The Pittsburgh Steelers were in the news for all the wrong reasons once again on Monday after reports of an alleged argument between Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger hit the headlines. Despite having been officially ruled out of the game on Sunday because of a knee injury, an article by Ed Bouchette and Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette suggested a very different reason for his absence.
Allegedly, Brown sat out the week of practice following a heated disagreement with Roethlisberger, a decision that would ultimately lead to him being benched on Sunday by the coaching staff. However, when Big Ben appeared on his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan on Tuesday, the quarterback claimed to have little knowledge of this “big incident” being reported in the media.
“That’s the kind of baffling thing to me, people are making a big deal about a walk-through on Wednesday, that there was a blow up, a fight between he and I. I don’t know anything about that. If there was a blowup or something, I should as heck didn’t see it. You know, this big deal was made about that and I’m not really sure where that comes from. I talked to AB on Thursday morning, because after the walk through AB left on Wednesday and then on Thursday morning I talked to AB and everything was great and fine and then this story just keeps growing. Like I said, I consider AB to be one of my closest friends on the team, so I’m not really sure why or where some of this blowup is coming from.”
Believing everything was fine with Brown on Thursday morning, Roethlisberger acknowledged he has had issues contacting his wide receiver since he left team facilities that day, but had no idea why Brown had missed practice the rest of the week.
“He and I talked and I mean that’s the last time I spoke with him. I’ve reached out to him numerous times, I’ve called him, texted him, I know other guys on the team have too and haven’t heard back from him. But Thursday morning, he and I talked and there was no issue. So I’m not really sure.”
“I can’t speak for AB. We were trying to prepare. I was trying to prepare myself to go out and win a football game against Cincinnati. So I honestly, I can’t speak for him and for his mindset.”
“I had heard some mixed things about a knee and then he wasn’t really there to get the opportunity to speak to. Like I said, I reached out to him numerous times, called, text and tried to talk to him to find out what was going on and then just hadn’t heard back. So I really couldn’t get any answers for me.”
Repeatedly mentioning that Brown is one of his best friends on the team, Big Ben downplayed any notion of a rift between the two players or between Brown and any of the other players on the roster. Although he did admit some were frustrated with the receiver’s lack of communication with his teammates.
With Brown noticeably silent on this matter since the story broke, fans may never get a clear picture of what actually went on unless Mike Tomlin opts to shed some light on the situation during his final press conference of the season on Wednesday.