Updated: Jun 19, 2021
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
For some reason, former Jets general manager and now ESPN analyst Mike Tannenbaum has an obsession with throwing shade at the Steelers and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. In March, Tannenbaum said that Cam Newton will have a better season than Roethlisberger, and then this past Wednesday, he said that the Steelers are going to be last in the AFC North because they have the worst quarterback in the division.
Tannenbaum said the same thing last year in regards to Roethlisberger being the worst quarterback in the division and the Steelers ended up starting the season 11-0 and Roethlisberger was considered as a legitimate NFL MVP candidate. Of course, the Steelers collapsed down the stretch, losing five of their last six games, including the embarrassing wild-card game loss to the Browns. Roethlisberger didn't play well late in the year either, which is why many are down on the 39-year-old quarterback heading into the 2021 season.
While Roethlisberger probably wouldn't admit to listening to the talking heads, I'm sure he's heard about what they're saying about him and how pundits like Tannenbaum think that he's washed up. That type of rhetoric will add only more fuel to the fire for Roethlisberger who is already a fierce competitor.
"I think anybody that is told they can’t do something, they are going to be motivated to go prove people wrong," Roethlisberger said via Dale Lolley of DKPittsburghSports. "The other thing is I have been doing this for long enough that you let it motivate you but you don’t let it drive you or push you into just being so crazy that I have to prove that person wrong. Because at the end of the day you are just trying to win a football game and a championship. I’m going out to play for my teammates who are in this locker room and on this field, playing for the fans. That’s what it’s about."
It should also be noted that Tannebaum wasn't a successful general manager with the Jets and he drafted quarterback Mark Sanchez at fifth overall in the 2009 NFL Draft. So, take his evaluations on quarterbacks with a grain of salt.