Have you been missing the Antonio Brown talk? While he did spiral into insanity, he was arguably the greatest wide receiver in Pittsburgh Steelers history, and is only several months removed from being an integral member of the team, after all.
As they enter their first training camp without the perennial Pro Bowler since 2009, the year before he was drafted, it’s reasonable and understandable that he’s on people’s minds, especially since one of the principle tasks the team is looking to accomplish in Latrobe is who will be replacing him on the field.
Albert Breer headed to Saint Vincent College to poke around at the start of training camp and got to speak to a number of individuals about several different topics pertaining to the team’s near future and recent past. At one point, he did get a chance to ask quarterback Ben Roethlisberger about Brown, about whom the wide receiver was highly critical leading up to his being traded in March.
“The good thing about it, it’s in the past”, Roethlisberger told Breer. “We can move on. Was I perfect? No. None of us are. I’m human, I make mistakes. Do I wish we still talked and were friends? Absolutely. But relationships, they’re 50/50”.
This is, to me, the clearest remark that the quarterback has made yet on the subject, and I feel pretty much sums up everything that ought to be said. He acknowledged that his behavior played a role in his relationship with Brown, but also expressed regret that the latter has been unwilling to remain on good terms even following the professional breakup.
The 16th-year veteran also talked about having become a better communicator, not just with the team, but in his everyday life, though that wasn’t necessarily specific to the discussion about Brown. As Breer quotes:
Listening is huge to becoming a better communicator. And when you communicate, so many things can be accomplished, and other things can be avoided. I told the guys when I spoke to them, over the last four or five years, I’ve been a better communicator at home with my wife, it’s made me a better husband, a better father, because you listen. When you listen, it helps you communicate. When you communicate, and things aren’t out there, you can resolve problems.
It’s impossible to know all the details behind the scenes, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt if Roethlisberger continues to become a better communicator with his teammates with respect to being a more open listener. Some former teammates this offseason seemed to make insinuations that they were not heard by the team leader, who had his certain teammates that he favored and paid attention to.