During Ben Roethlisberger’s weekly radio spot on 93.7 The Fan, the franchise quarterback was asked about Antonio Brown’s outburst on the sideline Sunday in the Steelers 26-9 win over the Ravens in Baltimore.
Roethlisberger, who usually gives the typical coachspeak answer responded with the polar opposite of that. In fact, he was brutally frank when it came to what he thought of Brown’s actions, not just as they pertain to him and the coaching staff, but even why he felt Brown was angry.
“He got upset because he was open, which I can understand. Sometimes that happens…it’s not like I intentionally missed him, it’s not like I intentionally didn’t throw it to him. I was doing what my reads tell me to do. I don’t even want to say I made a mistake, because I was reading the side I was supposed to read. It’s just unfortunate that it happened and it’s unfortunate that he acted and reacted that way.”
With the cause of the outburst outlined, it seemed odd that Brown was so hot in a game where the Steelers were playing better and moving the ball. Roethlisberger even tried to calm Brown down.
“I told him on the sideline, ‘AB, just come talk to me, ask me what happened, tell me that you were open.’ You know, if that were Heath Miller, I’d probably ask Heath on the sideline, ‘Hey Heath, were you open?’ and he’d probably tell me no because he wouldn’t want you to feel bad, that’s just who he was. That goes a lot further than throwing a temper tantrum.”
“We all tried to talk to him and it didn’t help. I think it’s bad in the sense that we have a lot of young guys that see that too. Juju [Smith-Schuster] sitting right next to him and looking at that, and what’s Juju thinking? Is he thinking that it’s OK to act that way? I don’t know.”
While this stuff happens on every NFL sideline almost weekly, did Roethlisberger think his actions were okay? Not exactly.
“I don’t know that he needs to react that way. He’s super human on the football field and, when that happens, it almost brings him back to being a mere mortal if you will, because it gets in his head and it just messes with all of us a little bit.”
Roethlisberger did mention that he wasn’t “trying to call AB out,” but he added, “This is causing a distraction that none of us really need.” Let’s just say Roethlisberger’s comments had the polar opposite effect as to eliminating any distraction heading into Week 5.