Monday, January 31, 2011

Teammates wouldn’t go to bat for Roethlisberger with Goodell

Ben Roethlisberger may win his third Super Bowl with the Steelers on Sunday — and perhaps his first with teammates who actually like him.

Peter King of Sports Illustrated writes in today’s Monday Morning Quarterback column that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell told him he talked to two dozen Steelers while he was deciding how to punish Roethlisberger at the beginning of this season, and to a man, Roethlisberger’s teammates declined to say anything supportive of their quarterback.

“Not one, not a single player, went to his defense,” Goodell told King. “It wasn’t personal in a sense, but all kinds of stories like, ‘He won’t sign my jersey.’ ”

Goodell also told King he “doesn’t feel any connection” with Roethlisberger.

From all indications, however, Roethlisberger has made a concerted effort to change his ways since returning from his four-game suspension at the start of the 2010 season — and has started to earn the respect of teammates who, six months ago, weren’t prepared to speak to the commissioner on his behalf.

author: michael david smith

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