Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is making the local media rounds this week, and on Thursday morning, he was an in-studio guest on 93.7 The Fan.
During the interview, Roethlisberger was asked about how much he would miss wide receiver Mike Wallace, who signed with the Miami Dolphins right at the start of the free agency signing period, this season.
“I\’m going to miss him as a person,” said Roethlisberger. “As a teammate he\’s a great locker-room guy. He always brought a smile to your face because he was fun. He was funny and I\’m really going to miss him, but on the field, he was something special. I mean he really was and people don\’t realize how important it is to have a guy with his ability on the football field, and the guy that\’s going to probably notice it the most right from the get-go is Antonio Brown.
“When you have guys – that safeties have to respect Mike\’s speed. Cornerbacks, defenses are scheming to stop Mike Wallace going deep. It opens up other receivers and so to lose a guy like that is really going to be tough for all of us.”
While Roethlisberger does make a great point about how the loss of Wallace will likely impact Antonio Brown instantly this season, his glowing words about his former teammate being a good locker-room guy might be a little too much edification.
While they didn\’t name names, both Brown and former Steelers safety Will Allen alluded to Wallace not being a team player in interviews that each have done over the course of the last several weeks.
We will have to watch the kind of coverage that Brown each get early on in the 2013 season, but hopefully the retention of Emmanuel Sanders at least helps ease the loss of Wallace a little bit.
Roethlisberger was asked at one point if speed was the only thing that Wallace brought to the table and the Steelers quarterback indicated that he offered more than just that.
“It\’s a football sense,” said Roethlisberger about Wallace. After explaining what that means by using Heath Miller and Hines Ward as examples, Roethlisberger added, “I think Mike had some of that.”
As far as Sanders goes, Roethlisberger heaped more praise on him Thursday after the Steelers decided on Sunday to match the wide receivers\’ $2.5 million offer sheet that he signed with the New England Patriots.
“I think Emmanuel is a good player, said Roethlisberger. “I think that he\’s a great player for us and I\’m glad he\’s back. I really am. There\’s been some talk – get rid of him – take the third round pick – this, this and the other, but from my perspective, my point of view, he\’s a good football player. He\’s valuable to this football team and I\’m glad and happy to have him back.