Despite frustration with him, Ben Roethlisberger hopes Antonio Brown is back with Steelers | TribLIVE.com
Steelers/NFL

Despite frustration with him, Ben Roethlisberger hopes Antonio Brown is back with Steelers

Chris Adamski
593467_web1_AP_18329762405796

With the exception of saying that Antonio Brown is not returning his calls or texts, Ben Roethlisberger downplayed reports of a rift between himself and his longtime star receiver and insists he wants Brown back with the Steelers next season.

Speaking on his final KDKA-FM radio segment of the season Tuesday morning, Roethlisberger called Brown “an incredible talent” and “one of my best friends on the team.” On reports implying Brown threw a temper tantrum toward him at practice Wednesday, Roethlisberger said, “If there was a blow-up, I sure didn’t see it.”

Roethlisberger said that Brown left the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Wednesday but that on Thursday morning the two spoke “and everything was great and fine.” Since then, though, Brown has not communicated with Roethlisberger or, Roethlisberger said, many other teammates who have contacted him.

“I called and texted and reached out numerous times and tried to find out what going on,” Roethlisberger said, “but I really couldn’t get any answers.”


Brown, who had his sixth consecutive season of 100 catches and 1,200 receiving yards, did not play in Sunday’s season-ending win at home against the Cincinnati Bengals. He did not practice all week – Wednesday is his regular day off, and Thursday and Friday the Steelers listed him on their official injury report as having a knee injury.

Coach Mike Tomlin said Friday that Brown experienced “discomfort” during the prior Sunday’s game at New Orleans and that he was going for “testing” Friday.

The NFL Network reported Brown skipped the mandatory team Saturday walkthrough. Brown was not seen during warm-ups at Heinz Field on Sunday running to test his knee, and it is believed Brown did not play against the Bengals for disciplinary reasons.

“Coach made that decision right before the game,” Roethlisberger said on his radio segment.

Roethlisberger praised Brown repeatedly Tuesday, and he said that the relationship between Brown and the team is not irreparable.

“No, I think we’re just frustrated,” Roethlisberger said. “We want AB to play. He makes us all better. He had an amazing season this year. He makes me who I am. It’s really just about (lack of) communication is the biggest thing for a lot of us,

“I am blessed to play with him,” Roethlisberger said moments earlier. “He’s one of my closest friends on the team. AB and I have been together for a long time; I owe so much of my success to him and consider him a really close friend on the team…. I know some (teammates) are frustrated. I think the biggest thing is guys tried to reach out to him and haven’t heard back; that’s what’s frustrating to those guys.”

Hey, Steelers Nation, get the latest news about the Pittsburgh Steelers here.


Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris at [email protected] or via Twitter @C_AdamskiTrib.


Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Steelers
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.