Pittsburgh wants to retake ‘The Steeler Way’ during showtime

PITTSBURGH – Ben Roethlisberger learned early on the perks of a no-music dressing room, namely the ability to absorb what he could whenever Pittsburgh Steelers and Hall of Famer icon Dan Rooney appeared to grab his hold. beats the team and offers advice and insight on anything And anything.

“You want to listen to him,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday. “You want to hear what he has to say, whether it’s about the Steelers, about life, about anything. I mean, he was like a grandpa to all of us.”

There were still times when Roethlisberger was half looking forward to seeing Rooney, who died in April 2017, to step through the door.

“You just want to hear him because he speaks very softly, but he is very wise,” said the longtime midfielder. when he’s around. “


Time changes. So are the players. Roethlisberger was one of five Steel men named to the 2016 squad, Rooney’s final season with the team. While the 39-year-old Roethlisberger is doing what he can to pass on the lessons he’s learned, he worries about it being lost as the years go by.

More than a decade ago – at least – compared with the vast majority of his teammates, Roethlisberger understood that there was likely a sense of history and tradition that Rooney instilled in him as a rookie in 2004. will fall into increasingly deaf ears.

“You can just tell those people those stories so much before they say, ‘Okay, this is one person talking, ‘something like that,’ says Roethlisberger. “You can pass on the tradition all you want, but the further away you get from something, the harder it gets.”

In a way, Roethlisberger sounds like some of the people he’s worked with or the familiar Pittsburgh black and yellow long-wearers who have openly talked about the state of the franchise after an ugly length consisting of a funny 16-16 draw with Detroit and a shameful loss to Cincinnati last week beat the Steelers 5-5-1 pedestrian while visiting Baltimore, the AFC Northern leaders (8-3) on Sunday.


Rocky Bleier, the returning Vietnam veteran who won four Super Bowl rings as part of the 1970s Super Steelers dynasty, beat the current team for a “Lack of pride and self-esteem.” Ryan Clark, a safety analyst turned NFL analyst, blasted his old team, say “no one is afraid” faced a 25th-ranked defense overall and was pushed to the outside of the Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati last week.

While winger TJ Watt and defender Cam Heyward pointed their fingers in their direction – with Heyward bluntly making the suggestion Pittsburgh may not win another game this season if the issues differ that the contenders The longtime playoff member was having a problem that wasn’t fixed and was quickly remedied.

Second-year wide receiver Chase Claypool took a slightly different approach a day later, suggesting that a little music in practice could help change the vibe. Coach Mike Tomlin politely dismissed the idea of ​​putting together a playlist.


“Claypool plays wider and I’ll let him do it,” said Tomlin. “I will form the method of training. And I think that division of labor is probably appropriate.”

Tomlin constantly reminds his team to turn off outside noise in both good and bad times, although he admits it can be harder to regulate it when the noise comes from players who stick to the standards he knows. that is his duty.

While emphasizing that he hasn’t heard specific criticism, Tomlin pointed out that the former Steelers players “probably understand that (the standard) better than anyone who isn’t in our dressing room.” us right now.”

Roethlisberger allows history to repeat itself in some way, and whatever change he perceives in the dressing room is probably the same change veterans fear when he for the first time pass his familiar number 7.

“There might be some of the veteran guys I play with who watched us or heard people talk in the media or some sort of thing happened, and maybe shook their heads and said, ‘Oh my god, it’s not the Steel Road. That’s not the way we used to do it,” he said. That’s just the way things are, and I’m sure the (19) 70 team would have probably looked at us even 10, 20 years ago (and thought) … It just happened.”


And there are plenty of reminders of the franchise’s history, whether there’s music in the dressing room or not.

“You walk through (six Lombardi Cups) every day, you walk in teams, pictures of the people who have done it and that’s the people who built the brand,” streetwalker Joe Schobert, acquired in a franchise. case with Jacksonville in August, said.

Roethlisberger is in two of those pictures, one of the reasons he tries to keep a panoramic view. The core of the team he joined in 2004 – a retired player who may have had problems at the time – plays with the same concentrated ferocity as the famous championship groups known as “The steel curtain” decades earlier.

Maybe one day this group will too, which is why Roethlisberger has dropped the act of “getting off my lawn.”

“The last few years, I have been really satisfied,” he said. I won’t be a grumpy guy anymore. If they want to listen to music, they can listen to music.


While still hoping the faint echoes of the upbringing Rooney provided – in life, the NFL and “The Steeler Way” – fade into silence.

Whenever it comes.

NOTE: Roethlisberger (hips/chest), DB Joe Haden (legs), LB Rob Spillane (knees), OT Zach Banner (sick) did not train Wednesday. … Claypool (toes) is limited. … TE Pat Freiermuth (concussion) is a full participant.


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Huynh Nguyen

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