Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger: I've 'earned the right' to criticize team

Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger has broken left index finger

Ben Roethlisberger isn’t backing down from his brutal honesty.

The Steelers quarterback elaborated on the grievances he aired earlier this week, saying his status with the team allows him the leverage to give constructive criticism.

“I think I have earned the right to be able to do that with as long as I have been here,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “and I’ll just be just as critical of myself [in the media], as well.

“Being around for a long time with a lot of different players. You have to know how to motivate different guys in different ways. I think that’s part of being a leader, being a captain, just understanding players. Sometimes you just grab them off to the side, and sometimes you have to be honest with them.”

A day earlier, during his weekly radio appearance on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger refused to apologize for the many interceptions he’s thrown this season and expressed his dissatisfaction with some of his teammates and coaches after Sunday’s loss to the Broncos.

Roethlisberger specifically targeted Antonio Brown’s route-running, James Washington’s dropped pass and offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner’s play-calling.

When asked how his teammates and coaches feel about his comments, Roethlisberger was candid with his response.

“Go ask them,” Roethlisberger said. “I have no idea.

“I would hope that they would understand that as the quarterback and the captain that I have the right to do those things. I don’t feel like I abuse that situation. So I don’t think it’s an issue, but you would have to ask them.”

The Steelers (7-3-1) will look to bounce back after their six-game winning streak was snapped when they host the Chargers (8-3) in Week 13 action.