Ben Roethlisberger’s weekly 20-minute spot on 93.7 The Fan during the NFL season is one of the best player segments in radio, largely because of the quarterback’s willingness to speak honestly. While many franchises want their players to “follow the company line,” Pittsburgh Steelers GM Kevin Colbert has no desire to hold Roethlisberger back from being candid.
“He’s the elder statesmen and the Super Bowl winner,” Colbert told a group of local reporters, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. “If our players were smart, they’d listen to him because he’s been there. He’s done it. He can tell them, ‘No guys, what you’re doing is or is not good enough to do this.'”
During his segment on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger’s honesty has led him to criticize teammates, coaches, reporters and even share injury information with the audience.
After losing to the Patriots in an AFC Championship game a couple of years ago, Big Ben contemplated retirement while on-air with The Fan. Roethlisberger once told the 93.7 midday show Martavis Bryant had to toughen up and this past season he criticized his soon to be former wide receiver, Antonio Brown’s route running. Big Ben has publicly questioned his offensive-coordinator’s play-calling, but also won’t hesitate to admit when he doesn’t get the job done himself.
Roethlisberger’s thoughts on being candid while speaking publicly are in-line with his General Manager, “You have to know how to motivate different guys in different ways,” Roethlisberger told reporters last November. “I think that’s part of being a leader, being a captain, just understanding players. So sometimes you just grab them off to the side, and sometimes you have to be honest with them.”
It’s common for radio shows to have weekly player segments during the season, Eli Manning joins WFAN, Tom Brady is heard weekly on WEEI, but rarely do they make the headlines Roethlisberger does. Even with those consistent headlines, the Steelers don’t feel the need to end the segment. Big Ben has been heard on 93.7 The Fan for six seasons and continues to keep it entertaining.