Ward said Roethlisberger needs to stop calling out teammates in public.
Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward thinks Ben Roethlisberger needs to do more as a leader.
During an interview with NFL Network on Friday, Ward questioned Roethlisberger's leadership methods, suggesting the Steelers quarterback should stop calling out teammates in public.
"Ben is the leader of that team. He's been there, he's done that. I just think he has to take the initiative to kinda do more as a leader," Ward said. "Not just being able to call guys out on his radio show. Take them behind — treat them like, you know we always say we're a band of brothers — like, pull me to the side, let me know what I can do to get better."
Following Pittsburgh's Week 12 loss to the Denver Broncos, Roethlisberger said wide receiver Antonio Brown should have run a flatter route on the goal line. Brown has been the subject of trade rumors after missing the regular-season finale against the Bengals due to a reported dispute with Roethlisberger. Brown opted to sit out of practice during the week following the heated argument.
Although general manager Kevin Colbert defended Roethlisberger's leadership last week, Ward believes the quarterback needs to change.
"You don't have to air it out to the public where everyone can hear," Ward said. "So I just think he needs to do a better job of that."
"It's disappointing just to hear all the talks off the field with the Pittsburgh Steelers, that's really never been the case," Ward added. "It's unfortunate. Two great talents like Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown aren't going to be on the team going into next season."
Ward spent 14 years with the Steelers, eight of them as Roethlisberger's teammate.