FILE PHOTO: Dec 30, 2018; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a first quarter pass against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he went “too far” in his criticism of former teammate Antonio Brown.
Roethlisberger spoke publicly for the first time about his falling out with the All-Pro receiver — traded to the Oakland Raiders in the offseason — in an interview with Pittsburgh’s CBS affiliate, KDKA.
Roethlisberger referenced comments he made following a 24-17 loss at the Denver Broncos on Nov. 25. Roethlisberger attempted to throw toward Brown on third-and-goal from the 2 in the final minute, but the pass was intercepted.
Roethlisberger went on his weekly radio show and said Brown needed to run his route “flat” on that play, and that he wished he had thrown to wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, and not Brown, after the Steelers had first-and-goal.
“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 to far after that Denver game? Probably. …,” he told KDKA.
“That’s the thing about media and social media, As soon as you say ‘sorry’ it only goes so far. You can’t take it back. And I wish I could because if that’s what ruined our friendship and relationship, I’m truly, genuinely sorry about that.”
At the time, Brown called Roethlisberger’s comments “constructive criticism,” but the relationship deteriorated from there. Brown reportedly threw a football at Roethlisberger when they had a disagreement during Week 17, and he tweeted in February that the two lacked “mutual respect.”
“No conflict just a matter of respect! Mutual respect! He has a owner mentality like he can call out anybody including coaches. Players know but they can’t say anything about it otherwise they meal ticket gone. It’s a dirty game within a game. #truth,” Brown said in his tweet.
—Field Level Media