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Steelers ‘Weren’t Real Happy’ About Pat Freiermuth Saying Canada’s Offense Didn’t Have Hot Routes In 2022, Roethlisberger Says

Hall of Fame former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll was known for, among many other things, encouraging players to live for more than the game of football, and, when they retire, to get on with their “life’s work”.

It’s vital for every athlete at the end of their career to have something else to shift into as one foundational chapter of their life closes. Perhaps these days especially, many athletes try to stay close to the game, with the age of new media making that ever more possible.

We can include former Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who has been active in launching and expanding his Footbahlin podcast, in that group. He talked about his intentions for that show a bit while appearing on Mark Madden’s program on 105.9 The X, also recalling the radio spots he used to do during his NFL career.

I used to get all kinds of flack for doing my radio show and sometimes you just get comfortable with guys”, he admitted. “Now it’s like, you know what? I’ll control my own narrative. I’ll get as comfortable as I want”.

Roethlisberger often drew seemingly unwanted attention for his loose comments on the air waves, sometimes drawing the ire even of teammates. The most famous example of that was when he talked about a play on which he tried to connect with Antonio Brown, to which the current Arena Football League team owner took great exception.

Even Roethlisberger himself regretted that one.

But now that he’s the media, he’s trying to be more careful. Ironically, he’s now creating the same environment, sometimes for former teammates, that he had on his radio spots that coaxed him into saying some things he might have left unsaid. He referenced Pat Freiermuth’s appearance on his podcast.

We also want to protect the guys too. I’m not trying to be controversial”, he told Madden. “I know there was some in the organization that weren’t real happy when like Pat came on and joked about [offensive coordinator Matt] Canada stuff. But it’s all in good fun. We’re not trying to burn anybody”.

Freiermuth back in January appeared on Roethlisberger’s podcast. The two had a great relationship despite only having one season together, and both have talked about wishing they had more time together. He talked during his appearance about how Canada’s offense differed with Roethlisberger at quarterback to then rookie Kenny Pickett.

I tell Kenny this all the time. It’s so different because we didn’t have hots [hot routes]”, Freiermuth said. “With you, how many times did we have a concept and you looked at [wide receiver Diontae Johnson] and give a signal and it’d be a 12-yard completion? We didn’t have that this year”.

It would be no great surprise that such a remark might not have been received favorably by some in the Steelers’ building. And it’s likely that Roethlisberger saying as much on Madden’s show won’t help matters. Nor will this article bringing attention to Roethlisberger’s comment. But it’s interesting to know that apparently there was this unfavorable communication. At least that one time it wasn’t something he said himself that got him into trouble.

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