LATROBE, Pa.--We had another interesting topic in this week's "Thought of the Day" in the AFC North. The question is, should quarterback Ben Roethlisberger remain a team captain for the Pittsburgh Steelers?
With the Steelers reporting to training camp Thursday, players will have to vote on this issue soon. Roethlisberger was voted as one of the team's six captains last year. But recent off-the-field behavior has caused a conditional six-game suspension this season, which put the team’s playoff hopes in jeopardy.
Ben's not a captain!
Bill from Arlington, Va., writes: Absolutely not. A team captain needs to be a leader on and off the field. Ben has obviously failed off the field, and you can not be a leader on the field when you are suspended for the first six games.
Bill Deeds from Orange, Va., writes: Six captains on a team means 47 other players are not captains. If Ben is one of the six, that means a person who can't even play is a leader of a team that can. Why can't I be captain? My behavior is much better. I can't have direct contact with my team and neither can Ben. I guess the only qualification a person needs to be a team captain is filling a roster spot.
Johnie Johnson from San Antonio writes: Life-long Steeler fan deep in the heart of Texas. Ben should remove his name from consideration as a captain until he regains the trust of Steeler Nation, coaches and the general public.
Dustan Horst from Ephrata, Pa., writes: Ben, like any other person or player, must earn the title of captain. Leaders are always held to a higher standard than others, and therefore, he does not yet deserve the title. He must first prove that change has occurred in his own life off the field, before he is worthy of being labeled a leader of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Rob D from Vienna, Va., writes: Even if the team voted "Big Ben" as a captain, he would be smart to decline it. Roethlisberger would show some class if he put the team before himself. He should earn the captaincy by showing dedication and teamwork, rather than having it handed to him.
Make Ben captain!
Kovacs from Santa Monica, Calif. writes: If Mike Tomlin were choosing, "Big Ben" shouldn't be a captain. If the players elect him, I think that's different. Players choose which guys they want to follow, and if they team wants to follow Ben that's all that matters.
Steelers36 from Lake Charles, La., writes: I feel that he should still be a captain. It will pick his self esteem back up, and hopefully we'll make the playoffs with him in charge--and a seventh ring.
Sdpaladin via Twitter writes: Yes, he should be a captain. The team knows he needs their support and their votes will show they have his back.
Mtidmore via Twitter writes: It's about on-the-field leadership. It would give Ben confidence to be honored by his teammates. Silly way to punish him.
Mike from Ewa Beach, Hawaii, writes: For Ben's continued growth and image rehab I think he should remain a captain. From all that I've read from his teammates' quotes I think he'll get voted in again.
AFC North final say
James Walker: It's entirely on the team to decide who leads them this year. It's an internal issue that can only be determined by Pittsburgh's players in the locker room. So I'm staying out of this one.
If you have any future “Thought of the Day” topics, send them to our AFC North inbox.