Ben Roethlisberger said he has heard enough, and it's time to put an end to it. The perception created by a few of his teammates that the Steelers locker room was in disarray last season just is not true, the quarterback insisted, and someone needed to say it.
So why not the veteran quarterback, the captain of the offense?
"For anybody to say there are locker room issues or leadership issues are completely off base," Roethlisberger said Thursday, shortly after he signed a restructured contract to create $6 million of salary cap room for the Steelers in 2013.
"I believe that's the frustration. I believe that it's frustration of last year, I honestly do."
Over the past two weeks, several Steelers commented on one anonymous teammate's criticism of LaMarr Woodley by saying it showed a schism among them in 2012. Ryan Clark said there was a "fracture" in the locker room. Antonio Brown said: "It goes to show you that we wasn't a team in 2012." A few others chimed in with milder comments seemingly agreeing with Clark and Brown.
Enough is enough, Roethlisberger told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
"Obviously, last year was frustrating for all of us, and when you're frustrated and the season doesn't go the way you want it to and things don't go the way you want them to, things are said. I know all too well, after the Dallas game I was frustrated and said some things.
"The important thing to know is, there are no issues in our locker room. There are no issues with LaMarr. There are no issues on our team.
"The big thing for us is to move forward. Last year was last year, it was 8-8. We're not happy about it. There are frustrations, but you know what? We're done with it. We're moving forward and we're moving into this year ... with whoever's here, we're looking to move forward. And we know Woodley's going to be here and we know Woodley's going to be ready to go as we all are going to be."
The comment by the anonymous Steelers player appeared in Ron Cook's Post-Gazette column Feb. 17 about Woodley: "He was awful. He tells us he works out, but we didn't see it. He wasn't in shape. That has to be a reason why he was always hurt."


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