Tomlin's message of the need of leadership from Ben Roethlisberger is well-timed

USA TODAY Sports

Leadership off the field is what generates the trust in leadership on it. That means Ben Roethlisberger's job in training camp is far more than just throwing passes and giving interviews.

It's good that Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has told quarterback Ben Roethlisberger he is to lead this team.

If that needed to be said, though, there's a bigger issue at hand.

While there are countless hours of inane statements made by NFL head coaches each season, this particular message, delivered by Tomlin via the Steelers web site, seems pointed, especially considering the timing of that message.

Leadership on the field is one thing, and it's based far more in communication. Lining people up the right way, talking about what the opponent is doing and how the game plan fits or doesn't fit with that. Leadership off it is more complicated. It's simple, yet, all emcompassing. It's bridging gaps between feuding players and/or coaches. It's being the proverbial first one on the field and the last one off.

I had a chuckle the other day (and decided not to post because the subject is getting a tad old) when a Dolphins reporter wrote Mike Wallace and Ryan Tannehill stayed on the field working on route combinations for an additional 10 minutes after practice.

Ten whole minutes, guys?

Roethlisberger can't force his receivers to stay on the field for Miami's truncated extra session. He does need to compel them to want to do it. And even if Roethlisberger doesn't want to do it, he needs to be the guy out there with them.

Let's hope that's what Tomlin is referring to heading into training camp.

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