PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is taking some extra time to build relationships with his veteran wide receivers.
Roethlisberger, 39, is working with a wideout group that did not add a drafted rookie for the first time in seven years. So, he's spending time with his veterans to make sure everyone is friendly.
"We have a group text message that goes around, and we communicate with each other quite a bit and tease each other," Roethlisberger said. "I had them over, we played Pig at the house the other day. I had to show them the old man is still hard to beat. I like to let remind them of those kinds of things. That group is a fun group. That is one of the reasons I said I wanted to come back is because that is a special group and I'm excited to see what they can bring to this offense and this team this year."
Second-year receiver Chase Claypool told local media on Thursday that the extra time spent with Roethlisberger has opened up the relationship.
"It's a lot more friendly," Claypool said on his relationship with the QB. "Less talk about football and more random things going on, more jokes being said back and forth. A lot more fun I would say."
Roethlisberger won't say whether or not this is his final season in the NFL, but he and the team are treating it as such. The six-time Pro Bowler took a $5 million pay cut to return to Pittsburgh for another season, and his receiving core is thankful he's here for another ride.
"I'm happy he came back," Claypool said. "There's very few quarterbacks in the league that can come in and bring that savviness and that football knowledge. He might be one of two."
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