NFL Teams
Jeremy Fowler, ESPN Staff Writer 68d

Ben Roethlisberger says calling out bad behavior part of QB's job

NFL, Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH -- A day after making pointed comments about Antonio Brown's sideline behavior, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said holding players accountable is part of the job description.

On Tuesday, Roethlisberger told 93.7 the Fan that he was disappointed in Brown's "temper tantrum" during Sunday's 26-9 win over the Baltimore Ravens. After not getting the ball downfield, Brown flipped a Gatorade bucket and angrily shrugged off offensive coordinator Todd Haley.

"I'd like to feel as a leader of this team that's kind of my job," said Roethlisberger, 35, citing 14 years of NFL quarterback experience. "You have to be able to talk to people, you have to be able to communicate in different ways. I've been doing this a long time. I feel as voted as a captain that's kind of one of the rules of being the captain."

Roethlisberger also told 93.7 that he prefers Brown talk to him about missed plays instead of creating a distraction. Asked whether Brown will get the message, Roethlisberger said, "I'm sure."

"He's a professional," said Roethlisberger, who added that the players have moved on from the flare-up. "He's probably the best wide receiver in the game now, maybe to ever play."

Brown said after the game that he's a passionate player and got excited over a big-play opportunity. On Wednesday, he tweeted an apology.

Teammate Vince Williams posted a tweet featuring Brown making light of the situation.

Defensive end Cam Heyward joked it's not as if Brown acted like former Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight, who once famously threw a chair across the floor in the middle of a game.

"He got mad one play, so what?'' Heyward said. "He's not Bob Knight. He's not throwing a chair on the court, saying this and that, cursing out everybody. It's sports. You're supposed to be competitive. You're supposed to be mad sometimes.''

Brown is second in the NFL in receptions (30) and receiving yards (388), but Roethlisberger opted to spread the ball around more in Baltimore, resulting in four catches for 34 yards for the All-Pro receiver.

Still, Roethlisberger cited his "amazing chemistry" with Brown, who's working on an NFL-record fifth consecutive 100-catch season. In the past, the receiver and quarterback have hashed out differences with communication, Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger's goal is to win and not "make people happy," he said, but he knows Brown is always central to the game plan.

"You have to understand what the defense is giving you, try not to force it at times but also knowing sometimes forcing it works too with (Brown)," Roethlisberger said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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