Roethlisberger 'hurt' by Bradshaw's words

October, 11, 2012
10/11/12
1:30
PM ET
Ben Roethlisberger only needs 287 yards to break Terry Bradshaw's Steelers' all-time passing record. Roethlisberger said he thinks Bradshaw is excited, but in reality, he doesn't know.

The top two quarterbacks in Steelers history don't have a good relationship. In fact, they have no relationship at all. As an analyst for Fox, Bradshaw has been critical of Roethlisberger.

"We haven't talked," Roethlisberger said of recent events. "I've never had an issue [with him]. He said a bunch of things in the past about me; it hurts a little bit when you think about family, but I've never been one to say anything to him or at him."

In 2006, Bradshaw laid into Roethlisberger for crashing his motorcycle, and according to Bradshaw, that caused Roethlisberger to get angry at him. "Since then ... he doesn't like me, and I'm learning not to like him," Bradshaw said at the time.

In September 2010, Bradshaw said the Steelers should have "dumped" Roethlisberger after an alleged sexual assault that year and lobbied NFL commissioner Roger Goodell not to reduce the quarterback's suspension.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported this week that an intermediary has been trying to get the two together. Whether that will ever happen is unclear. Both seem hurt by the other's actions. Bradshaw probably feels disrespected because Roethlisberger tuned him out. Roethlisberger likely feels betrayed that a member of the Steelers family called him out publicly.

With the record about to be broken, this is the perfect time for Bradshaw and Roethlisberger to put everything in the past. They need to rise to the occasion like they've done so many times on the field. It's really difficult to pass the torch of the all-time leading passer in Steelers history when the quarterbacks won't even shake hands.

Jamison Hensley

ESPN Ravens reporter

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