Bradshaw: Big Ben deserves a suspension
Steelers icon Terry Bradshaw, who earlier this week criticized Ben Roethlisberger for reckless behavior, said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell should suspend the embattled quarterback for at least two games.
"Maybe four," Bradshaw told The Tribune-Review in a phone interview Wednesday. "I know the Rooneys are steaming. (One more incident), he's gone. They'll unload him. This family is revered in that city and around this great country and the National Football League, and they won't put up with this kind of stuff to win a football game."
Roethlisberger trained at the Steelers' practice facility yesterday for the first time since voluntary offseason workouts started March 29. His appearance at the facility came a day after he met with Goodell in New York City.
Roethlisberger has been accused of sexual assault twice since July, and he could be punished by the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy.
The Steelers also could discipline Roethlisberger, who learned Monday that he wouldn't be charged after a 20-year-old college student accused him of sexually assaulting her on March 5 in Milledgeville, Ga.
Bradshaw and Roethlisberger are two of only 10 quarterbacks to win multiple Super Bowls. The link between the two greatest quarterbacks in Steelers history may have compelled Bradshaw to speak out while at a charity golf outing at Louisiana Tech, his alma mater.
Bradshaw didn't back off his pointed comments yesterday.
"I've always been real good to him on TV, and he's deserved my good comments as well as he deserves my comments now," said Bradshaw, who is an NFL studio analyst for FOX. "My honesty says this: Clean your act up. You are about to (throw) away a career.
"If you need help, the Rooneys will get you help. If you need to fire the bodyguards, then you have get rid of them. Build a wall around yourself. Dedicate yourself to your career. He's on the right path of being one of the greatest that ever played, and now he's dragging baggage with him."
A crisis communications expert in Washington D.C. said Roethlisberger could help rehabilitate his image by getting support from people such as Bradshaw, one of only two quarterbacks to win four Super Bowls.
"If we were advising him, I'd make sure we had a real broad and diverse group of former players and former coaches by his side, weighing in and saying: 'I know Ben's had difficulties, but he's changed course. He has corrected his behavior,' " said Jason Maloni, vice president of Levick Strategic Communication's Crises and Litigation team.
Bradshaw said he would welcome an opportunity to meet with Roethlisberger and offer advice.
"I would like for nothing better than for him to reach out to me because I think it's bull there's this tension between me and him that shouldn't be there," Bradshaw said.
Bradshaw said Roethlisberger has been chilly toward him since he said Roethlisberger needs to "park the bike." That was in reference to Roethlisberger riding a motorcycle and was made before Roethlisberger's life-threatening motorcycle accident in June 2006.
Bradshaw said he doesn't expect to hear from Roethlisberger.
"I think he could care less what I think," Bradshaw said. "If he would want to (talk), I would be more than glad to do it. My read on him and my feedback from friends, it ain't going to happen."