Hines Ward enjoyed a lot of success with Ben Roethlisberger on the field, but he wants Big Ben to do more to lead the Steelers in 2019.
Back when Hines Ward was running routes on the field, he and Ben Roethlisberger seemed to be in perfect harmony. Now that Ward has hung up his cleats for good, he has some harsh words for his former quarterback.
Specifically, Ward wants Big Ben to stop taking to the radio airwaves to call out his teammates. Instead, he suggest that Roethlisberger should “treat them like a band of brothers.” That means he should keep all of the team’s issues in-house rather than airing the dirty laundry in public.
It’s obviously been a tumultuous year for Pittsburgh. Le’Veon Bell chose to take the season off rather than playing out the last year of his deal with the franchise. He’s almost certainly going to depart the Steel City via free agency in the coming weeks.
Antonio Brown isn’t going to depart via free agency, but it’s very likely he’ll be traded before April’s draft. His off field antics and obvious disconnect with Roethlisberger have torched his relationship with the franchise that drafted him. The Steelers will try to find a deal that brings back a play maker of equal value, but that’s going to be a tall task.
The departure of those two egos does give Roethlisberger a chance to turn over a new leaf in terms of his leadership. The question is whether or not the strong-armed signal caller can reasonably be expected to alter his behavior at this late stage of his career. If Roethlisberger didn’t respect supreme talents like Bell and Brown enough not to speak about them in public, it’s very unlikely he’ll extend that courtesy to younger, less established players.
On the other hand, Roethlisberger must realize that the way he’s been handling things hasn’t gotten him the best results possible. If he really wants to win another Super Bowl ring before he retires, he needs to find a better way to get along with his teammates. It’s quite possible that heeding Ward’s words would help him do just that. Time will tell whether or not Big Ben will listen to his former go-to receiver.