Steelers GM Kevin Colbert clarifies ’52 kids’ under Roethlisberger comment
The first question Kevin Colbert faced during a 7-minute NFL Network interview on Friday afternoon wasn’t about Antonio Brown or his high-profile pending divorce from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Instead, of highest priority to the league-owned media outlet in asking the Steelers general manager concerned a passing comment Colbert had made Wednesday.
In speaking to local reporters at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on Wednesday, Colbert gave a 162-word answer in response to a question about quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s leadership and his right to “call out” teammates publicly.
During the answer in which he lauded Roethlisberger as the Steelers’ elder statesman, Colbert said “he has 52 kids under him, quite honestly.”
The phrase did not sit well with some.
Colbert addressed it when asked about it Friday: “In referencing to our ‘younger players,’ what I am referencing is Ben is the only player who has ever won a Super Bowl with the Pittsburgh Steelers… I was referencing the younger players on our team and their lack of experience in the Super Bowl-winning environment, and Ben is only one who can say he’s done that. I think tremendous value in that.
“Does that mean… we have a bunch of juveniles or anything like that? No. of course not. We’ve got some really good veteran players like a Cam Heyward or a Maurkice Pouncey who are unquestionable leaders as well. But they are still not the Super Bowl-winning type of player that Ben Roethlisberger is, and that’s why he is and will continue to be the unquestioned leader of this team. And I still think it would be valuable for all our players to recognize that.”
Brown has cited Roethlisberger’s leadership style, in part, for why he is seeking a new team to play for.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .