PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – Ben Roethlisberger says he wasn’t fully behind Kenny Pickett at the start of last season. He was concerned fans would forget about him.
Roethlisberger told Pickett about it during his Footbahlin’ Podcast that was released on Sunday.
“I’ll be completely honest, I’ll be super transparent here and I’m gonna get blasted,” Roethlisberger said during his podcast. “I probably shouldn’t say this, but who cares at this point. I wouldn’t say that I wanted Kenny to necessarily fail, but when someone comes to replace you, I still feel like I had it, I hope he doesn’t come ball out. Because then it’s like, Ben who?”
The two-time Super Bowl champion said it’s nothing against Pickett, he just happened to be the guy who followed him. He wasn’t completely ready to admit he was no longer playing. Roethlisberger said he feels bad now for his selfishness.
“As you started playing, I found myself rooting more and more for you,” Roethlisberger said during the Footbahlin’ Podcast. “I wanted you to succeed, I wanted you to win games, I wanted you to go in the playoffs. I feel bad that I felt that early on but I’m glad I transitioned to loving and rooting for you.”
Pickett said it meant the world to him that Roethlisberger came clean about his feelings. The Pitt All-American quarterback said no one, unless they’ve been a starting QB in the NFL, has any clue of what he takes to play that position at that level. Roethlisberger seconded it, saying some in the local media have no clue about it either.
Going into a second season, Pickett added he has a lot of respect for the people like Roethlisberger who have done it at the highest level. When he studies those quarterbacks he would ask himself the question of how they did it. He’s grateful for players like Ben who showed him how he should act.
“You have to obsess over it,” Pickett said. “It is your lifestyle. Every single day you wake up to go to work to be the best player I can be.”
“Hopefully I can continue to carry the legacy he set.”
“You will,” Roethlisberger said, adding the fans are lucky to have Pickett.