Hines Ward spent eight seasons with Ben Roethlisberger. The Steelers former receiver joined Emmanuel Sanders, among others, in suggesting Roethlisberger needs to work on his leadership skills.
Le’Veon Bell is departing Pittsburgh after sitting out the entire season in a contract dispute, and Antonio Brown wants out.
“Disappointing just to hear all the talks off the field with the Pittsburgh Steelers; that’s really never been the case,” Ward said on NFL Total Access. “It’s unfortunate. Two great talents like Le’Vean Bell and Antonio Brown aren’t going to be on the team going into next season. But yes, Ben is the leader of that team. He’s been there; he’s done that. I just think he has to take the initiative to kind of do more as a leader. Not just being able to call guys out on his radio show. Take them behind — treat them like, you know, we always say we’re a band of brothers — like, pull me to the side, let me know what I can do to get better. You don’t have to air it out to the public where everyone can hear. So I just think he needs to do a better job of that.”
Earlier this week, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert put his support behind Roethlisberger. Colbert called Roethlisberger “the elder statesman” and gave the quarterback the OK to call out teammates publicly.
“For the Steelers, just get back to playing football,” Ward said. “That’s always been our motto; just lining up and kicking tail and that’s what I think, for the Pittsburgh Steelers, they’ve got to get back to just doing that.”