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Thread: Roethlisberger ready to become leader for Steelers

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  1. #1
    Your Brother In Christ Scorp's Avatar
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    Roethlisberger ready to become leader for Steelers

    PITTSBURGH (AP)—After spending six seasons following leaders such as Jerome Bettis, James Farrior(notes) and Hines Ward(notes), the Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback believes it’s time to become one himself.

    Ben Roethlisberger(notes) understands why his teammates stripped him of his captaincy this season: It’s difficult to be a locker-room leader while serving a four-game suspension for misconduct.

    Roethlisberger is trying to repair his image—that of a self-absorbed star who can be rude to the public and players alike. Part of the transformation means asserting himself more in the locker room of one of the NFL’s most-experienced teams.

    FILE - This Nov. 15, 2010, fil…

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    Roethlisberger believes, with the Steelers at a critical juncture in their season, it’s demanded of him that he become more of a leader. And he knows running the huddle isn’t enough.

    “I’ve never been a rah-rah voice,” Roethlisberger said. “I might pull guys aside and talk to them. It’s always been about action for me. It’s time now for me at this point of the season transitioning to being more of a vocal guy, as well as a lead-by-example (guy).”

    Roethlisberger said Ward urged him to assume the role when the two talked following the Steelers’ 39-26 loss to New England on Sunday.

    “I told him, ‘We’ve got to come together as leaders and, captain or no captain, you’re a leader of this team,”’ Ward said. “Together, we’ve got to go out and lead the way for this team to make it better. I think all the veteran guys, myself, James, Casey (Hampton), James Harrison(notes), we’ve all got to come together as a group and get this thing back going so what happened last year doesn’t happen again this year.”

    The Steelers were 6-2 last season, only to watch their chances of repeating as Super Bowl champions evaporate during a five-game losing streak that included losses to some of the NFL’s worst teams. One was Oakland, which returns to Heinz Field on Sunday as a much-stronger team that has won three in a row and owns a share of the AFC West lead.

    While it might seem a stretch that Roethlisberger could reshape his damaged image so quickly—Ward was among those who agreed last spring with the NFL’s decision to suspend him—the quarterback believes that nearly seven seasons of being a starter prepared him for the job. So did winning two Super Bowls.

    “We both kind of said, ‘Well, it’s time for us as veteran guys, leaders who have been around here awhile and played late-season ball, postseason ball to lead these guys who have done it only once or twice or never,”’ Roethlisberger said. “We’ve got to show them how to do this. Hopefully show other people how on the field, in the meeting room, through leadership.”

    Because of injuries to starting tackles Max Starks(notes) and Willie Colon(notes), and rookie center Maurkice Pouncey’s(notes) rapid development into the team’s best offensive lineman, the Steelers are younger offensively than they projected last spring.

    Such a leadership role wouldn’t have been suitable then for Roethlisberger, but he now is the second most-tenured player to Ward among the offensive starters. Right tackle Flozell Adams(notes) has been in the NFL longer, but he joined the Steelers only this season. Kicker Jeff Reed(notes) was cut Tuesday after being with the team since 2002.

    “He (Ward) actually brought up—‘Hey, lead us, show us how to do this,”’ Roethlisberger said. “And I said, ‘It’s us. We’re in this together. I need
    you as much as you need me and we all need to do this together.”’

    While the Steelers (6-3) still have Buffalo (1-8, Carolina (1-8) and Cincinnati (2-7) remaining on their schedule, they also have potentially difficult games against Oakland (5-4), Baltimore (6-3) and the New York Jets (7-2), plus a season-ending game at improving Cleveland (3-6). Anything resembling the slump of last season might significantly damage their chances of reaching the playoffs for the seventh time in 10 seasons.

    “With the loss of Jeff Reed being a locker room favorite, it’s tough,” Ward said. “It’s time to have a sense of urgency; we’ve got to start playing better ball in the month of November and the latter part of the season. And it’s going to take our leaders. We’ve got to come together closely as a group.”

  2. #2
    Head Coach LatrobePA's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
    Not trying to be a dick but wasn't he already a leader? Didn't we go through this last year?? Who made the decision to not let him be the leader this season???

    I'm confused!!

  3. #3
    BlitzburghRockCity's Avatar
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    I can see why he wasn't named a capt just due to the suspension thing. I would have been surprised if they did. The capts are named before the season starts and he wasn't there.

    As far as the leader thing goes though, up until this year he was still that sometimes aloof, self absorbed, type of QB. I don't as much as some people think but still he wasn't like a Ward, Clark, Miller, or others are always good to the fans and media. Since his offseason problems he's come back to earth and reality and it's changed him. We've all seen it. This is the next step in the new Ben Roethlisberger.

  4. #4
    Veteran DIESELMAN's Avatar
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    Blah Blah Blah Real leaders don't announce they're going to step up and be the "leader", they just do it. Quit talkin about what your going to do and just ****in do it dumbass!!

    If you don’t stand behind our troops.....Please feel free to stand in front of them!!!

    "Give me a 6 pack, half hour of rest and lets go play them again....We can beat them."
    --Jack Lambert

    "They say that when you're the champs, everybody will try to beat you. Well, I'm glad we're the champs, so bring 'em on, bring 'em all on. If we die, we ain't gonna die running. It's gonna be a fight."
    --Joe Greene

  5. #5
    LarryNJ's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
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    The great philosopher Groucho Marx had an interesting view on leaderships. Do you think Ben is one in a thousand?

    Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men -- the other 999 follow women.
    Groucho Marx

    I tend to agree with with Diesel...just do it.
    "When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself."
    -Wayne Dyer

  6. #6
    Assistant Coach nuclearchihuahuas's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
    They should both have stepped up from the jump. The fact that they feel the need to step up and be leaders now tells me they know they weren't before. BS over, step up and take care of business!

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