Could the Pittsburgh Steelers Team Culture Push Ben Roethlisberger to retire?

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 15: Ben Roethlisberger
PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 15: Ben Roethlisberger /
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FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 22: Antonio Brown
FOXBORO, MA – JANUARY 22: Antonio Brown /


The success that Tomlin has had is undeniable. He is by no means a bad coach, but his style and behavior does sometimes raise questions over the way this team is run.

His sometimes rash and emotionally up and down behavior is mirrored by his team. Brown is the most obvious example of this.

Just this week the all-pro wideout threw all time temper tantrum on the sideline after Roethlisberger didn’t throw to him when he was open.

Brown was spotted flaying his arms, shouting and straight up beating up a Gatorade cooler. This didn’t sit well with his quarterback.

Speaking on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger condemned Brown’s behavior saying:

"“He got upset because he was open, which I can understand, sometimes that happens,” “It’s not like I intentionally missed him… I was doing what my reads tell me to do, I don’t even want to say I made a mistake, because I was reading the side I was supposed to read…it’s unfortunate that he acted and reacted that way.” He continued: “I told him on the sideline, ‘A.B., just come talk to me, ask me what happened, tell me that you were open.’ You know, if that were Heath Miller, I’d probably ask Heath on the sideline, ‘Hey Heath, were you open?’ and he’d probably tell me ‘No,’ because he wouldn’t want you to feel bad, that’s just who he was … that goes a lot further than throwing a temper tantrum,”"

Big Ben also expressed his concern over what sort of example that behavior sets for young players on the roster. He said that Brown’s temper “is causing a distraction that none of us really need.”

This kind of behavior has been all too common with Brown. The Facebook live, the wild celebrations and now this outburst.

His fellow wideout Martinis Bryant missed time last season due to off field discrepancies too. The distractions have been adding up for a while.

Roethlisberger is in win now mode. He’s 35 and doesn’t have many, if any, championship years left in terms of being able to produce at the high level he is used to.

His public airing of grievances is entirely unheard of. He hasn’t been that sort of guy throughout his career.

The lack of leadership and accountability from his teammates is clearly frustrating him.

When Ben entered the league, and through both of his championship winning seasons, he was surrounded by mature, veteran players.

The likes of Hines Ward, Troy Polamalu and Jerome Bettis established a healthy locker room culture. It is clear the lack of these kind of leaders is pushing Roethlisberger towards retiring before his body gives in.

Brown should be a strong, veteran voice in the locker room. He should be guiding guys like Juju Smith-Schuster and Martavis Bryant.

Instead, he is often petulant and immature. This sets a terrible example and often hurts the team on the field.

Roethlisberger shouldn’t have to answer for Brown’s actions in his 8th season.

The constant distractions and answering for his teammates and coaches bizarre behaviour and lack of accountability will likely drive him into retirement this offseason.