Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger Admits To Being Upset On Draft Day

According to a story two weeks ago about agent Ryan Tollner by Austin Murphy of Sports Illustrated, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger reportedly sent Tollner a text message not suitable for sharing following the selection of Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier in the first round.

When I initially read that report, it didn’t seem like that big of deal, but apparently there was more to that text message after all. On Tuesday, Roethlisberger insinuated that he wasn’t overly pleased with the Steelers waiting until the fourth round to get him a “tall” wide receiver.

“I got caught up in doing what I always say not to do, and that’s listen to the media,” Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “[The Steelers] obviously have their agenda, the things they want, and they got two guys that they felt can help this team.”

Roethlisberger obviously got caught up in all of the offseason speculation that the Steelers would draft him a “tall” wide receiver early on in the draft. However, with Mike Evans already off the board by the time the Steelers first-round pick rolled around, I’m guessing that Roethlisberger thought that Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin should have been the pick.

It’s really hard to completely judge Roethlisberger’s quote when we don’t have the full context of it, but it doesn’t sound like he’s totally unhappy with the team drafting Dri Archer and Martavis Bryant. After all, not only is Bryant “tall”, he’s fast. Archer is fast as well, but he certainly won’t be mistaken as being “tall”.

I suspect that we haven’t heard the end of this and I expect that Roethlisberger will be asked to further clarify these comments over the course of the next few days or weeks. If this ends up being the biggest story of the offseason, the Steelers will be just fine, in my opinion.

Now it’s your turn. What do you think about Roethlisberger’s comments as they are currently being portrayed?

  • Dan Sunseri

    this is not a story. It’s exacerbated by the media. To expand upon a famous Tomlin quote ” I don’t care about what is said, i care about the six Lombardi’s .

  • Paddy

    The big elephant in the room is Ben’s new contract, do they dare let him test free agency? That’s where a lot of this comes from I think

  • Jim McCarley

    Ben wants to win. He is in the twilight of his career and has been asking for a tall receiver since Plax left…..Even though Plax came back , he was useless, imo. Ben has a right to his opinion and a right to ask for whatever he thinks will help them win more Lombardis……If this is the extent to Ben’s news media exposure, then I’m very pleased….Ben is the only reason that the team has been competitive the last few years, so that sort of gives him the right to speak for the team, the offense anyway. Again, if this is the most we hear out of Ben during the offseason, then that’s a plus in my book.

  • CuldesacBill

    I think it depends on what the Steelers told Ben about drafting a tall wide receiver. I think he has to look at the bigger picture. The Steeles biggest needs were on defense and that is what they did. By the way, that should be Florida State wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, not Beachum. Thanks.

  • Steelers12328882

    Wow! Don’t listen to the media for sure, but maybe don’t talk to the media about this one either lol.

  • Geoff Cordner

    It is interesting to hear Ben’s unfiltered opinion of the draft, but this isn’t really that controversial. People in sports are too cautious about openly sharing their thoughts now a days.. why shouldn’t he be disappointed? Give Shazier and Tuitt more incentive to show him how they were the right picks…

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Why, probably the same reason you don’t insult people you are going to work with when you meet them. Incentive? Maybe to dislike Ben but he seems to make that easy.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    The team just spent a bunch of high picks on the line because he wouldn’t get rid of the ball quickly and now he’s upset that we don’t spend more 1st rounders helping him?

    Defense is part of the game too and if Ben is an elite QB he should be able to do his job without having the entire offense be 1st and 2nd round picks.

  • Superdriller316

    A true leader puts the team first. A true leader keeps issues in house and out of the press.

  • Geoff Cordner

    Insult? Really? Don’t see it. He probably wanted K Benjamin – that doesn’t mean he thinks the picks are crap. Just not what he was hoping for. So what? If the picks felt insulted then they really need to start developing thicker skin pretty quickly – because they are going to hear much worse than this during their careers.

  • Geoff Cordner

    I don’t see the big deal at all. If it was Tomlin saying it, then I would see it as an issue. Big Ben? Eh.. he wanted a tall WR so why wouldn’t he inially be disappointed?

  • I thought they would have picked WR Kelvin Benjamin.

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Hopefully not from teammates angry they aren’t someone else.

  • Superdriller316

    This isn’t the first time Ben put his foot in his mouth and has had to walk his statement back. If you have issues with the FO, then take it up with them and keep it out of the press. Ben does this all the time. It’s like he likes to see his name in the paper.

  • Jeff Anoble

    Ben should have watched those old America’s Game highlights this past weekend on NFL network. Defense wins championships at least in our case. That 2008 defense was borderline historic at one point.

  • JB

    Much ado about nothing. Reminds me of the storm that erupted when Alan Faneca said that he was not excited at all about having a rookie QB starting after the starter went down week 1. Every word spoken is over analyzed to make it so much more dramatic that it needs to be…

  • ApexSteel

    In Ben’s eyes he saw that the offense needed talent and we can’t always hope our late rounders pan out. Maybe his comments were a reflection of the players we had on the roster.

  • srdan

    Not a chance


    I had been thinking “just shut up, Ben” until I read your comment. You are right. If this is the most severe scandal of the off season, we’re home free.

  • John Fraraccio

    I wouldn’t put it past Kelvin Beachum to say he’d give it his best.

  • Andy Kees

    I was skeptical at first, but quickly remembered that the inability to get consistent stops on defense was a major problem last season. The statistics reflect the front office’s way of thinking for this draft. Run Defense ranked 21st in the league. Offense was ranked 16th in points scored. I believe a major void was filled with the first two picks.

  • Craig Ressler

    Well, he’s just like most of us Steeler fans, sick of all our WRs being under 6 foot. If we, who sit on our couches, are sick of all our WRs being under 6 foot could you imagine being the one throwing to all of them? I don’t blame him. I hope Bryant turns out to be that tall capable WR for Ben.

  • bonairsfavoriteson

    How quickly the schmucks forget, it was not that long ago that Kevin answered a question with, ” We have to get players, that will enable our QB, to be successful
    and put points on the board.” Not an exact quote but it was during one of the press conferences , prior to the draft , regarding a question about drafting a tall wr.

  • Labrat0116

    Nothing to see here…… move along……. Ben is a happy camper!

  • Guest

    Ben and Santonio won that SB…..the defense gave up two second half tds and lose the lead…..Thankfully, they got younger and faster in the offseason….

  • Superdriller316

    The defense also put 6 on the board too.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I disagree. The only way we’re winning another Lombardi is with Ben playing effectively. Ben has been asking for an elite tall receiver for the last ten years. What does the front office do?…

    Last year they have a chance to draft Tyler Eifert and they pass on him to draft a LB at 1.17. This year they have a chance to draft Kelvin Benjamin and they pass on him to draft another LB at 1.15. (WTF)

    If we were drafting a Patrick Willis or a Ray Lewis or a Luke Kuechly then I’d understand. But Jarvis Jones? And Ryan Shazier? Seriously?

    I guess time will tell, but with three 1st rounders and one 2nd rounder at LB, and one 1st rounder and one 2nd rounder at DE, and one 1st rounder and one 2nd rounder at Safety, this defense better be F-ing lights out.

    And when we can’t score any red zone points this year (for like the 8th consecutive year) don’t put the blame on Ben or Haley. Put it on the defense.

    If I was Ben I’d be pissed also. (Sorry for the rant)

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    You’re right that Ben should keep his comments out of the media. But (in my opinion) you’re wrong that Ben is not putting the team first. He’s just trying to win games. And he’s wondering how we’re going to score red zone points with a bunch of smurfs. As am I.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Amen. The Steelers have had a lot of great defenses over the years. But the only time we’ve ever won a Super Bowl was when we had Terry Bradshaw or Ben Roethlisberger at QB.

  • Superdriller316

    He won two SB’s with a bunch of smurfs. A leader makes due with what he has. The FO makes decisions on what’s best for the whole team, not just to cater to the QB, who has questioned their decisions in the press.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    And how many more could he have won with bigger better receivers?

  • Superdriller316

    Maybe he should work more on his accuracy. How many more games would we have won if he doesn’t throw a pick-6 on the final drive?

    Bigger doesn’t always mean better.

  • treeher

    I expect the QB to lobby for offensive weapons and I’d be a bit concerned if he didn’t. He knows the team drafted best available to fulfill needs.

  • Pretty much anything Ben says that’s in any way negative is going to be blown way out of proportion. Basically, though, he’s entitled to his opinions (even if it’s another lesson about how even what you think may be a private thought can go public) and maybe he was disappointed at first. Which would be fine. He a star QB. Even if he’s a team player, he thinks in those terms. And it’s highly unlikely he knew much, if anything, about Shazier and Tuitt. Now he does, and now things probably make a lot more sense to him.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Nothing personal but I’m getting tired of that inaccurate cliche. Let’s look at the actual facts. Here’s a list of the past 10 years of Super Bowl winners and their team rankings on offense (points scored) and defense (points allowed):

    XLVIII – Seahawks (offense #8) (defense #1)
    XLVII – Ravens (offense #10) (defense #17)
    XLVI – Giants (offense #9) (defense #25)
    XLV – Packers (offense #10) (defense #2)
    XLIV – Saints (offense #1) (defense #20)
    XLIII – Steelers (offense #20) (defense #1)
    XLII – Giants (offense #14) (defense #17)
    XLI – Colts (offense #2) (defense #23)
    XL – Steelers (offense #9) (defense #3)
    XXXIX – Patriots (offense #4) (defense #2)

  • Bryan Duffey

    “We…” Ben… It’s “WE had an agenda”….”things WE wanted”…”WE got two guys WE think could help the team”. It’s called leadership.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Okay, dude. We’ll see when Ben retires how many Super Bowls we win with only a great defense.

  • Superdriller316

    He could have had his third in SB XLV had he not thrown two picks and the pick he threw to Nick Collins went for 6.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    This site is delaying my subsequent stat posts but if you look at the Super Bowl winners over the last 20 years…

    Their offense has ranked higher than their defense on 9 occasions. Their defense has been better than offense on 8 occasions. And they were tied on 3 occasions.

    (More recently in the “new” NFL) 5 of the last 8 Super Bowl winners had a defense ranked #17 or LOWER. Only 3 of the last 8 winners had a highly ranked defense.

    My point is… “Defense wins championships” is only correct in about half the cases. In the other half “Offense wins championships”. You can win either way.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Yeah, and if our defense wouldn’t have gotten torched by Aaron Rogers we would’ve won Lombardi #7. Round and round we go. Rogers 24/39, 304 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs. Where was our defense then? Defense wins championships right?

    Let me ask you this. How come we didn’t win any Super Bowls under Bill Cowher’s vaunted defenses with average QB’s? Look at the last 20 years of Super Bowl winners. What percentage of them did not have an elite QB?

    Get some stats on your side before you start debating.

  • chris ward

    I think Ben was surprised, like a lot of fans were, with the media talking so much WR, CB the first two rounds and the Steelers went a different direction.

  • Superdriller316

    Neil O’Donnell did the same thing Ben did. PICK-6!! Larry Brown had better receiving stats than our own WR’s.

    To your stats, Rogers 3 TD’s 0 Picks, Ben 2 TD’s 2 Picks.
    It’s hard for your defense to keep points off the board when they are on the sideline.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    You’re making my point for me. A majority of the time, good QB play is the difference in winning Super Bowls. That’s why you draft an elite QB (like Ben not Neil) and then you draft players to support him. Like the tall WR Ben is asking for.

    Go back and watch Super Bowl XLV again so you know what you’re talking about. I was there at the game in Dallas, so I know.

    Ben’s first INT was on a left sideline pass to Mike Wallace (shrimp). Ben was hit while he was throwing. Perhaps a taller WR might’ve come back and battled for the lame duck ball?

    Ben’s second INT was a pass over the middle to (again shrimp) Mike Wallace. Who had it ripped out of hands by Jarrett Bush. Perhaps a bigger stronger WR would’ve held onto the ball?

  • Ahmad

    I think he felt the exact feelings most of Steeler Nation felt after the 1st 3 rounds so I say no judging the guy.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Agreed. But it was also about draft value. Everybody in the NFL world knew there was value to be had by trading down. Even Colbert knew it.

    Colbert indicated his phone was ringing (with offers) at 1.15. The Browns said they were trying to trade up with Dallas 1.16. We likely could’ve gotten a 2nd rounder to move down to 1:26 because they paid a 3rd to move up to 1.22. We were 7 spots higher.

    What if we drafted K. Benjamin at 1:26. Then used the Browns 2nd rounder on Kyle Van Noy who could play either OLB or ILB. We still get Stephon Tuitt at 2.14. And we can draft two CBs in the 3rd and 4th round.

    All of our biggest needs would’ve been met and everyone would’ve been happy. That is what would’ve been best for the “TEAM”. That’s why Ben was upset.

  • Superdriller316

    Green Bay caused 3 turnovers. Green Bay put 21 points on the board from said turnovers. Green Bays defense was better than ours, outcome, Pittsburgh lost.

    Since your a stat guy. How tall are the guys who hold all of the Steelers receiving records? I’m guessing they are 6 foot or shorter.

    About Benjamin, he wasn’t worth the 15th pick. I guess other teams thought the same since he went at 28.

    So let’s stop crying about what we didn’t get. Adapt and Overcome. That’s what a real leader does.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    I can appreciate your different point of view. And we can agree to disagree.

    I just think that when you draft 4 LB’s at 1.15, 1.15, 1.17, 2.15. And 2 DE’s at 1.31 and 2.14. And then you draft a 6th round WR and a 3rd round WR and a 4th round WR. It’s a little unfair to tell your QB to adapt and overcome.

    Why not draft a couple of 1st round WR’s and then tell your defense to adapt and overcome?

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Amen Craig. Well said.

  • RMSteeler

    If Ben was upset enough after the 1st pick, he must have had a cow after Archer’s selection in the 3rd, with good, tall receivers available. It worked out for him anyway, getting 2nd round value in Bryant in the 4th. I’m sure Ben has modified his views after time passed and evaluations of all the picks. There are so many weapons on both offense and defense after FA and the draft, I think Ben will finally have a “fun” year after 2 yrs of frustration. I think Lebeau will be re-energized with all the new schemes he can devise from the defensive additions. I hope to see Ben content and happy after a couple of games this year! He deserves it.

  • Jeff

    This just in… Ian Rapaport reports that QB Ben Roethlisberger demands another sit down with the Rooney’s… More lies to come!

  • Superdriller316

    They drafted one in the 2nd and the guy was a dud. Pittsburgh was given grades of A and B’s and a C for that pick..

    The defense tried to adapt and overcome. Foote goes down and a UDFA fills in. He can’t get it done. Then the 6th round draft pick was thrust into action. He couldn’t get it done. Then the put Troy in the box. Now the secondary’s getting burnt. So they did try to overcome. Now they drafted players to fill those voids.

    Last time I looked, Ben threw for the second most yards in his career.

    That short WR that was drafted in the 6th round. That holds most team receiver records. The first player in NFL history to have 1000 receiving yards and 1000 return yards. He also is a 2 time Steelers MVP. Not to mention we got him on the cheap.

  • Yiz

    Last time I checked, we won two SB and went to a third without a tall receiver. It’s definitely nice to have one but not necessary. Plus repairing the D with young talent was a bigger necessity. And to downplay Shazier & Jones, this early is premature. Ray Lewis was not heralded like P Willis coming out of college (many ppl thought Lewis was to small), he made his name in the NFL. In other words, give them 2-3 years in LeBeau’s D before you pass a true judgment on them.

  • Superdriller316

    I didn’t like the JJ pick. I thought he was slow and couldn’t get off TE blocks not alone OT blocks. The Steelers picked him and I support him because he’s on the team.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Ben has wanted many things over the years but last time I checked, he didn’t get it and went to (count em) three SB.

    We could not of gotten there without Ben but don’t get it twisted he’s no GM. Doesn’t anyone find it funny that both SB MVPs were the not-so-tall receivers? Oh the irony.

    Love Ben’s game but I like him better when he’s not in the media making silly comments like Rosetta Stone. Notice how the great one’s are never in these situations making dopey comments.

  • Shannon Stephenson

    I try not to get too caught up in what the media portrays. they are out to sell newspapers or come to their blog sites so to take a few words out of what could have been a long winded statement is unfair. I will wait and see if more comes up before I sentence anyone to a hanging

  • 2443scott

    i say ok how many steeler nation fans prob said same thing after the first pick ….after all hes the qb wouldnt he have a stronger feeling then most would …if he didnt comment then that would make him just another qb who isnt going to win another superbowl

  • SteelersDepot

    Sounds like you just bitched about a post bitching about about what a player said. No?

  • Jacque Strappe

    You win by getting off the field and giving the ball back to your offense in decent field position, not in the shadow of your goalpost. Sure Ben would love to carry it all by simply outscoring your opponent. That never has panned out well. Ben won his rings because of solid defense and solid offense. He’d be wise to keep his hand off the send button and remember that.

  • RedCarpetDefense

    Hey Ben, think you got it bad? Go talk to Tom Brady. Patriots dump every good receiver he’s had and replace them with lesser players and all Mr. Brady has done was get them deep into the playoffs (as division champs no less) just about every year. If the Patriots considered trading up in any of recent years’ drafts to grab a Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, AJ Green, etc. I’m convinced they’d have as many Lombardi’s as the Steelers or more by now.

  • AzheDraven

    It’s not their fault because Carolina reached for Kelvin Benjamin because they suck at keeping their players. Lol

  • Tommy Little

    You can’t have one without the other. Yes the “D” needs to get off the field, but the offense also needs to sustain drives and get in the end zone. So the “D” isn’t so dang tired all the time. The Draft Pick is just a number. Countless Steeler HOF’s came out of later rounds. There are needs in all areas and I feel the Steelers did a great job at addressing those areas through FA and the past 2 drafts. Let’s not forget about the Steelers we already have. Here We Go Steelers, Here We Go!

  • Eric MacLaurin

    Wouldn’t that be another reason not to say anything?

    You either don’t like the guys they picked and/or don’t like the guys you’re working with. Getting mad isn’t an issue but part of leadership is making the guys on your team think you’re glad they’re there.

    Any beef with ownership should be handled with them.

  • Johnny Loose

    The media has been trying to cause unnecessary turmoil for the Steelers for a while now, especially in regards to Ben. It’s like they know that’s the only prayer they have of us not getting our 7th superbowl victory. #HereWeGoSteelers

  • Steelers@2010

    Benjamin at #15? Are you kidding me? Big Ben should stick to playing QB, work on getting rid of the Football on time. And now that he has one, I hope he doesn’t forget who the best WR on that team is, Antonio Brown.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    That’s the same type thinking the Patriots have used the last few years. “Tom Brady is the best QB in the NFL. He doesn’t need any tall early round WR’s. It’s would be nice but not a necessity.”

    Look at what happened in 2007 when they gave him a Randy Moss to go along with his Wes Welker and Donte Stallworth. Brady threw 50 TD’s that year (hitting Moss for 23 of those).

    Meanwhile last year, they said “Tom Brady can get by with a bunch of no name receivers. And he throws for half the number of TD’s (25).

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    Call me greedy but I’m not satisfied with just going to three Super Bowls with Ben. Tom Brady has gone to (count em) five Super Bowls. And is looking to go to a few more.

    As I said in the post above. You don’t need ALL tall WRs. But your team is more effective when you have a balance (like the Patriots did with Welker/Stallworth/Moss). To me it just shows how good Ben is that has made do for 8 years with shrimp WR’s.

    I believe giving him one first round receiving weapon would’ve been reasonable at this particular juncture. Especially after just going OLB at 1.17 last year.

    But I agree Ben shouldn’t make comments like those to the media.

  • StarSpangledSteeler

    As I posted below, the past 20 Super Bowl winners have won in a variety of fashions. There is not one right answer.

    The past 6 years the Steelers offense has ranked:

    2013 – 20th
    2012 – 22nd
    2011 – 21st
    2010 – 12th
    2009 – 12th
    2008 – 20th

    Our red zone offense is abysmal. It would be nice to give Ben a weapon that helps him/us score more TD’s

  • steelersfan

    Oh god…here we go again.

  • Ryan

    Exactly its a non issue. Steelers werent going to reach for Benjamin or any other WR and im sure Ben knew that. He still got his tall WR and we got him at a better value than a lot of mocks had him goin.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    I understand your point about our scoring woes and thus the need for quality receivers. True, last year we drafted Jones but we already had our wr starters plus Cotchery. And many people think Bryant is a better fourth round value than Benjamin would’ve been as a first. Time will tell but Bryant has the potential to be as good or better than Benjamin. But I also heard Ben recently say that IT ALL STARTS UP FRONT AND THE OFFENSE WILL BE AS GOOD AS THE OFFENSIVE LINE. And I wholeheartedly agree. When the line is good the quarteback has time to throw so average players in places like New England and Denver look really good. How good were Seattle’s receivers, really? An average group at best. Shazier is by all accounts a freak and maybe the most physically gifted player on the defense. Lets see what he can do. After all, in Steeler country we always say defense wins championships.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Last year they ran the ball for more touchdowns and yards. And they lost an Hernadez and Welker.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    How about an offense that can run the freakin ball in from two yards out without getting Bell decapitated. What’s with all this throwing stuff. We need to be able run for few too.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    I think being near last in the league in rushing may have something to do with drafting lineman high.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    Run the ball like we sue to.

  • Dewayne Braxton

    I agree. Getting on Ben’s case is stupid. Great defenses did nothing before he came. Cowher wasted many with Kordell, Maddox, Kent Graham, Miller, ODonnel. How soon we forget.

  • Virdin Barzey

    Its not greedy to want to go to more than 3 Superbowls, it the Steelers way. That’s what its always all the time about. Nothing less. As many rings as possible.

    I personally think the tall receiver talk is silly. I completely disagree about the team needing balance with a tall receiver. Who had better balance than the Colts with Manning/Wayne/Harrison/Clark/Stokely. The big receiver now is the TE. We have one of the best in Heath Miller.

    Using the Welker/Stallworth/Moss comparison is skewed since Stallworth did nothing and Moss did everything. Moss is an exceptional talent that had the skills to surpass Jerry Rice. That’s rare.

    Ben already had first round talent receiver in Plaxico and Holmes. I beg to differ about the shrimp WRs since Ward bailed out Ben many many times over as he was coming up. If you have a top notch running game, I personally believe that the big receiver is overrated unless he is rare freak like Megatron or Moss.

  • Yiz

    Tom Brady has never one a super bowl with a tall receiver. Last years super bowl champs didn’t have a tall receiver and like I said before, we’ve won 2 superbowls without a tall receiver. Therefore, a tall receiver doesn’t equate to a SB win and Tom lost with his one tall receiver in the SB.

  • IckyD

    Rapapport just makes stuff up about Ben and the Steelers and hopes some of it is accurate…he’s a putz.

  • IckyD

    So you checked to make sure his receiver ran the correct route and didn’t fall down or quite on the route then?

    And he wasn’t being hit from behind or under serious pressure or had the ball batted?

    It’s all Ben’s fault?

    You sure?

  • IckyD

    IMHO it was a roid-raged Matthews who layed a textbook hit on our RB late in the 4th causing that fumble in our Red Zone; if not for the absolutely PERFECT placement of that hit on the ball to cause the turnover we almost definitely score and win.

    Despite it all we still had a win in our hands in the last few minutes- until the Football Gods deemed otherwise.

    Still- 4 AFCGs, 3 SBs, and 2 Lombardi’s in 7 years is OK by any measure.

    At least i think so.

  • Superdriller316

    And all of those games except one AFCCG, all WR’s were 6’1″ or shorter. My point is that you DON’T need a 6’5″ receiver. It’s nice to have, but not needed.