On Thursday, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger stopped by the Southside to sign off on his contract restructure. During his visit he was asked about the state of the Steelers locker room following the comments made by a few Steelers players suggesting that the team is “fractured” after an anonymous teammate made negative comments about linebacker LaMarr Woodley concerning his play and conditioning last season.
“For anybody to say there are locker room issues or leadership issues are completely off base,” Roethlisberger said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
“I believe that\’s the frustration. I believe that it\’s frustration of last year, I honestly do.”
Roethlisberger went on to tell Bouchette that the team has several leaders on the team and that the locker room was not “fractured” like safety Ryan Clark and wide receiver Antonio Brown both suggested in recent interviews following the anonymous comments about Woodley.
“I want it to be known there is no locker room issue, there is no leadership issue,” said Roethlisberger, per the Bouchette report. “Even if guys say it out of frustration, they\’re trying to find something to say. I think it\’s important to know we all have each other\’s back.”
Bouchette passed along several great quotes in his report from the Steelers quarterback, who went on to say that he is hoping to put an end to all of this talk soon so that the team can move on with the offseason.
The comments made by Roethlisberger on Thursday are exactly the type of comments that you want to hear out of the mouths of every Steelers player moving forward when and if they are asked about the state of the locker room or the comments made about Woodley by the anonymous teammate.
Even if there were problems in the locker room last season, those problems need to stay in the locker room. Am I suggesting lying about it to the media? Hey, whatever it takes. The more players talk about the things that might have been wrong behind the locker room doors last season, the more other players will be asked about it. Each player will then be asked to comment on what the previous players said and the vicious cycle will be never ending.
Clark unfortunately was the first to talk about the locker room being “fractured” and Brown was a sitting duck when he was ambushed soon thereafter by Skip Bayless and Stephen A. Smith. What did those two yo-yos want Brown to talk about? They wanted him to comment on the anonymous player and what Clark said about the team. It was painful to watch.
Will Roethlisberger be able to stop this cycle? No, not by himself, he\’s not. It will take the next few players asked about the situation to give responses similar to those given by Roethlisberger. The next player that strays off course will make everything that the Steelers quarterback said on Thursday worthless and the cycle will continue on.
Roethlisberger will never be perfect with the comments that he makes to the media, but on Thursday he was. That\’s leadership and hopefully more players follow his lead. If not, this will continue on until the 2013 season begins, maybe longer.