Cowher: Roethlisberger will learn from experience

In the wake of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension by the NFL after being accused of sexual assault in Georgia, there’s been precious little substantive commentary from those close to him. That’s slowly changing.

Bill Cowher coached Roethlisberger for three seasons, and he joined WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to share his opinion on the whole situation. To listen to the interview, go to Sports Radio Interviews.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended by the NFL for at least four games to start the 2010 season.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended by the NFL for at least four games to start the 2010 season.

What does Cowher think about the suspension Roethlisberger received?

Cowher: I think it’s good, in my personal opinion.  I think it sends a very strong message that your conduct is something that you’re going to be held accountable for.

It was well documented what took place — obviously, no charges have been filed to this point — but that still does not dismiss any NFL player from the responsibilities that come from their actions when they’re in the public eye.  I think Commissioner Goodell has taken a very strong stance in the past and I think he’s doing that right now.  I think it got the endorsement of the Pittsburgh Steelers and everybody else.  I think right now it’s up to Ben to deal with the punishment that has been handed out, to adhere to whatever these guidelines are that he must adhere to, and to try to make this a four game suspension as opposed to six.  That would be in the best interest of the football team and that’s what he owes to his teammates.

That being said, I would think he would do that.  They could see something was coming down.  They went out and got Byron Leftwich and it’s either going to be him or [Dennis] Dixon, probably, one of the starters when it comes to opening day and the first four weeks before the bye.

Does he think the Steelers will trade Roethlisberger?

Cowher: I do not.  I think the message was very loud and clear that they are very disappointed to have to go through this.  I think he’s got an opportunity to rekindle his reputation.

He’s a young player, he’s made some very poor judgments in the last few years, and if he’s ever going to learn from something, he’ll learn from this.  I think they’re going to give him the opportunity to do that.

Was Roethlisberger well-liked within the organization?

Cowher: I think we like anybody that can help us win football games.  I think there’s no question that this guy, on the football field, is tremendously respected by his teammates and he’s respected by opponents.  He’s a talent.  The guy is an unbelievable competitor. He’s got a great feel for the game, but certainly with some of the things that have been brought on in the last couple of years, it kind of puts a damper on it.

I think again, as you know, the bottom line is trying to win football games.  You have young single guys and you have people that have three kids.  The dynamics of every locker room are a little bit different.  Usually when 4:00 comes or 4:30 comes, everybody goes their separate ways.

The one thing you want to make sure the players do is they don’t do anything to dampen your ability to win football games.  What Ben has done is put himself in a situation where he’s going to miss six games.  Hopefully, he’ll do the right thing and minimize that to four.

Why will the Steelers hold on to Roethlisberger and not trade him?

Cowher: I think the circumstances are something where there’s no reason to say they wouldn’t, but I would be very surprised.  This is a guy that was brought up, and again there’s no way they would condone his actions, but at the same time, this is a behavioral thing.  There’s been no drugs involved, there’s been no series of events of that nature.

They made a very big investment in Ben.  Again, I think he’s a guy that has proven to be a big commodity on the field and certainly want to get him to be the leader off the field.  I think they still believe in him.  I think that’s what is the bottom line.  If there were a trade to be made, it would show that they really feel like they have exasperated every opportunity to try to change him.  I still believe that they feel like he will learn from this and they can move forward with him as their quarterback.

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In the wake of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s suspension by the NFL after being accused of sexual assault in Georgia, there’s been precious little substantive commentary from those close to him. That’s slowly changing.

Bill Cowher coached Roethlisberger for three seasons, and he joined WFAN in New York with Boomer and Carton to share his opinion on the whole situation. To listen to the interview, go to Sports Radio Interviews.

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended by the NFL for at least four games to start the 2010 season.
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been suspended by the NFL for at least four games to start the 2010 season.

What does Cowher think about the suspension Roethlisberger received?

Cowher: I think it’s good, in my personal opinion.  I think it sends a very strong message that your conduct is something that you’re going to be held accountable for.

It was well documented what took place — obviously, no charges have been filed to this point — but that still does not dismiss any NFL player from the responsibilities that come from their actions when they’re in the public eye.  I think Commissioner Goodell has taken a very strong stance in the past and I think he’s doing that right now.  I think it got the endorsement of the Pittsburgh Steelers and everybody else.  I think right now it’s up to Ben to deal with the punishment that has been handed out, to adhere to whatever these guidelines are that he must adhere to, and to try to make this a four game suspension as opposed to six.  That would be in the best interest of the football team and that’s what he owes to his teammates.

That being said, I would think he would do that.  They could see something was coming down.  They went out and got Byron Leftwich and it’s either going to be him or [Dennis] Dixon, probably, one of the starters when it comes to opening day and the first four weeks before the bye.

Does he think the Steelers will trade Roethlisberger?

Cowher: I do not.  I think the message was very loud and clear that they are very disappointed to have to go through this.  I think he’s got an opportunity to rekindle his reputation.

He’s a young player, he’s made some very poor judgments in the last few years, and if he’s ever going to learn from something, he’ll learn from this.  I think they’re going to give him the opportunity to do that.

Was Roethlisberger well-liked within the organization?

Cowher: I think we like anybody that can help us win football games.  I think there’s no question that this guy, on the football field, is tremendously respected by his teammates and he’s respected by opponents.  He’s a talent.  The guy is an unbelievable competitor. He’s got a great feel for the game, but certainly with some of the things that have been brought on in the last couple of years, it kind of puts a damper on it.

I think again, as you know, the bottom line is trying to win football games.  You have young single guys and you have people that have three kids.  The dynamics of every locker room are a little bit different.  Usually when 4:00 comes or 4:30 comes, everybody goes their separate ways.

The one thing you want to make sure the players do is they don’t do anything to dampen your ability to win football games.  What Ben has done is put himself in a situation where he’s going to miss six games.  Hopefully, he’ll do the right thing and minimize that to four.

Why will the Steelers hold on to Roethlisberger and not trade him?

Cowher: I think the circumstances are something where there’s no reason to say they wouldn’t, but I would be very surprised.  This is a guy that was brought up, and again there’s no way they would condone his actions, but at the same time, this is a behavioral thing.  There’s been no drugs involved, there’s been no series of events of that nature.

They made a very big investment in Ben.  Again, I think he’s a guy that has proven to be a big commodity on the field and certainly want to get him to be the leader off the field.  I think they still believe in him.  I think that’s what is the bottom line.  If there were a trade to be made, it would show that they really feel like they have exasperated every opportunity to try to change him.  I still believe that they feel like he will learn from this and they can move forward with him as their quarterback.

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Dez Bryant discusses how he felt about being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys

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