By: Allan Erickson
Another NFL offseason is here, and with it, we have another Big Ben Roethlisberger drama press-conference. Big Ben discussed his dissatisfaction with the Steelers picking his eventual replacement, Mason Rudolph, in the 3rd round of the NFL draft, also hinting that he will not mentor the young quarterback, stating that if he needed help, Ben would “point to the playbook.” My only question is, why does an organization as esteemed as the Pittsburgh Steelers deal with a quarterback that brings more drama than the Kardashian sisters?
The Steelers are, in most cases, a classy, standup franchise. Did you see them give Ryan Shazier his salary as a signing bonus? Of course, it cleared some cap space; however, most importantly, it provided Shazier with some finances to continue to fight in order to make strides with his injury. This man may never play football again, but that’s not the point. The Steelers have his long-term interests at heart, and want him to recover as a human being, not necessarily as a football player. So why do the Steelers deal with this drama queen at quarterback? Sure, he’s won 2 Super Bowls, but he’s passed his prime, and the last two off-seasons he’s drawn nothing but negative attention to himself, his teammates, and this great franchise.
I was appalled at Big Ben publicly questioning the Steelers draft choice, because, he pondered retirement last year, now he wants to play 3-5 more seasons, but why should they take his word for it? He could quickly have a change of heart, as we’ve all seen him do in the past. With Ben, comes the accusations of sexual assault from multiple women, but we won’t get into that. We’ll just look at the hypocrisy of the league we all love.
I’m sure some of Steeler Nation is going to be upset by this post, but they shouldn’t be. They should realize that because Big Ben has led the Steelers to two championships, he’s essentially able to say and do whatever he wants, and be loved by Steeler Nation. The other half will agree with me, and some Steeler fans are already thinking Ben should call it a career. He doesn’t seem invested. The organization has done everything in its power to continue the successful run of Ben’s Steeler teams, (except locking up Le’Veon Bell long-term, which in itself, is quite the head-scratcher.)
I want you all to take a second to think about this. What if this was not a title winning quarterback? What if Cam Newton, Matt Ryan, Dak Prescott, Derek Carr, any well to do quarterback came out and questioned their teams picks in the draft, even going so far as to say “I’m not going to help mold him.” They would be annihilated by the fans, the media, pretty much anyone with a sports mind. Football is a team game, and you can’t go out and publicly bash your organization for their draft picks. Even if you are a super bowl winner.
Normally, I’m quite easy on the Steelers because they’re a stand-up organization. Something needs to be done from the front offices, though. Players need to realize they’re in place to play, not scrutinize moves made by the front office. Big Blunder here, Big Ben. If you have a problem, take it to the people in charge, don’t take it to the media and give us all yet another reason to dislike you. A few years ago, people hated Cam Newton for dabbing after celebrating touchdowns. Imagine if he went out to the media and said “I don’t like the fact the Panthers picked D.J. Moore, I’m never going to throw him the ball, and I’m going to avoid trying to make him a great player.” That wouldn’t sit too well, and neither should this.