Joey Porter is the latest former Steeler to rip into quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s leadership style.
The former Pittsburgh linebacker turned assistant coach played alongside Roethlisberger from 2004-06. After playing with the Dolphins and then the Cardinals, he began coaching the Steelers in 2014 but was fired in January.
Porter made an appearance on NFL Network with former Broncos star Terrell Davis, who explained the relationship Denver had with quarterback John Elway. He said Elway would lobby for all of the players and that Elway had power within the franchise and would use it to help his teammates. That’s when Porter explained, in his opinion, that Roethlisberger doesn’t act in the same way.
“It’s clear he has the power, and how he uses it? He uses it for him,” Porter said of Roethlisberger (per ProFootballTalk).
He went on to indicate that the Steelers would be better off if Roethlisberger were more popular with his teammates, PFT notes.
“You want your locker room to love you,” Porter said.
Porter also weighed in on Roethlisberger’s apology to Antonio Brown earlier this week. Roethlisberger, who criticized Brown’s route running on his radio show after a Week 12 loss to the Broncos, said: “I took some heat and deservedly so for some of the comments on that show and especially towards him. I genuinely feel bad about that and I’m sorry. Did I go too far after that Denver game? Probably.”
Porter, however, believes Roethlisberger’s apology was a little too late.
“If you feel like you’ve been betrayed in any type of way, I’m not picking up your phone call. I mean you can’t call me and say ‘Oh, I’m sorry,’ the next day. I need you to be sorry when you did it,” Porter said.
“You can’t be sorry that late. So those relationships went the other way and so now that he’s being a man and apologizing now is just a couple days too late. All of that could have been avoided if he was coming to him and saying, ‘You know what, I didn’t handle that the right way.’ But that’s the way he chose to go about it — apologize now — and it’s a little bit too late.”
— NFL Total Access (@NFLTotalAccess) May 24, 2019