Roethlisberger responds to Cam Heyward criticism, walks back his 'me-type attitude' comment

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Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger acknowledged that he should have done a better job of articulating his comments after offending his old team-mate Cam Heyward.

Last week in an article published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger said one of the reasons the Steelers faltered in the playoffs in the last few seasons was because young players today are more focused on personal goals rather than team goals.

"I feel like the game has changed," he said. "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."

Those comments did not sit well with Heyward, a team-mate of Roethlisberger from 2011 until the future Hall of Fame quarterback retired following the 2021 season.

"We have a lot of young players that come from different backgrounds, have experienced different things from what others or I may have experienced," Heyward said on his own Not Just Football podcast on Wednesday. "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."

On Thursday, Roethlisberger walked back on his comments.

"I probably should've been more detailed, more specific," Roethlisberger told 102.5 DVE in Pittsburgh. "It's not the majority of guys are that way."

The 40-year-old Roethlisberger played for the Steelers for his entire 18-year career in the NFL, leading the franchise to a pair of Super Bowl championships, eight AFC North Division titles and 12 playoff berths.

However, much of that success came in the first half of Roethlisberger's career, as Pittsburgh have not won a playoff game since the 2016 season, losing its last three postseason appearances.

"I get Cam supporting his team-mates," Roethlisberger said. "I wasn't trying to bash anyone specifically, I was just making a broad stroke comment. I agree with him and I should've been more clear. The majority of guys on that team are team-first guys."

The Steelers opened camp on Wednesday ushering in a new era with Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph and rookie Kenny Pickett competing to replace the retired Roethlisberger.

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