Pittsburgh Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward took exception towards Ben Roethlisberger’s comments about young athletes.
Ben Roethlisberger announced his retirement from the NFL following the Pittsburgh Steelers’ exit from the playoffs. But, as training camp approached, Roethlisberger was still in the news. In a recent interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger expressed his belief that young NFL stars have “me-type attitude[s].”
Steelers defensive lineman Cameron Heyward responded to Roethlisberger’s comments on the “Not Just Football With Cam Heyward” podcast, saying that they “rub him the wrong way.”
You can listen to Heyward’s comments below, courtesy of the Not Just Football Twitter account.
Cameron Heyward takes offense to Ben Roethlisberger’s comments about young NFL stars
“It looks as though we are looked at as selfish players, and I don’t think that’s the point,” Heyward said, h/t the New York Post. “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.”
Heyward clarifies that he is not going after Roethlisberger, whom was hit teammate for over 10 years, for his statement. Rather, he is defending his teammates and showing everyone that the team cares about football on the field.
For those wondering what Roethlisberger’s full comments were, here is what they were, h/t the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
“I feel like the game has changed. I feel like the people have changed in a sense. Maybe it’s because I got spoiled when I came in. The team was so important. 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 [at Miami of Ohio]. Neither did [Bill] Cowher.”
This were not the only newsworthy thing Roethlisberger said in his interview. He also asserted that Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was ready to move on from him earlier.
Pittsburgh’s defense, led by Heyward and T.J. Watt, thrived and played a huge part in the team clinching a Wild Card spot. Heyward recorded 89 combined tackles (15 for loss), 17 quarterback hits, and 10 sacks in 17 regular-season games.
The Steelers will not have Roethlisberger in camp as the QB1 on the depth chart. The Steelers signed former Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in free agency and used their first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft on Pittsburgh Panthers signal caller Kenny Pickett.
Roethlisberger shared his opinion on young athletes in the NFL, and Heyward wanted to defend his teammates.