Colon defends Roethlisberger after TMZ report
FORT WORTH, Texas — Right tackle Willie Colon has protected Ben Roethlisberger on the football field for years.
On Thursday, Colon came to his quarterback's defense off the field after TMZ.com reported that Roethlisberger and two teammates were partying at a piano bar after curfew two nights earlier.
"We are not 18-year-olds," Colon said. "We made our (1 a.m.) curfew, we were in bed, and we were on time for practice."
Roethlisberger yesterday admitted taking teammates out to dinner and then to watch live music but denied being out past curfew, saying the players were back at the team hotel "way before curfew."
A manager at Pete's Dueling Piano Bar in Forth Worth told the Tribune-Review that Roethlisberger and four offensive linemen showed up about 10 p.m. Tuesday and left shortly before midnight.
"They participated along with the crowd," said the manager, who wished to remain nameless. "Ben was very gracious. He bought the house one round of drinks, took pictures. ... It was a really cool night."
The manager said the Steelers ran up an $800 tab and left a $200 tip.
Roethlisberger also sang Billy Joel's "Piano man" with the bar's entertainers.
Can Roethlisberger carry a tune?
"He's a great quarterback," the manager said, "not a great singer. He's not going to have a singing career. He probably needs to go into broadcasting (after football)."
TMZ posted video of the Steelers players singing with patrons.
Coach Mike Tomlin wondered what the fuss was about.
"I'm not concerned one iota," he said. "It's normal for guys to eat dinner, believe it or not."
Colon routinely hangs out with Roethlisberger and said Tuesday night's dinner and drinks were innocent.
"People are making a big deal out of it," Colon said.
Roethlisberger routinely takes his linemen out to dinner once a week during the season, usually on Thursdays. He said it is a superstition to dine with his linemen on Tuesday of Super Bowl week. Two years ago in Tampa, they went to P.F. Chang's. This year they decided on Angelo's Barbecue two miles from the team hotel.
After dinner, a few players made the trip to Pete's.
"I got on the mic and said 'We are just here to be respectful, no pictures, no autographs' and people were cool," Colon said. "A lot of the times I have to beg (Roethlisberger) to come out, but he won't.
"He is with his family a lot, with his mom and dad a lot, he is with his fiance, he is with people who he loves to be around."
Steelers Pep Rallies
Steelers Pep Rallies continue at the Fayette County Courthouse in Uniontown on Friday, February 04, 2011. Students, faculty and staff at St. Vincent College in Unity Township cheer during a a 'Stairway to 7' pep rally on February 3, 2011. The
Media Events in Dallas
Reporters from around the world interview the Steelers during a Super Bowl XLV media sessions Wednesday and Thursday at Texas Christian University following Media Day Tuesday February 1, 2011 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Rossi: Wild Wednesday proves Steelers rule
- Steelers submit application to play host to Super Bowl in 2023
- Australians rule punting competition for chance to play for Steelers
- Rossi: Moats looks to make a splash with Steelers
- Offseason training helping to accelerate adjustment to NFL life
- Steelers to honor Bettis with ring ceremony in October
- Steelers CB Allen working to regain form, make an impact