Ben Roethlisberger denies rumors of rift with Mike Tomlin
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ season went down in flames in shocking manner courtesy of a 45-42 shootout loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round.
Shortly afterward, a report surfaced courtesy of Colin Cowherd alleging Roethlisberger was “massively frustrated” with Tomlin in the wake of the stunning defeat. The suggestion was Big Ben was unhappy over the team’s lack of discipline, among other things.
Roethlisberger, meeting with the media on Wednesday, denied such rift with his head coach.
“We communicate well with each other,” Roethlisberger said, via ESPN. “We’ve been here for a long time together. I don’t know how many head coaches and quarterbacks have worked together as long together as we have. That just helps when it comes to communicating. When it comes to coaches and plays and anything like that, it’s beneficial.”
As to the perception that Tomlin is responsible for the team’s perceived undisciplined nature and suggested lack of preparedness for the Jaguars game, Roethlisberger shot that notion down as well.
“I [don’t] necessarily agree with that,” Roethlisberger said. “I think he knows how to coach us and knows how to coach each individual guy and each position, so I don’t believe in that.
“Anytime you lose, there’s always going to be some comments made. You’ll find anything, people will. I don’t think there’s any truth to that. I think guys were focused and ready to go. We weren’t the best on that day.”
As it stands, Big Ben will be back next season — with a new offensive coordinator, former QBs coach Randy Fichtner, (who replaces Todd Haley, with whom Roethlisberger was said to have an acrimonious relationship). Tomlin will be back, too, despite reports some Steelers minority owners were pushing for his ouster.
For the Steelers to be back in the mix next season for a Super Bowl berth, among other issues confronting the team, Roethlisberger and Tomlin need to be on the same page. Big Ben’s public support of his coach is a step in the right direction.