Prior to the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday home game against the Dallas Cowboys, Aditi Kinkhabwala of the NFL Network had two reports on Twitter that certainly got plenty of attention.
“Ben Roethlisberger has been wanting more urgency, exactness from teammates for weeks now,” tweeted Kinkhabwala. “He asked Mike Tomlin this week to help demand it.”
Later she added this on Twitter.
“As told to me, Ben Roethlisberger had lengthy heart-to-heart with Mike Tomlin. QB wants greater seriousness of purpose from younger Steelers.”
During his weekly interview on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger was asked to respond to Kinkhabwala’s reports and respond he did.
“It always amazes me how the NFL Network, like do they bug everything?” Roethlisberger asked. “Are they assuming those things? Obviously, they’re the ones that reported a few years ago that I was asking to be traded, which had zero truth to it, no facts to it. I always wonder where they get this information.
“Being the quarterback and being a veteran and a leader on this team, Coach Tomlin and I have talks multiple times a week. There’s probably never a week that goes by that we don’t have a behind closed door talk, communication, state of the team, what I thought of the game, what I thought of the offense, what I thought of my play, whatever it might be.
“So, when they make this like a big drama, like we went in and shut the door and hashed things out, or whatever it is, it’s completely false. It’s true in a sense that we went in and sat down, but we do that every week anyway. So, I’m not sure why it became such a big deal this week.”
What Roethlisberger said definitely makes sense and he probably enjoyed getting an extra jab in at the NFL Network in the process.
After Sunday’s game was over, Roethlisberger made sure to send a different kind of message during his post-game talk with media. If you remember, the quarterback made sure to use the words “undisciplined” and “accountability” several times during that interview when talking about the loss to the Cowboys.
On Tuesday, Roethlisberger was asked what the word “accountable” means to him.
“You have to be accountable to do your job. To do what you’re asked to do,” said Roethlisberger. “Whether that’s from the practice field, from meetings, to the game, the little details are the same thing that also add up to accountability. To do your job to the best of your ability and that makes you accountable to do your job. As quarterback, for instance, I’m accountable to get us in the best play possible, to make sure the snap count is on what it is, to those kind of things and I have to be accountable to myself and my teammates to make sure those things happen.
“And if they don’t happen, or there’s a little detail off, then the accountability’s off, or whatever, then – this is the ultimate team sport, we all know that and if one little piece of the puzzles out of place, then the whole picture’s messed up, or the whole picture can be messed up. Now, you can overcome things sometimes, but when you’re playing probably the best team in football like we did last Sunday, you can’t afford to have those little issues. And we watched the film yesterday as a team and Coach [Tomlin] was pointing out some of the small details. Some of them are big details, but some are just really small details that we need to hold each other accountable for.”
As previously reported by us, head coach Mike Tomlin also defined discipline and accountability during his Tuesday press conference so at this point, I think that topic has been driven well enough into the ground by now. It’s now up the entire Steelers team to show that they can correct these details both big and small Sunday in their road game against the Cleveland Browns. If they don’t, well, let’s not go there just yet. Let’s just say someone will need to be held accountable for a loss to a winless team.