People have kind of stopped being surprised by Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger criticizing teammates. With that being said, James Washington, saying: "Yes, he's a rookie, but you can't be out there if you're not going to make those plays for us" among other things. While Roethlisberger's other words were ultimately constructive, they may be better told in private to the young receiver.
Roethlisberger's comments didn't stop there. He also criticized Antonio Brown's route on the game-losing interception, saying cornerback Chris Harris "did undercut AB, so who knows what would've happened," on 93.7 The Fan. "That's why I talked to [Brown] and said 'AB, you have to come flat. You can't drift in the end zone because those undercuts can happen.' So would he have had a chance to intercept it? Yes, I definitely think he would've had a chance. I can't control that guy. I can only control the safety."
Roethlisberger even criticized the playcall, saying: "I think we should've went to (JuJu Smith-Schuster) four straight plays" at the end of the game.
When he was met with backlash for his comments, Roethlisberger held fast. "I think I have earned the right to be able to do that with as long as I have been here," he said Wednesday, per USA Today. "I'll just be just as critical on myself as well in front of you guys."
He added that "You have to know how to motivate different guys in different ways. I think that's part of being a leader, being a captain, just understanding players. So sometimes you just grab them off to the side, and sometimes you have to be honest with them."
The problem is, he isn't grabbing them off to the side. He's criticizing them on radio shows, and he's being met with more criticism for it. When you go scorched earth on your teammates on your radio show, you're bound to be met with some backlash. For as long as Roethlisberger has been with the Steelers, he should expect as much.
The Steelers host the Chargers on Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC, stream on fuboTV (try for free).