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Steelers owner defends Ben Roethlisberger: ‘Record speaks for itself’

Pittsburgh Steelers owner Art Rooney II became the latest member of the organization to come to the defense of the embattled Ben Roethlisberger by stating the quarterback’s résumé and standard of success “speaks for itself.”

Roethlisberger has come under fire this offseason, mostly due to harsh criticisms from ex-Steelers Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, over the perception he’s not a good teammate or leader.

Steelers players, both past and present, have surfaced of late to passionately vouch for Roethlisberger and his leadership qualities. Rooney has since joined the chorus of Big Ben defenders.

“I think Ben’s record speaks for itself,” Rooney told Steelers.com’s Missi Matthews Tuesday, as transcribed by Steelers Depot. “He’s been a great player for us for a long time now, so it’s not hard to understand why people are standing up for him, and we’re looking forward to him continuing to perform at a high level for several more years, and actually looking forward to getting back on the field in the near future.”

Beyond the barbs sent Roethlisberger’s way by Bell and Brown, there were also reports that a number of unnamed Steelers players were “very upset” over the drama involving Roethlisberger’s off-the-field conduct, specifically related to how the veteran signal-caller would publicly call out his teammates in the media.

Taken all together, the behind-the-scenes chatter and public criticism of Roethlisberger has presented the Steelers with yet another distraction during an offseason that scarcely needs another one.

That said, the fact the entire Steelers organization is rallying around their veteran quarterback to prop up his damaged reputation could be viewed as a harbinger of the team beginning to the page following an incredibly tumultuous and disappointing 2018.