Ben Roethlisberger put the Pittsburgh Steelers’ season-opening loss at New England squarely on his own shoulders, as the 16th-year quarterback steadfastly refused to criticize teammates.
Roethlisberger took blame for his performance in the 33-3 loss to the reigning Super Bowl champions Sunday night at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, pointing finger at only himself.
“They’ve been the best team in football for awhile now. I think everybody is trying to chase them. We weren’t good enough and we’ve got to get better,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday morning at UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side. “I’m only going to focus on the quarterback play because that’s what I control. The quarterback’s got to get better.”
Roethlisberger completed 27 of 47 passes for 276 yards with an interception for a 65.6 passer rating, while Patriots counterpart Tom Brady was 24 of 36 for 341 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions and a 124.9 rating.
“We didn’t execute enough,” Roethlisberger said. “I didn’t make enough plays, enough throws and they outscored us.”
Roethlisberger drew criticism last season for publicly calling out receivers Antonio Brown and James Washington after the loss at Denver. But Roethlisberger refused to point fingers, even though free-agent addition Donte Moncrief had four dropped passes in catching only three of 10 targets against the Patriots.
Roethlisberger said he still believes in Moncrief and hopes his faith in him will be rewarded when the Steelers play the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in their home opener at Heinz Field.
“Nothing’s changed with that,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s a smart receiver. He’s a guy that’s going to give you everything he’s got. He’s a veteran guy that’s been around. He can run different routes, not just a deep-ball guy. I really just like the personality that he has. He’s a guy that’s easy to talk to and will communicate back with you. I’m excited for this week. I’m looking forward to big things.
“I’m not discouraged at all. If you saw the game, you saw that I’m not going to shy away from throwing it to him.”
Roethlisberger said he is looking forward to a clean slate this week against the Seahawks – and not just for Steelers receivers.
“That’s me included,” Roethlisberger said. “I threw an interception and I wasn’t the most accurate passer. I’m not thinking about that this week. I’m thinking about moving forward and how do we get better and, how do we make plays? To me, it doesn’t matter who it is, I’m going into this like nothing happened in the past. I’m going to throw it to hopefully the guy that’s open and they’ll just make plays for me.”