Ben Roethlisberger Admits That He Didn’t Want To See Kenny Pickett Succeed At First: “I Feel Bad That I Felt That Early On”

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Not gonna lie, it was a bit strange not seeing Ben Roethlisberger under center for the Pittsburgh Steelers this season.

Seriously, when you have a player that has been with a franchise for that long, you can’t say one name without saying the other.

The 18-year Steelers starting quarterback officially retired from the NFL back in 2021, handing the keys over to Mitch Trubisky, Mason Rudolph, and fan favorite rookie Kenny Pickett for the 2022 starting job.

Trubisky got the start for the Steelers initially, but after his continued poor play to kick off the 2022 season, Pickett was given the starting job against the Buffalo Bills in the fifth game of the season, throwing for an impressive 327 yards along with one interception.

Pickett ultimately went a respectable 7-5 during his 12 starts, ending the season throwing for 2,404 yards, seven touchdowns, and nine interceptions.

Although fans were excited to see the flashes of greatness in Pickett, there was one former player who apparently didn’t want to see the young QB succeed at all to begin with, and that was Ben Roethlisberger himself.

The Steelers legend recently had Pickett on his Footbahlin podcast, where he honestly admitted:

“I’ll be super transparent here. I’m going to get blasted, I probably shouldn’t say this, but who cares at this point.

I wouldn’t say I wanted Kenny to necessarily fail, but when someone comes to replace you and I still feel like I had it, I hope he doesn’t come and ball out because then it’s like, ‘Ben who?’…

Early on, I didn’t want him to succeed. … That’s probably the selfishness of me, and I feel bad for it.”

Man, that’s pretty brutal. Those probably aren’t the words you’d expect to hear from Roethlisberger, especially considering he retired and Pickett didn’t take his job or anything, but you do have to respect his honesty in this situation.

Nevertheless, he’s warmed up to Pickett’s success for the Steelers this past season, and is a fan going forward.

“I feel bad that I felt that early on but I’m glad that I transitioned into love and rooting for you.”

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock