- Scott Brown, ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter
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PITTSBURGH -- Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger addressed the NFL Network report about his unhappiness with the franchise for what he and the Pittsburgh Steelers hope is the final time.
The subject came up during his weekly chat with Pittsburgh reporters as well as during his conference call with Detroit reporters.
“To me it’s about this game and things like that take away from this team and what we’re trying to do,” Roethlisberger told Pittsburgh reporters. “It’s a non-issue with me because it’s silly so it’s not worth addressing, and to me the focus is on this week and the Detroit Lions.”
Roethlisberger gave a similar answer to Detroit reporters shortly after he talked in the Steelers’ locker room.
“It’s so ridiculous,” Roethlisberger said when asked about possibly wanting a trade after the season. “I just talked to our guys that I’m not even going to address it because what it does is it takes away from what we’re trying to do and that’s win this football game and that’s all that matters to me. So to me, it makes me so mad I don’t even want to address it anymore. No offense to you guys, obviously you don’t hear me all the time.”
The two responses should put an end to an issue that the Steelers and Roethlisberger quickly defused on Sunday and was dismissed by coach Mike Tomlin Tuesday at his weekly news conference.
Roethlisberger did not address the report with his teammates. Nor did he need to, free safety Ryan Clark said.
“Nobody here really cares about it,” said Clark, who is a team captain along with Roethlisberger and defensive end Brett Keisel. “It’s not something we’re going to talk to him about. We just hope he’s been able to put him behind it, he’s been able to deal with it the best he can and he can play good football. He’s been through much more adversity than this.”
Clark, who has been critical of the media, said the timing of the report didn’t surprise him.
“I think that’s just sad for the team but I think those things come with losing,” Clark said. “When you’re a winning football team, when things are going well you don’t deal with those types of report. It’s unfortunate that it happened. It really dampened what was a solid win for us and a solid week but you move on.”