Ben Roethlisberger calls out Steelers on discipline, accountability

ByJeremy Fowler ESPN logo
Monday, November 14, 2016

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger did not mince words after thePittsburgh Steelers' fourth straight loss, telling reporters multiple times that the team needs more accountability and discipline.

The Steelers (4-5) lost 35-30 to the Dallas Cowboys thanks to two Ezekiel Elliott touchdown runs in the final two minutes when he went untouched up the middle.

The scores negated a brilliant 75-yard scoring drive orchestrated by Roethlisberger, whose 15-yard touchdown toss to Antonio Brown off a Dan Marino-like fake spike with 42 seconds left gave the Steelers a 30-29 lead.

"We are undisciplined and not accountable," Roethlisberger saidfrom his locker. "That's why (the Cowboys) are one of the best in the business and we're not right now."

When asked how the team got to that point, Roethlisberger said, "I don't know. Is it players? Is it coaches? I don't know, but we need to get there quick."

Roethlisberger completed 37-of-46 passes for 408 yards and three touchdowns, but the numbers weren't enough to extend his home winning streak to eight games.

This isn't the first time this season Roethlisberger has included Steelers coaching in his assessments of the team. In October, Roethlisberger wondered aloud whether the Steelers' physical practices contributed to a multitude of player injuries over the last two years.

"When you're doing it over and over and the guy's shoulders are getting sore and knees start getting sore and hips and hamstrings and quads and things, and then they reoccur, you've got to maybe take a look at what you're doing," Roethlisberger said. "We pride ourselves as the Pittsburgh Steelers being a physical football team, so it's a fine line you have to walk."

Coach Mike Tomlin responded that he welcomes all ideas about best practices and said Roethlisberger has "been around here long enough to have an opinion and also express it."

Roethlisberger also cautioned against the offensive game plans getting too creative after a Week 4 win over theKansas City Chiefs.

Most Steelers players agree they need to clean up their play after Elliott and Dak Prescott combined for five touchdowns. Tomlin said the Steelers didn't have "enough discipline and detail in our play" to pull off the win.

"We obviously are making costly mistakes, and they hurt us," running back Le'Veon Bell said. "We need some more detail, and we're going to keep falling short until we get that."

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