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Ben Roethlisberger: ‘I have earned the right’ to be critical of teammates

Ben Roethlisberger is refusing to back down over critical comments recently made about teammates, arguing his status with the Pittsburgh Steelers has afforded him the ability to do so.

Roethlisberger raised some eyebrows this week when he called out wide receivers Antonio Brown and James Washington — not to mention offensive coordinator’s Randy Fichtner’s play-calling — over how things played out in the Steelers’ 24-17 loss to the Denver Broncos last Sunday.

The Steelers signal-caller made the provocative comments in question during his weekly appearance Tuesday on Pittsburgh radio. On Wednesday, Big Ben defended what he had to say, even if it may have ruffled some feathers.

“I think I have earned the right to be able to do that with as long as I have been here,” Roethlisberger said of his comments Tuesday on 93.7 The Fan, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “and I’ll just be just as critical of myself (in the media), as well.”

Roethlisberger also shrugged off a question about how he believes his teammates received getting called out in such a public manner.

“Go ask them,” Roethlisberger said. “I have no idea.

“I would hope that they would understand that as the quarterback and the captain that I have the right to do those things. I don’t feel like I abuse that situation. So I don’t think it’s an issue, but you would have to ask them.”

The Steelers veteran also argued that the only goal in making such critical comments is to motivate, and as a team leader and captain it’s his job to “to be honest” with his teammates.

Roethlisberger has become significantly more forthright as the years have gone by, as evidenced by other things he had to say during his Tuesday radio appearance.

In fact, Roethlisberger was brutally honest earlier this year when questioning the Steelers’ decision-making in the 2018 NFL Draft. This week’s candid comments appear to be simply more of the same.