Yesterday, we noted how former NFL punter Pat McAfee appreciated Ben Roethlisberger’s honesty over his Kenny Pickett comments, admitting he was initially hoping he wouldn’t succeed this year before having a change of heart and embracing Pickett taking over as Steelers’ quarterback. But NFL Network’s Michael Robinson sung a different tune, criticizing Roethlisberger for this feelings and words.
“Big Ben, man, that’s whack, bro,” Robinson told host M.J. Acosta-Ruiz. “I know it’s human, I get it, but that’s one of those things, M.J., where you’re like, I’m thinking like that, but those words don’t actually find their way to come out of my mouth and say it at the end of the day. Because you don’t do that to a young quarterback. Ben wouldn’t have wanted anybody to do that to him when he was there.”
Roethlisberger made the comments to Pickett on the most recent episode of his Footbahlin podcast, of which Pickett served as his guest. It certainly drummed up controversy and mixed reactions. Some have praised Roethlisberger for his brutal honesty and saying out loud what some players think and feel. Others have criticized him for having those thoughts in the first place. Or in Robinson’s case, telling them to Pickett, making for a potentially awkward moment.
But Roethlisberger’s comments didn’t just end there. He apologized to Pickett during and apparently before the show and went on to say he’s now a huge fan and supporter of his game. Any tension between the two is hopefully gone and Pickett seemed to graciously accept Roethlisberger’s apology. As Dave Bryan noted on the Terrible Podcast, Pickett again showed his maturity and poise that makes the Steelers so confident in his ability to lead and manage a group of men.
At this point, the story is beating a dead horse and obviously, this article contributes to a relitigating of what he had to say. Roethlisberger made the comments, he’s moved on, Pickett’s moved on, and we should all probably do the same. The news cycle moves quickly and with Pittsburgh kicking off OTAs Tuesday, there will be plenty of on-field things for us to discuss. But I wanted to add Robinson’s viewpoint, as a former NFL player, as a counterpoint to McAfee’s reaction that was far more favorable.