Roethlisberger vowed Tuesday on his weekly radio show that this won't be optional for his teammates as they try to rebound from a 2-6 start.
“If anybody’s ready to quit, then they need to get off this train because I’m going to keep it moving and I think everyone feels the same way,” Roethlisberger said on 93.7 The Fan. “You know you’re not going to get any quit from me, and I’m going to make sure no one else does.”
The losses have piled up at a rate no one inside the Steelers’ locker room could have foreseen a couple of months ago. And Roethlisberger relayed something from Sunday's 55-31 loss to the Patriots that proved the inverse of the axiom that good teams create their own luck.
Roethlisberger lost a fumble on the Steelers’ first possession of the game, and Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich was credited with a sack and forced fumble on the play. What actually happened when Roethlisberger tried to throw a pass to running back Felix Jones? He said the ball slipped out of his hand because it had blue paint on it from the Patriots’ logo on the field.
“It’s one thing when you’re playing in the rain and you’re expecting the ball to be wet, but when it’s dry outside and you get a wet ball in your hand it’s not a good thing,” Roethlisberger said. “The guy didn’t do anything crazy to swat at the ball. It just literally slipped out of my hands.”
Roethlisberger said he talked to center Fernando Velasco after the fumble about not getting sweat on the ball before snapping it. But, the quarterback said, he didn’t see Velasco perspiring much. That is when he noticed he had blue paint on his right hand.
Roethlisberger told referees and his coaches about the paint, but at that point there was nothing he could do about the turnover.
"That’s a little thing that’s unfortunate that has happened to us,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s not an excuse, it just happens, and it kept us from really starting as fast as we wanted to do. We all just kind of shook our heads.”
It has indeed been that kind of season for the Steelers.