Life in the National Football League isn’t always smooth and easy. Along with the money and accolades comes a massive amount of criticism, and that criticism heightens depending on the profile of the player.
For Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the criticism this past offseason has been memorable for all the wrong reasons. Antonio Brown did as much damage to Roethlisberger’s image and character as he could on his way out the door, Le’Veon Bell piled on and the mainstream media continued to beat the dead horse at every turn.
Prior to Organized Team Activities (OTAs), Roethlisberger went on KDKA TV in Pittsburgh with a one-on-one interview with sports anchor Bob Pompeani and was very apologetic regarding how his relationship with Brown deteriorated, but to some this apology wasn’t enough.
Members of the media have been critical of Roethlisberger’s apology, primarily due to the delay in the message. Since it came so long after Brown left Pittsburgh, the majority of mainstream NFL media saw it as fake, and a Public Relations ploy before the team headed back to work last week.
Regardless of what fans might say, these players hear the sound bytes. They see the videos online and read the articles. And when JuJu Smith-Schuster saw this, he took to social media to make a clear and concise message.
All he had to say was, “That’s my quarterback.”
However, in typical JuJu fashion, he followed that initial tweet up with the classic GIF of an emotional Terrell Owens tearing up at a post-game press conference when talking about Tony Romo.
JuJu didn’t come out and blast the media, but instead sent a subtle message to the fans, and his teammates. This team seems determined to move on, and can you blame them? After a week of OTAs the general concensus for players who survived the 2018 season is how it is in the past, and it is time to move forward.
One thing we know for sure, is Big Ben is JuJu’s quarterback...cue the T.O. crying GIF.