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Thread: Ben Roethlisberger faced locker room issues

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    Veteran scudmissile29's Avatar
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    Ben Roethlisberger faced locker room issues

    PITTSBURGH -- He set an NFL record by winning the first 15 regular-season games he started at quarterback.

    And he finished his second season by winning Super Bowl XL.

    "I was invincible, I was Superman," Ben Roethlisberger told "E:60" in June 2009, describing his lofty state after two seasons.

    "I was probably a little too confident, a little too cocky at times," Roethlisberger said. "That's why I say I think God knew that and knocked me down."

    After the 2005 season, there were rumblings that Roethlisberger, who had a shaky, two-interception performance in the Super Bowl, was the player the defense-oriented Pittsburgh Steelers overcame to win the championship, not the one who led the way. He wasn't selected to the Pro Bowl and wasn't elected a team captain.

    "I wasn't a good leader early on," Roethlisberger said in that 2009 interview.

    "With everything that I had been thrown into and trying to be a leader, and be a quarterback, and be the best that I could be," he said, "I kind of got overwhelmed and I wasn't probably the best teammate I should have been the first couple years."

    Four months after that first Super Bowl triumph, Roethlisberger suffered serious injuries when he crashed his motorcycle while riding without a helmet or a permit. He recovered in time for the '06 season, but according to teammates, "Big Ben" was being bashed behind his back by players dissatisfied with his work ethic and what they perceived as aloofness and a sense of entitlement.

    Former NFL running back Najeh Davenport, who joined the Steelers that season after spending four seasons in Green Bay, says he soon heard the jabs at Roethlisberger, then 24, despite the quarterback's remarkable two-year résumé of success. "Team leaders there didn't respect the fact that he didn't respect what it took to be like a champion, like a true champion," Davenport says.

    About 60 percent of the team felt that way, according to Davenport and former NFL safety Mike Logan, who was then in his fifth season with the club and is now a talk show host for ESPN Radio 1250 Pittsburgh. Logan says Roethlisberger was seen by some teammates as unapproachable for their social and charity events and to sign autographs for fundraisers.

    Both players, who were interviewed recently by "Outside the Lines," say they liked Roethlisberger and had good relationships with him, but there was no doubting the rift on the team.

    "It was the elephant in the room," Logan says. "It was being talked about in different sections of the locker room."

    After opening the 2006 season with a win, the Steelers dropped three straight games and then, the players say, there was a memorable meeting of the entire team when linebacker and co-captain Joey Porter shattered any secrecy in the locker room about the sentiment against Roethlisberger.

    "It was just shocking to hear," Logan recalls. "Everyone wanted to say it, but no one [had] said it."

    The "it" was the players' grievances against the third-year quarterback.

    "Joey, we called him Peezy," Davenport says, "stood up and said, 'I got something to say.'"

    Davenport says tensions had been building and building, and everyone in the room was quiet.

    Porter then called Roethlisberger out as "the last person in the building and the first person to leave, not being dedicated to the team," Davenport says.

    Next, Porter took Roethlisberger to task for separating himself from the team, according to Davenport.

    "Last year you used to hang out with us," Davenport recalls Porter saying. "This year, it's like 'the Pittsburgh Steelers and Ben.'"

    Logan credits the Porter speech for affecting the team and its signal-caller.

    "I think that cleared a lot of the air, let the gas out, everyone was like, 'Ahhhhhh, we can breathe now, with it not being so tense now,'" Logan says. "I think it might've opened Ben's eyes a little, just to say, 'Hey, if I am a little more friendly to these guys, if I am a little more open, maybe I'll gain their respect.'"

    Says Davenport: "[Porter] was basically telling Ben, 'You're our leader, you've got to be better. We win or lose on you,' and that was his whole thing, in so many words."

    Roethlisberger silently absorbed the dressing down, according to Davenport.

    Though the others present also kept quiet, Logan says, "It was kind of an eye-opener for everyone to say, 'Wow!'"

    The speech "was so powerful," Davenport says, that the Steelers players and staff didn't say anything as they left the gathering. He said even then-head coach Bill Cowher didn't say anything.

    "He walked out and everybody got up and just walked out behind him," Davenport says.

    "I was walking out," Davenport adds, "and Ben was like right behind me with his hoodie on. I looked around and I seen him, could see it in his face, kind of like a scolding, someone gets in trouble and they really don't want to show emotion, but they're kind of feeling it inside."

    Davenport and Logan say Roethlisberger seemed humbled after the Porter confrontation and that he became a more vocal leader and more accessible to his teammates.

    That season, Pittsburgh finished with an 8-8 record. In 2007, the Steelers won 10 games and made the playoffs. A season later, led by Roethlisberger, they won 12 games and the NFL title, with one of the most thrilling finishes in Super Bowl history.

    Roethlisberger, whose spokesman said he was unavailable to be interviewed for this story, was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2007 and elected a team captain for the first time in 2008. Porter, now with the Arizona Cardinals after three seasons with Miami, was released by the Steelers after the '06 season. He declined an interview request.

    After two sexual assault allegations in the past 10 months, Roethlisberger's reputation is now in ruins. He hasn't been charged with a crime, but received a six-game suspension from the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy and the Steelers reportedly entertained trade offers for him. As the 2010 season approaches, Roethlisberger faces a new and profound credibility challenge in the locker room.

    Fellow Steelers have expressed encouragement so far in limited interviews.

    "He has to gain back the respect from his teammates because I think a lot of people lost respect for him, whether they'll say it on camera or not," says Logan, who keeps in touch with a number of current players. "They've seen Ben bounce back, they've seen him overcome and still have success, so they'll support him."

    But there are caveats, Logan says, recalling Roethlisberger's upbraiding four years ago.

    The players' attitude toward him now, he says, is, "We don't want to have to keep calling you out, having situations arise and then we revisit where we started from. No, you've done it long enough, you're 28 years old, we expect you to get the lessons without being reminded, there's no more time for that."

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  2. #2
    Snake Champion steelersgal86's Avatar
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    this is old news...


    Thanks for the sig Flea

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    TampaSteelGirl's Avatar
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    GAWD I MISS PEEZY!!!!!!!!


    Thanks Steelers086 for my awesome signature!!!




    Thanks for the new avatar SteelerBee!

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    Veteran scudmissile29's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelersgal86 View Post
    this is old news...
    we dont care, the article was written 3 days ago and brings back memories of peezy putting fat *** ben in his place.

    peezy forever will be a fully fledged steeler

  5. #5
    Draft Pick Ironman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steelersgal86 View Post
    this is old news...
    seriously.... I enjoyed the article and for me it wasn't old news. I'm really sick of people rippin' threads as soon as their posted- if you don't like it, simply don't comment, it's really that easy.

    Who on this team would step up and tell it how it is now?
    I can see Ward or Hampton, possibly Farrior, but no one can say it quite like Peezy- guy was a leader regardless of if you liked him or not, Peezy was a charismatic beast! Him and Faneca did not take ****, if they saw players slackin' off, they let em' know.

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    TampaSteelGirl's Avatar
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    I honestly didn't know this either...I'm glad Peezy did this and its needs addressed again!! Can we bring Peezy back????


    Thanks Steelers086 for my awesome signature!!!




    Thanks for the new avatar SteelerBee!

  7. #7
    lloydfan4life's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
    seriously.... I enjoyed the article and for me it wasn't old news. I'm really sick of people rippin' threads as soon as their posted- if you don't like it, simply don't comment, it's really that easy.

    Calm down and stop gettin' your panties in a wad. Nobody ripped anything. She simply stated that it was old news.... which it is.

    Maybe you need to take some of your own advice.... "if you don't like it, simply don't comment, it's really that easy." .... including other people's comments to posts.


    "Here's an idea! Don't worry about sports and run the ****ing country!!!" - PsychoWard to Obama

  8. #8
    Snake Champion steelersgal86's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lloydfan4life View Post
    Calm down and stop gettin' your panties in a wad. Nobody ripped anything. She simply stated that it was old news.... which it is.

    Maybe you need to take some of your own advice.... "if you don't like it, simply don't comment, it's really that easy."
    what he said

    Quote Originally Posted by Ironman View Post
    seriously.... I enjoyed the article and for me it wasn't old news. I'm really sick of people rippin' threads as soon as their posted- if you don't like it, simply don't comment, it's really that easy.
    for one I will comment on anything I want to...but second, I said it as a joke..because when it was posted last week by me..that was the first thing I was told...



    Thanks for the sig Flea

  9. #9
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    Relax people...

    This is older news from back earlier in his career. Everybody knows Ben was not the best teammate and that he isolated himself and needed a reality check. Batch came to his house and they had a come to Jesus meeting about his attitude toward the team and how he handles himself. I remember seeing a FSN special about Ben and how much he had changed after talking with Charlie and getting himself straight.

    At this point, the team loves Ben and they enjoy playing for him. He hangs out with them, they do things together off the field and in general they support him. So yeah, they will stand by him and this whole thing will become a thing of the past.

  10. #10
    Chairman of the Board Iron City South's Avatar
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    Dear Ben,

    Here's a tip, when giving your SECOND public statement surrounding a sexual assault case against you, try not to look like a rapist. I know its difficult for you and that you have come a long way from the Phat Farm dress shirts and Penny Hardaway high-tops look you had going when you first entered the league (I am willing to believe that the devil tee-shirt was borrowed), but couldn't you have at least shaved? Put on a damn suit? Not had a ridiculously greased back Rick Flair mullet? After looking at your appearance, I actually became so nervous that you were going to end your apology by screaming "WOOOOOOO!" that I almost didn't notice your total lack of sincerity. I've seen more heart felt apologies on Sober House II. Next time you allegedly assault a chick in a bathroom somewhere, you might as well let Dog the Bounty Hunter make your statement for you. The way your appearance is going, people may not even realize that a swap had been made. Just have him read it in the first person and tell him to think about dropping n-bombs to get him emotional. All kidding aside, I think we both know that there is only one way to make sure there isn't a next time Ben:

    STOP ACTING LIKE A JAGOFF!

    Seriously bruh, you have over a 150 million dollar potential net worth, you are the face of the most storied franchise in football, and you live in a city that literally relies on the Steelers for hope and happiness in their lives. No one is saying you can't have fun Ben, but do you really need to be in a dirt bag college bar in some po-dunk town in Georgia getting blowies in a urine-puddled restroom?



    Your judgment is now seen extremely questionable at best, and its time to take a look in that fogged up bathroom mirror that has phone numbers and confederate flag stickers all over it. You may not be guilty of rape, but you have to be responsible for the situations you put yourself in. You need to realize that your legacy and our collective future cannot afford to be put in some hammered 20 year old girl's hands.

    So please STOP ACTING LIKE A JAGOFF!

    20 year olds Ben? Really?

    Even I cant stand to be around drunk 20 year old chicks and I have a net worth of $2153.00; they are annoying, opportunistic, stupid and shouldn't be trusted. You need to adjust your scope and start sniping cougars. An older woman will let you do the dirtiest things you can think of and add some you haven?t even thought of yet, then go over the playbook with you and give you a ride to practice the next morning. A cougar knows what's up and she is down for it. You need a wily old vet, not a red shirt freshman. 20 year olds got you into this mess Ben; cougars can get you out of it. But if you do decide to continue with the club hopping, for the love of Rod STOP ACTING LIKE A JAGOFF!

    The thing you don't seem to be getting Ben is that this isn't just about YOU anymore, it’s about US.

    When you put on that jersey Ben, you become a part of this family, you become part of our history, you represent a nation that spans the globe. Its goes beyond sports with this team. If you treat it with respect and honor and play your hardest, you will always be a celebrity in this town. We will eat at your restaurant even if the food is terrible; we will buy your book even if its stupid and we will donate to your charity even if it’s not our cause. But you better be humble and appreciate the privilege of playing for this organization and representing this city. People here don't expect anyone to be perfect, but they do expect someone to fully appreciate the opportunities they are given. When they feel like someone is ungrateful at every turn and acting like they are above the family code, people get pissed off. You are not above this family Ben.

    STOP ACTING LIKE A JAGOFF!!


    Much love,

    Steeler Addicts Everywhere
    "The most interesting man on SA ... stay thirsty my friends"


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