Ben Roethlisberger Thinks Antonio Brown Is Going To Miss Mike Wallace Right From The Get-Go

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is making the local media rounds this week, and on Thursday morning, he was an in-studio guest on 93.7 The Fan.

During the interview, Roethlisberger was asked about how much he would miss wide receiver Mike Wallace, who signed with the Miami Dolphins right at the start of the free agency signing period, this season.

“I\’m going to miss him as a person,” said Roethlisberger. “As a teammate he\’s a great locker-room guy. He always brought a smile to your face because he was fun. He was funny and I\’m really going to miss him, but on the field, he was something special. I mean he really was and people don\’t realize how important it is to have a guy with his ability on the football field, and the guy that\’s going to probably notice it the most right from the get-go is Antonio Brown.

“When you have guys – that safeties have to respect Mike\’s speed. Cornerbacks, defenses are scheming to stop Mike Wallace going deep. It opens up other receivers and so to lose a guy like that is really going to be tough for all of us.”

While Roethlisberger does make a great point about how the loss of Wallace will likely impact Antonio Brown instantly this season, his glowing words about his former teammate being a good locker-room guy might be a little too much edification.

While they didn\’t name names, both Brown and former Steelers safety Will Allen alluded to Wallace not being a team player in interviews that each have done over the course of the last several weeks.

We will have to watch the kind of coverage that Brown each get early on in the 2013 season, but hopefully the retention of Emmanuel Sanders at least helps ease the loss of Wallace a little bit.

Roethlisberger was asked at one point if speed was the only thing that Wallace brought to the table and the Steelers quarterback indicated that he offered more than just that.

“It\’s a football sense,” said Roethlisberger about Wallace. After explaining what that means by using Heath Miller and Hines Ward as examples, Roethlisberger added, “I think Mike had some of that.”

As far as Sanders goes, Roethlisberger heaped more praise on him Thursday after the Steelers decided on Sunday to match the wide receivers\’ $2.5 million offer sheet that he signed with the New England Patriots.

“I think Emmanuel is a good player, said Roethlisberger. “I think that he\’s a great player for us and I\’m glad he\’s back. I really am. There\’s been some talk – get rid of him – take the third round pick – this, this and the other, but from my perspective, my point of view, he\’s a good football player. He\’s valuable to this football team and I\’m glad and happy to have him back.

  • steeltown

    Well duh.. but, even WITH Wallace on roster last season we were 8-8.. no ifs ands or buts, we were 8-8 WITH Wallace on roster

    Bring on the draft.. and the next new face on the WR depth chart

  • even if MikeW was a “bad locker room guy”, good on Ben for not going there. It doesn’t help anyone to kick a guy on the way out. Ben has handled this offseason as well as he ever has. AB and Ryan Clark need to get away from the microphones and, especially AB needs to work on their on-field game instead of their media game.

  • Kareem Daniels

    How will Ben miss someone he couldn’t hit deep most of the time?

  • RW

    Wallace never made sense in a Todd Haley offense. Ben just doesn’t get it. He could operate under this quasi-west coast, Joe Montana offense and be so, so much more effective given that he can create plays downfield when the short game breaks down.

  • Kenneth Wilt

    Honestly, I think Ben sometimes needs to keep his mouth shut. Let’s see who we end up with in the draft and after all cuts shake out and THEN let’s see if we miss him. Mike could have been back.

  • Cols714

    Of course we are going to miss Mike Wallace. You don’t lose a top receiver and not feel the pain.

    That being said, the Steelers were never going to give him the same contract that the Dophins did so he probably made the right choice.

  • David Edward

    I’m generally not interested in what Ben thinks about former players who signed with other teams. A short “he was a good guy, we’ll miss him” would’ve been sufficient. Going on about how great a former player was sounds like you’re laying out a possible excuse if things don’t go well. I’d rather him just stick to talking about how excited he is about improving on an 8-8 season and on playing with the guys who are on the roster.

  • steeltown


  • hergieburbur

    It is not news that when he is on the field, safeties have to respect Wallace’s speed and that helps open things up underneath. However, the design of the offense we run now mitigates that anyway. I think the person that will miss Wallace the most is Ben, since he loves making those deep-ball long scoring plays that Wallace is best at, and dislikes the ball control, upright QB offense that Haley uses.

  • Jollyrob68

    Patterson,Wheaton,Austin,Goodwin can all help Antonio Brown and make Ben forget about Wallace.
    Then there’s Hunter,Bailey,Hopkins,Swope, Patton,Rodgers& Allen.
    TE Eifert,Escobar,Kelce & Rice. Can all help The Steelers forget about Wallace who never high pointed the ball,Ever.

  • They should have asked Ben how Wallace and Sanders did when Brown went down for a few games. You can be a leader without over elaborating on every single issue. It is over, let’s get ready for 2013!

  • Busforever

    I really don’t know if there was tension between Wallace and AB. If there was, maybe Big Ben is sending a not-so-hidden message to AB. Like ”stop talking like you’re the best WR on the team, stay humble because this season is going to be harder for you”.

  • I think he is laying out the fact that Antonio Brown needs to step up this year, quit talking, and make sure he is ready to be a #1 receiver.

  • Maureen A Gomes

    Who says AB isn’t working on his on-field game? Personally, I think AB has a little bit of Hines in him, not Mike Wallace. For Ben to even mention MW having “football sense” like Hines is insulting.

  • TJimmy

    It almost sounded like he was saying that Antonio is only a good receiver because Wallace opened things up for him. I’m starting to wonder if the real problem in the Steelers locker room was from Roethlisberger.

    His attitude toward the coaching changes, his disrespect of the new OC and then Colbert saying that all options are on the table as far as drafting a QB.. Ben sets the tone in the locker room on offense and it’s looking like his bad attitude is showing again.

  • I think AB had essentially the same yardage as Wallace last year despite missing a few more games than Wallace due to injury. I wish every receiver would step up like AB has since he has been here. I do agree with you on the quit talking thing though.

  • steeltown

    I noticed that too.. I dont think Wallace is anything like Hines or Heath

  • haley offense sucks dont you get it

  • swope is slow and eifert is a Te how you goigng to replace 4.1 speed who can take the top off a defense at any time

  • Why are people hammering on AB? I agree the guy could practice shutting his mouth a bit more but his work ethic and production are the best we could ever ask for…especially for a 6th round draft pick!

  • mem359

    I think Ben is taking the high road when talking about other players. When he was getting clobbered due to poor line play, he still only had positive things to say about the linemen. The alternative would be someone like Jay Cutler, whose (valid) criticism of other offensive players causes many of the players to dislike him, and maybe not work as hard for him.

  • You must be referring to the one that had Ben on his way to his best statistical year and early MVP mention last year before he held on to the ball for about a second and a half too long and got injured??

  • steeltown

    Actually yes, you’re right and people dont talk about that enough.. Brown actually had more receptions and more first downs then Wallace while playing in less games in 2012.. the only reason Wallace had more yds last season is he has a slightly higher yds per catch avg

  • steeltown

    Heath Miller had a probowl season, Sanders had his best season to date, Brown scored the most TD’s he has since entering the League, Ben’s sack total was way down and he was in the MVP race before getting seriously injured… All this in Haley’s FIRST season with the Team

    The problem was inconsistent play from the makeshift OL and RB’s

  • David Edward

    Agree that he should take the high road when talking about his current players…for addressing former players, see my quote above for the appropriate way to handle.

  • Exactly David.

  • Bob Loblaw

    Ben has the passive aggressive approach to the media down pat. He knows there’d be an outcry if he said letting Wallace go was the wrong decision and that he didn’t like it. But it’s a lot harder to get angry at him for singing the praises of Wallace. So he does that loud and clear.

    Or, we’re all just jaded cynics and Ben is just complimenting a friend. Probably a bit of both.

  • Bob Loblaw

    I love the hate offensive coordinators get from Steelers fans. People hate Haley. Hated Arians. And all have conveniently forgotten how much they whined about Whisenhunt until he left.

  • steeltown

    I think its because A.Brown got his big payday, now he’ll never meet the expectations of a lot of fans

    Im just glad we drafted and ultimately signed a player like A.Brown instead of a guy like say Desean Jackson (whom in comparison I think is a very similar ‘athlete’ to Brown) DJ received a big contract $9.4MIL avg per season, while Browns is around $7MIL per season. (DJ had 2TD’s last year with 45rec.) BUT more than that he’s a distraction type player, not to mention he held out for that big deal he got…. A.Brown in comparison is a godsend

  • SteelerDave

    I’ve never been a big fan of Haley. However, if we had a healthy O-line and a RB with vision and health his offense would have worked just fine.

  • walter mason

    I can agree with Ben that Wallace has football sense and of course we all know he has speed. But thats about it. His hands were bad and his blocking horrible. Not much in common with Hines or Heath.

    Sure MW made some tremendous catches but most of his catches were into his body or when he was wide open. He could not fight for the tough catches in tight quarters or reach up and grab a pass with his hands on a dead run in traffic like Heath..

  • shaff

    Didn’t swope run the second fastest 40 for a wideout at the combine? Just cause his skin is white you assume he is slow. Shame. With that being said the steelers need more players who are all in for 7 days a week so that when Sunday comes the ball isn’t bouncing off their mittens. You can run faster than usain bolt, but if all your time is spent counting dollars then we have no use for you.

  • Kyle Owens

    Apparently the the Front Office thought Brown was the most valuable, even more so than Sanders.

  • r4kolb

    Let’s all remember this happens a lot with the Steelers. Teams overpay for our players because we are a successful franchise. Let’s do this: I’m going to start a list of successful Steeler players, or those who the Steelers wouldn’t overpay due to age, who left over the years only to be average the rest of their careers:
    Yancey Thigpen
    Santonio “Smokem” Holmes
    Chad Brown
    Joey Porter
    Neil O’Donnel
    Kendrall Bell
    Let’s see how many we can come up with.

  • JDR

    yins jaggoffs are constantly saying for these guys to shut up… its not like they are the ones setting up interviews, or radio/tv appearances…. or do you actually think the players call espmz or whoever to spill the beans on anything and everything.
    someone asks the question and they answer, how else would you have anything to read at this time of year,, also it is expected (and sometimes contractually obligated) to talk to the press… there are awards given every year to players who are most cooperative with the press