‘Safe to Assume’ Bad Blood Between Ben Roethlisberger and Steelers: Insider

Ben Roethlisberger

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images Ben Roethlisberger of the Pittsburgh Steelers walks off the field after an AFC Wild Card loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 16, 2022.

During his most recent Steelers chat for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (May 11, 2022), Gerry Dulac was asked point-blank whether there’s “bad blood between the Steelers and Big Ben with how his career ended?

“I would say it’s very very safe to assume that,” answered Dulac, matter-of-factly.

The implication is that Ben Roethlisberger — who was the Steelers’ starting quarterback for 18 years (2004-2021) — wasn’t ready to retire but that the team wasn’t interested in bringing him back for another year.

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Ben Roethlisberger: ‘My Coach and GM Don’t Want Me’

Roethlisberger basically confirmed as much during a radio interview with the DVE Morning Show in Pittsburgh on April 28, the first day of the 2022 NFL Draft.

Asked if he might pull a Tom Brady and un-retire, Roethlisberger said, “First off, my coach and GM don’t want me back,” making reference to Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert. “Second of all, I’m pretty content with where I’m at. Being a bus driver, making lunches in the morning.”

During that same interview, there was also discussion about the possibility of the Steelers drafting either Kenny Pickett or Malik Willis in the first round.

“If you get Willis, you’re gonna be like ‘new No. 7’” he said, noting that Liberty University quarterback Malik Willis wore No. 7 in college, the implication being that he could conceivably be given the same number if he was drafted by the Steelers.

“They wouldn’t do that,” came the response, to which Roethlisberger made a sound indicating that he was not so sure.

Of course, it became a non-issue when the Steelers chose Pickett, who will wear No. 8, the same jersey number he wore in college at the University of Pittsburgh.

Malik Willis, who was strongly linked to the Steelers before the draft, wasn’t selected until Tennessee Titans took a flyer on him in the third round.

Dulac Continues to Question Steelers’ 2022 Draft

Meanwhile, in his May 11 chat, Gerry Dulac continued to questions the decisions the Steelers made in the 2022 NFL Draft, a trend that started 10 days ago, when he was highly critical of the team’s decision to select quarterback Kenny Pickett in the first round.

“I have said all along they needed a big-time DL in the first round not what they got,” he added on Wednesday.

He also criticized the decision to select two quarterbacks, saying, “I wouldn’t get too excited about Chris Oladokun,” making reference to the South Dakota State quarterback the Steelers added in the seventh-round.

Finally, Dulac also took issue with the decision to draft the younger brother of Steelers captain Cam Heyward in the sixth round of the draft.

Asked if both Derek Watt and Connor Heyward would make the 53-man roster this year, Dulac said:

“No. I think Heyward was drafted so they could release Watt, who is the third-highest paid FB in the league. They are the same type of player — and a player they don’t use other than special teams. You don’t need two players you don’t use.”

And if the Steelers don’t release Derek Watt?

“Then that pick is another wasted move,” concluded Dulac.

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