As the quarterback of the most successful Pittsburgh teams in decades, Ben Roethlisberger’s role as a Steeler legend is virtually indisputable. Years of quality play have earned Roethlisberger the right to bypass media scrutiny during training camp.
That doesn’t mean he’s been absolved of all criticism, however. In fact, former Steelers teammate Emmanuel Sanders said that his new quarterback, Peyton Manning, is a “far better leader” than Roethlisberger, per NBC Sports’ Michael David Smith.
Let’s not grab the pitchforks and light the torches just yet. This is akin to the “LeBron James isn’t Michael Jordan” argument, he’s still a heck of a player in his own right. Still, it’s curious that a four-year teammate of Roethlisberger’s would change his tune after just a few months with Manning.
Except, of course, Sanders wants to appeal to a new fanbase and praising his new teammate and one of the all-time greats, is a good start.
Nonetheless, Roethlisberger admitted hearing that from Sanders “hurt”, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ed Bouchette. It had to help some that teammate Antonio Brown went to bat for his quarterback, as mentioned in the linked article, after the news about Sanders broke.
Regardless of what Sanders thinks, what matters for Roethlisberger is leading his current teammates to the best of his ability.