Throughout the Antonio Brown saga with the Pittsburgh Steelers, news emerged that the star receiver didn’t always get along with his future Hall of Fame quarterback in Ben Roethlisberger.
That situation culminated leading up to Week 17 of last season when Brown reportedly fired a football at Roethlisberger during practice and then walked out, leading to him not playing in the season finale.
With Brown’s subsequent social media boasts and openly saying he wanted out of Pittsburgh, many took the side of Big Ben in the feud and believed that only Brown was at fault.
But a former Steeler has gone on record by saying that Roethlisberger is also at fault of being a poor teammate and not the team leader that everyone thinks he is.
Josh Harris was a Steelers running back in 2014 and saw firsthand how Roethlisberger reacted when he didn’t get what he wanted. He described a scene in which Roethlisberger openly went against the play call of offensive coordinator Todd Haley.
2014 week 17 we were playing the bengals. Todd Haley called a run play with very little time left in the game. Ben wanted to kneel. He rolled his eyes in the huddle. He then purposely fumbles the ball. I had to recover it. At that moment I knew what kinda person he was.
— The Bishop (@JoshHarris25) March 10, 2019
Harris then posted video of the play in which Roethlisberger is supposed to hand the ball off to Harris who is at running back. But he instead tries to hand it to the fullback in front of Harris who isn’t expecting the ball.
It results in a miscommunication between Roethlisberger and the fullback and the ball ends up on the ground and is recovered by Harris.
— The Bishop (@JoshHarris25) March 11, 2019
“Everybody rolled their eyes in the huddle, including Ben,” Harris said while narrating. “That is what gave me the proof to be like, ‘Yo I think he really did this on purpose because he did not call a fullback run. He called a RB run but he tried to give the ball to (fullback) Will Johnson. Why would you do that?
“If you blatantly wanted to fumble the ball, would you just drop the ball? No, you would do it as a miscommunication. You’re in the NFL. You’re a Hall of Fame quarterback so you can’t just drop the ball on national TV. So, you’re gonna say it’s a miscommunication.”
Harris was then contacted by Sports Illustrated and had even more disparaging remarks about Roethlisberger.
“Ben is a great player but he doesn’t try to connect with teammates,” Harris told SI. “During my time there, I had conversations with vets like Heath Miller, William Gay, Cam Heyward, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Will Allen, Ike Taylor, Troy Polamalu, Bruce Gradkowski, even James Harrison, but never Ben. Troy made an effort to talk guys. Not Ben though. And it was like that for others too.”
While Harris was only in Pittsburgh for 2014, it doesn’t sound like things changed much over the last four years. There always seemed to be some sort of drama with the Steelers, whether it was from Brown, Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell or someone else.
Jesse James was a part of that locker room from 2015-18 and he is happy to finally escape from that drama after signing with the Lions.
Jesse James on leaving behind the drama in the Steelers locker room:
“Yeah, I’m glad to get away from it. Probably not, obviously things like that I like to face head-on. If I had the opportunity to go back to Pittsburgh, I would have been into it and ready to get through this.” pic.twitter.com/s2v4vXwNBG
— Brad Galli (@BradGalli) March 14, 2019
“Yeah, I’m glad to get away from it,” admitted James. “Probably not, obviously things like that I like to face head-on. If I had the opportunity to go back to Pittsburgh, I would have been into it and ready to get through this.
“It’s not something I was running away from… those problems. I would like to face those head-on but that wasn’t the card I was dealt.”
It’s starting to seem like the drama in Pittsburgh will not be going away anytime soon.
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