Should Big Ben address his teammates?

While talking to the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen during a televised interview on Wednesday, Steelers’ receiver Hines Ward said that Ben Roethlisberger should address his teammates in wake of what has transpired this offseason.

“A lot of players really don’t know the situation, other than what we hear in the news or the media,” Ward explained. “I think when he addresses the whole team going into training camp, we can all put it behind us and move forward.”

There was certainly nothing malicious in Ward’s statement. He wasn’t calling Big Ben out, nor was he suggesting that the Steelers haven’t embraced him upon his return to the practice field. What he is saying is that it would be a good idea if the team’s two-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback addressed his teammates in order to put the situation behind him so they can move on as a team.

And I happen to agree.

Roethlisberger has ever right to keep his personal matters to himself and if he decides to do that, then he doesn’t deserve to be criticized. I wouldn’t want my dirty laundry to be aired out in front of a group of my peers, nor would anyone else. But Big Ben is already past that point.

Thanks to the media, his teammates already have a grasp on what happened and they’ve already drawn their own conclusions. But if he were to briefly stand up in front of the team and reaffirm his commitment to them, the Steelers and to winning, it might go a long way in putting the situation to rest. He doesn’t have to share details or even apologize – he just needs to kill the very large elephant in the room so that big bastard doesn’t sit there all season.

In general, people want to forgive and move on. I’m willing to bet that if Big Ben opens up to his teammates before training camp (or whenever) that he won’t have to say another word about the situation the rest of the season because it’ll be done. Again, he isn’t obligated to say anything. But given the importance of his position, his role with the team and how close professional athletes generally are, it might be in Roethlisberger’s best interest if he takes Ward’s suggestion to heart.

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