Cameron Heyward Responds to Ben Roethlisberger’s Comments
Pittsburgh Steelers team captain Cameron Heyward isn’t too pleased with recent comments made by now-retired Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger regarding the current landscape of NFL players.
Roethlisberger said “the game has changed” and “people have changed” when discussing the differences he saw between the early years of his career and the later years of his playing days, in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.
“The team was so important,” Roethlisberger said when speaking of his first few seasons. “It was all about the team. Now, it’s about me and this, that and the other.
“I might be standing on a soapbox a little bit, but that’s my biggest takeaway from when I started to the end. It turned from a team-first to a me-type attitude. It was hard. It’s hard for these young guys, too. Social media. They’re treated so well in college. Now, this new NIL stuff, which is unbelievable. They’re treated so special. They’re coddled at a young age because college coaches need them to win, too. I know coach [Terry] Hoeppner never coddled me. Neither did [Bill] Cowher.”
Heyward responded during his podcasts “Not Just Football with Cam Heyward”.
“It looks as though we are looked at as selfish players, and I don’t think that’s the point” he said. “We have a lot of young players that come from different backgrounds, have experienced different things from what others or I may have experienced. That doesn’t make them selfish or more of a me-type attitude. … There are a lot more team-first guys than me-type attitude. I took offense to that.”
“I’m accountable for those guys,” Heyward said. “Obviously we haven’t had a Super Bowl in a long time, and maybe that’s where Ben is like, ‘Man, if those guys would have grown up.’ But it’s up to the older guys to step up and hold guys accountable. … It’s up to a vet to put you under your wing and pull you across and say, ‘Hey, this is what it’s like to be Pittsburgh Steeler.’ And that’s what I’m trying to do.
“Maybe Ben didn’t see it that way, but man, I’m going to protect my guys. You just can’t say it’s a ‘me-type of attitude’ now. Everyone’s out to be a Super Bowl winner, make money, one day be an MVP. But when it all comes together, we care about one thing, this logo right here. … I’ve always tried to extend that to my younger teammates. I think Ben was a little out on that one.”
Heyward also made it clear that he wasn’t “throwing shade” at Roethlisberger.
“Don’t say Cam is calling out Ben — it’s not like that,” Heyward said. “But I will say, I’ll protect my team. I will make sure that everybody knows that we care only about football on the field and less about off the field. We can all understand Ben has been a heck of a QB. You don’t do this game and become a Hall of Fame quarterback and do it at a low level.
“Ben has taken some hits not a lot of other teams could do. He saved us, he won games we weren’t supposed to win, and he’s always stepped up. But it was the team around him that helped him do it, and I don’t want anyone to ever forget that the whole team won — not just Ben.”