Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had the backing of his team’s general manager last November when he called out teammates in a radio interview after a loss to the Denver Broncos.
Roethlisberger appears on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh every week during the NFL season and after that loss to Denver he said Antonio Brown could have run a better route on a late interception, that then-rookie James Washington was “not going to be out there” on the field if he had more plays like his dropped pass against the Broncos.
The veteran also criticized offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner’s play-calling.
In an interview with NBC’s Michelle Tafoya before Sunday night’s preseason game, Roethlisberger was asked what he learned about the public criticism and the fallout.
“Yeah...I wish I wouldn’t have done it,” he said.
“Why?” Tafoya asked.
“Because obviously we saw what happened, and it ruined a friendship,” Roethlisberger said. “Just got caught up in the emotion, the heat of the battle.”
No sooner did he say the comments injured his relationship with Brown did Roethlisberger note that Washington reacted far differently than Brown.
“The other person I challenged that game was James Washington, and I know people made a big deal about that, but James Washington texted me, called me and talked to me in person, thanking me for that,” he said. “So the outside world was killing me for it, he thanked me and that’s all that really mattered.”
As to why Brown didn’t take the criticism well, Roethlisberger said, “You’ll have to ask him; I’m not sure.”
Brown is now with the Oakland Raiders after a March trade. Tafoya asked what Roethlisberger’s wish is for this year for his former teammate.
“That he has a good, healthy season,” Roethlisberger said.
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