FOXBORO – Ben Roethlisberger rolled some teammates under the bus Sunday night but it was hard to tell exactly which ones had the tire tracks to prove it.
“It just at times almost felt like it was almost too big for some of the young guys,” said Roethlisberger after the Steelers were sent home sucking on a 36-17 loss.
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He could have been talking about young receivers Sammie Coates and Cobi Hamilton, each of whom had deep balls slide through or past their hands.
Or he could have been talking about Antonio Brown, who within a week, went from being the star of his own Facebook Live broadcast to being bottled up by the Patriots secondary (seven catches, 77 yards).
While Coates and Hamilton didn’t come up with “combat catches,” a Steelers term that both Roethlisberger and head coach Mike Tomlin employed, Brown launched the Steelers week of preparation by depantsing Tomlin and the rest of the Steelers veterans with his tone deaf self-promotion.
Roethlisberger may have been talking about the on-field product when he said the following, but it just as easily could be applied to Brown.
“Hopefully this is a learning game for guys to understand that this isn’t promised to anybody,” said Roethlisberger. “Tomorrow’s not promised to any of us and just to make the playoffs isn’t enough to get to this championship game. A lot of guys have been in this league for a long time and haven’t been to any of these or have been to very few, so I hope that they understand the importance and relish the opportunity if it comes again.”
Asked if he thinks the younger players understood that, Roethlisberger said, “I don’t know. That’s a good question. That’s probably a question for other guys, but I know I did.”