Sportress of Blogitude

Ben Roethlisberger’s earlier comments on media shed light on draft criticism

Ben Roethlisberger has found himself in a firestorm over comments made over the past week concerning his disappointment over how the Pittsburgh Steelers selected Mason Rudolph in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft, presumably as his heir apparent.

Comments Roethlisberger made earlier this year in an interview in retrospect shed some light on why the quarterback remains so outspoken on such matters despite the criticism it invites.

The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly on Wednesday tweeted on an excerpt from an interview with Roethlisberger a few months back in which the veteran signal-caller states “you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t” when it comes to being forthright with with media.

“When we don’t answer the questions, we are scrutinized because we are beating around the bush,” Roethlisberger said in part, via Steelers Depot. “When we are honest, we are scrutinized for being too honest. It’s like you can’t win anyway.”

Roethlisberger last week confirmed plans “on playing for three to five more years” in an ideal world. That being said, at the time Roethlisberger pledged to do whatever he can do to help Rudolph develop into his successor-in-waiting.

Big Ben later reversed course and openly questioned the selection of Rudolph, saying he was “surprised” by the pick in the third round while pointing out the Steelers instead could have drafted “some really good football players that can help this team now.”

Rudolph has attempted to downplay the uneasy situation by saying Roethlisberger should not be expected to focus on his development. Instead, the onus is on him personally to improve.

It all adds up to one uncomfortable and awkward distraction for the Steelers. Roethlisberger is correct in many respects that athletes are criticized for giving clichéd responses and condemned when being honest. That said, the case can be made that Roetlhisberger was only inviting trouble with his candid comments about Rudolph.

After all, the Steelers cannot expect Big Ben to play forever.