Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday in a pre training camp interview with Bob Labriola of Steelers Digest that he expects quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to be a leader in 2013.
“He needs to be what his teammates need him to be, formally and informally, on the field and off. Not only is he a capable player, but he’s a veteran one. He understands the drill, what we’re doing here and what we aspire to do. He needs to be a shining example of all of those things for our young players,” Tomlin said of Roethlisberger.
“Different people need different things from him. He’s got to provide them what it is they need. Maybe it’s a pat on the back, maybe it’s a kick in the butt, maybe it’s individually, maybe it’s collectively. He and I spent a lot of time talking about those things, and he understands it.
“It’s a very complex balancing act, but one that I think is done naturally for those that play that position. The men who play that position, particularly as long as he has, understand what comes with it.”
Tomlin\’s comments really aren\’t surprising as the fate of the Steelers in 2013, as usual, depends on Roethlisberger more than it does anything else. It is a very important year for the veteran quarterback as the Steelers are expected to extend his contract next offseason, so you would expect nothing but the best out of him both on and off the field.
Roethlisberger has said and done all the right things so far this offseason and he appears to be a lot more comfortable with the not only the offense, but offensive coordinator Todd Haley as well. The quarterback said early in the offseason that the dialogue has been good as it relates to changes that had to be made in the offense and that his input has been taken into consideration.
Roethlisberger was off to a great start last year prior to being sidelined with a rib and shoulder injury that he suffered in the Week 10 game against the Kansas City Chiefs and there is no reason to think that he can\’t play at that same level in 2013. In short, Roethlisberger shouldn\’t have any problems fulfilling the request of his head coach.