Pittsburgh Steelers captain Cameron Heyward took exception to Ben Roethlisberger’s latest assertion that too many current NFL players have “a me-type angle,” saying his former teammate’s comments “rub me the wrong approach.”
Roethlisberger, in a wide-ranging interview revealed Friday by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, mentioned “the recreation has modified” and “folks have modified” when addressing variations he seen between his early years and later years with the Steelers.
“The staff was so vital,” Roethlisberger mentioned, referring to his first few seasons with Pittsburgh. “It was all about the staff. Now, it is about me and this, that and the different.
“I may be standing on a soapbox a little bit bit, however that is my largest takeaway from after I began to the finish. It turned from a team-first to a me-type angle. It was laborious. It’s laborious for these younger guys, too. Social media. They’re handled so nicely in school. Now, this new NIL stuff, which is unbelievable. They’re handled so particular. They’re coddled at a younger age as a result of school coaches want them to win, too. I do know coach [Terry] Hoeppner by no means coddled me. I mentioned neither [Bill] Cowher.”
Heyward was Roethlisberger’s teammate from 2011 till final season, when the future Hall of Fame quarterback retired. In the most up-to-date version of his podcast, Heyward mentioned he disagreed with Roethlisberger’s remark, saying it made him “a little bit bit upset.”
“It appears to be like as if we’re checked out as egocentric players, and I do not assume that is the level,” the veteran defensive lineman mentioned on the “Not Just Football with Cam Heyward” podcast. “We have a variety of younger players that come from totally different backgrounds, have skilled various things from what others or I could have skilled. That does not make them egocentric or extra of a me-type angle. … There are much more team-first guys than me-type angle. I took offense to that.”
Heyward, 33, cited a number of current and former Steelers — together with Antonio Brown, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Tyson Alualu and Brett Keisel — who made a constructive affect on the locker room and group, referring to them as “team-first guys” regardless of criticism over their personalities.
A staff captain since 2015, Heyward additionally mentioned “it is as much as the management, myself included” to assist acclimate younger players to the NFL and the tradition of the Steelers, who gained two Super Bowls with Roethlisberger.
“I’m accountable for these guys,” Heyward mentioned. “Obviously we have not had a Super Bowl in a very long time, and possibly that is the place Ben is like, ‘Man, if these guys would have grown up.’ But it is as much as the older guys to step up and maintain guys accountable. … It’s as much as a vet to place you below your wing and pull you throughout and say, ‘Hey, that is what it is wish to be a Pittsburgh Steeler.’ And that is what I’m attempting to do.
“Maybe Ben did not see it that approach, however man, I’m going to guard my guys. You simply cannot say it is a ‘me-type of angle’ now. Everyone’s out to be a Super Bowl winner, earn cash, in the future be an MVP. But when all of it comes collectively, we care about one factor, this emblem proper right here. … I’ve all the time tried to increase that to my youthful teammates. I feel Ben was a little bit out on that one.”
Roethlisberger, 40, performed his total 18-year profession as the Steelers’ beginning quarterback earlier than retiring this previous January. He was a six-time Pro Bowler, completed his profession with the fifth-most passing yards (64,088) in NFL historical past and led the Steelers to Super Bowl championships after the 2005 and 2008 seasons.
Heyward emphasised that he wasn’t “throwing shade” at Roethlisberger, saying he was “explaining my facet.”
“Don’t say Cam is asking out Ben — it is not like that,” Heyward mentioned. “But I’ll say, I’ll shield my staff. I’ll be sure that all people is aware of that we care solely about soccer on the area and fewer about off the area. We can all perceive Ben has been a heck of a QB. You do not do that recreation and turn into a Hall of Fame quarterback and do it at a low degree.
“Ben has taken some hits not a variety of different groups may do. He saved us, he gained video games we weren’t presupposed to win, and he is all the time stepped up. But it was the staff round him that helped him do it, and I do not need anybody to ever neglect that the entire staff gained — not simply Ben.”