Ben Roethlisberger, churlish in his old age, dissected Antonio Brown’s route-running last December for an entire local radio audience to hear. Brown didn’t take it personally...
“Ben’s my guy, man. I love him. Anything he says, there’s a method to his madness,” said Brown, who’s preparing for a home matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday night. “It’s only to inspire the group, encourage the group to be better. That’s the type of guy he is.
...until he did!
Cut to a few months later: Friendship ended with Big Ben. Now Derek Carr is his best friend.
In an interview with NBC Sports’s Michele Tafoya Sunday, Roethlisberger expressed tepid remorse for his remarks with a distant cousin of Sorry if anyone was offended, a non-apology gracefully implying that the situation could have been avoided were Brown more grateful for the criticism—ahem, challenge:
I wish I wouldn’t have done it. Because obviously we saw what happened and obviously it ruined a friendship. I just got caught up in the emotional heat of the battle, but the other person that I challenged that game was James Washington. And I know people made a big deal about that. But James Washington texted me, called me, talked to me in person, thanking me for that. And so the outside world was killing me for it; he thanked me and that’s all that really mattered.
Too little, too late. Today, Brown quote-tweeted a video of the Roethlisberger interview to say the two were “never friends” and asking him to “shut up already.” (He quickly deleted it.)
Don’t expect to hear much more from Brown on this. Between permissibly fortifying his head and thawing his toes, he has other fish to fry, and also some fish to remove from his freezer.