The veteran quarterback — who mulled retirement in the offseason — had some choice words for the media on Wednesday, saying: “I think you guys are much more panicked than we are. How he got to point of confidence after Sunday: Two Super Bowls, 100 some wins, 300-some, I don’t even know my own stats. I’ve been playing this game longer than you’ve probably been covering it.”
He added: “They can question me. I don’t question myself .. .No offense to any of you guys, but it doesn’t matter to me how you guys question me or not or quote-on-quote professional talking heads.”
Big Ben’s tone is a far cry from his postgame attitude Sunday, when he admitted to questioning just how much football he had left in his tank.
“Maybe I don’t have it anymore,” Roethlisberger said.
All of this comes on the heels of his feud with All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was reportedly upset with his quarterback leading the charge of the Steelers remaining off the field during the national anthem. Additionally, Brown tossed a Gatorade cooler while venting his frustration with Roethlisberger during a Week 4 win at Baltimore. The incident prompted the 35-year-old quarterback to fire back.
“I don’t know [if] he needs to react that way,” he said. He’s superhuman 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. I’m not trying to call AB out. I just think this is causing a distraction that none of us really need.”
As things stand, the 3-2 Steelers are still in position to make a run at the playoffs. With an improved defense, Roethlisberger doesn’t have to be perfect, but he must find a way to cut down on the turnovers, as his seven picks trail only Cleveland Browns rookie DeShone Kizer. He also has to find more success pushing the ball down the field. Averaging 6.51 yards per attempt (25th worst in the league) will not cut it, especially with vertical threats like Brown and Martavis Bryant on the perimeter. Neither will his 75.8 quarterback rating, which is almost 20 points below his career average.
The Steelers travel to Kansas City for a date with the undefeated Chiefs in Week 6.
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