haven’t been acting like it lately. Last year’s holdout involving Le’Veon Bell dominated the headlines. When it wasn’t that it was the feud involving Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger. Even coach Mike Tomlin who has been very successful during his tenure has had his leadership questioned by media and fans alike. Well now they don’t have to worry about Bell or Brown anymore and it remains to be seen how that works out. The trio once known as the “Killer B'” (Ben, Brown Bell) spent 6 seasons together and did not make it to the Super Bowl. They had their chances and did come close in both 2016 and 2017 only to be let down by their defense. Regardless of what you think about their actions, Bell and Brown are top 5 players at their positions in the NFL. The Steelers had those guys in the building and didn’t do enough to keep them around while they are still in their prime.
A Lot of Questions Coming Up About Big Ben’s Leadership
The issues between Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger which ultimately led to Brown demanding to be traded have been well documented. Recently Le’Veon Bell was asked if Roethlisberger was the reason he wanted to leave and he responded by saying that he “was a factor”. That has led to stories questioning Roethlisberger’s leadership including former running back, Josh Harris, who claims Ben fumbled on purpose in a game against the Bengals back in 2014. The reason he did it according to Harris was to make then offensive coordinator Todd Hailey look bad. Of course something like that is almost impossible to prove because you would have to show intent. However Ben did have a notoriously bad relationship with Hailey which is why he is no longer in Pittsburgh. There’s also the numerous times he has called out teammates, including Antonio Brown on his radio show. Things got so bad Antonio Brown said that Ben has an “owner’s mentality” which could have several different meanings, none of them positive. The interview by Bell all but confirmed that when he said Ben plays favorites with who he gives the ball to. The issue with any accusations coming from Bell and Brown is that they have no reason to say anything complimentary about Roethlisberger at this point especially considering he has openly criticized both to the media. On the other hand, there have been enough negative things said about Roethlisberger as a teammate from players other than Brown and Bell plus his very ugly off the field behavior, that do make you pause and consider that there might be something to the rumors.
Super Bowl Winning QB’s Are Untouchable
There’s one thing that is being overlooked by certain critics regarding this situation and that’s Big Ben’s Super Bowl rings and what they mean to the organization. Take a look around the NFL and you will see several situations involving Super Bowl winning quarterbacks and turmoil within the organization. You have the soap opera in New York involving Eli Manning, or the issues between Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy in Green Bay. Even the clean cut Russell Wilson had issues in his locker room with members of the “Legion of Boom”, most notably Richard Sherman who took exception to the preferential treatment the Seahawks quarterback received. All of these issues have one thing in common, the Super Bowl winning quarterback got his way when it was all said and done. Now Big Ben stands alone as the undisputed leader in Pittsburgh if that wasn’t already clear. Although he is always under the microscope as the QB of the Steelers, he has to know that if they are unsuccessful next season, he will get all of the blame, fair or not.