The Pittsburgh Steelers’ former QB1 Ben Roethlisberger aired out some comments about a culture change occurring in the NFL. The Steelers’ former quarterback discussed the differences in players today compared to players in the league when Roethlisberger was drafted in 2004.
Former Steelers QB1 Ben Roethlisberger Discloses That The NFL Culture Has Shifted To Me First Players
In an article published by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Friday, Roethlisberger recently spoke with Ron Cook about many topics including a culture change that has happened within the organization and the NFL as a whole.
“I feel like the game has changed,” Roethlisberger stated in the conversation. “I feel like the people have changed in a sense. Maybe it’s because I got spoiled when I came in. The team was so important. It was all about the team. Now, it’s about me and this, that and the other.”
“I might be standing on a soapbox a little bit, but that’s my biggest takeaway from when I started to the end,” Roethlisberger continued. “It turned from a team-first to a me-type attitude. It was hard. It’s hard for these young guys, too. Social media. They’re treated so well in college. Now, this new NIL stuff, which is unbelievable. They’re treated so special. They’re coddled at a young age because college coaches need them to win, too. I know coach [Terry] Hoeppner never coddled me [at Miami of Ohio]. Neither did [Bill] Cowher.”
Steelers’ Team Captain and Superstar DL Cam Heyward Took Exception to His Former Quarterback’s Comments
In a recent article published by ESPN, Heyward discussed the comments and how they made him feel.
“It looks as though we are looked at as selfish players, and I don’t think that’s the point,” the veteran defensive lineman said on his “Not Just Football with Cam Heyward” podcast. “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.”
“I’m accountable for those guys,” Heyward stated. “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.”
Heyward doesn’t want anyone to think he’s throwing shots at his former QB1, but he has to protect his guys!
“Don’t say Cam is calling out Ben — it’s not like that,” Heyward said. “But I will say, I’ll protect my team. I will make sure that everybody knows that we care only about football on the field and less about off the field. We can all understand Ben has been a heck of a QB. You don’t do this game and become a Hall of Fame quarterback and do it at a low level.
“Ben has taken some hits not a lot of other teams could do. He saved us, he won games we weren’t supposed to win, and he’s always stepped up. But it was the team around him that helped him do it, and I don’t want anyone to ever forget that the whole team won — not just Ben.”