Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver, Hines Ward, called out Ben Roethlisberger’s leadership skills regarding the team’s current situation.
While Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert was talking about his quarterback’s impeccable leadership skills, his former wide receiver was doing the opposite.
Hines Ward hasn’t been shy this offseason, voicing his opinion on the Le’Veon Bell, Antonio Brown situations and the coaching and leadership within Pittsburgh. This time, he used his words to talk about Ben Roethlisberger and the leadership qualities people have been talking about lately.
Ward told the NFL Network that Roethlisberger isn’t the incredible leader Colbert praised him to be, and said he should be trying to fix things after the Brown situation.
"“It’s disappointing just to hear all the talks off the field with the Pittsburgh Steelers, that’s really never been the case.It’s unfortunate. Two great talents like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown aren’t going to be on the team going into next season. But yes, Ben is the leader of that team. He’s been there, he’s done that. I just think he has to take the initiative to kinda do more as a leader. Not just being able to call guys out on his radio show. Take them behind — treat them like, you know we always say we’re a band of brothers — like, pull me to the side, let me know what I can do to get better. You don’t have to air it out to the public where everyone can hear. So I just think he needs to do a better job of that.”"
Ward is one of the first former teammates to question Roethlisberger’s actions. While the media is pretty certain Ben is the problem, the Steelers front office feels differently. Colbert ranted for what seemed like hours about his quarterback being a leader during his pre-combine press conference. This led to a number of players and media voicing their opinions on the matter.
Certainly, calling players out on live radio isn’t going to make them feel good. Roethlisberger’s tactics regarding James Washington last season, calling out a play in which Ben believed Washington made a mistake, didn’t radiate well throughout the locker room.
Truthfully, Roethlisberger is an old school type of player, but today isn’t an old school type of game. Players are different and the league as whole has changed. Maybe calling guys out was acceptable ten years ago, but maybe players just didn’t want to speak up about how they felt about the situation.
Either way, if the Steelers don’t improve this season all eyes will be on Roethlisberger. This is now his team completely and it’s up to him to bring it back from the failed 2018 season.