Bruce Arians on criticism of Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger: ‘Guys need to have thicker skin’
Arians, hired as coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in January, was Roethlisberger’s offensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2007-11. The two are known to have been close, often golfing together even after Arians’ departure from the Steelers.
Speaking in Arizona at the NFL annual meetings, Arians was asked about Roethlisberger’s leadership qualities, which have come into question after criticism from former teammates Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell this offseason.
Arians told The Athletic that Roethlisberger is “one of the best I’ve ever been around.”
Bruce Arians on Ben Roethlisberger’s leadership: “Guys have to have thicker skin, man. He’s the leader. He’s the guy. Early in his career everybody said, ‘hey, you’re not vocal enough.’ But you had Jerome Bettis and Alan Faneca and you didn’t have to be. It’s his team.“ pic.twitter.com/i0XkdOM9Yo
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) March 26, 2019
“Guys have to have thicker skin, man,” Arians said, according to ESPN, in reference to Bell and Brown. “(Roethlisberger is) the leader. He’s the guy. Early in his career everybody said, ‘Hey, you’re not vocal enough.’ But you had Jerome Bettis and Alan Faneca and you didn’t have to be. It’s his team.“
Arians coached the Indianapolis Colts and Arizona Cardinals after his 2012 firing by the Steelers. Last season, he was a commentator for CBS. Arians was coordinator in Pittsburgh during Brown’s first two seasons in the NFL, but Brown did not become a starter until the season after Arians left.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .