Ben Roethlisberger admitted that it was weird to see Tom Brady in Pittsburgh and not be on the opposing sideline on Sunday. But that doesn’t mean that the Steelers’ future Hall of Fame quarterback wanted to actually face Brady.
Roethlisberger said that he was perfectly content watching the Week 6 game from a suite. From Roethlisberger’s vantage point, it appeared that Brady also would have preferred to be up there with him.
“Tom is the greatest. The Super Bowl rings show it,” Roethlisberger said on the latest edition of his podcast. “[But] it looked like he didn’t want to be out there. Maybe it was the pressure and he was getting hit and whatever was going on.”
Sunday’s game was not one for Brady’s career highlight reel. The seven-time Super Bowl champion completed less than 50% of his throws in the first half and hit on just 60% of his passes for the game. He was hit numerous times while leading the Buccaneers’ offense to just one touchdown.
“There’s no way he’s enjoying this,” Roethlisberger recalled thinking during Sunday’s game. “No way. … It just didn’t look fun for him.”
While Brady was clearly frustrated with himself and the Buccaneers’ offense, Roethlisberger thinks that the play of the Steelers’ defense had a lot to do with Brady’s angst. Despite playing without several key starters, Pittsburgh’s secondary frustrated Brady while containing his talented receiving corps.
“When a defense gets after you, sometimes, your anger and your disgust for things happen because the other team is affecting you,” Roethlisberger said. “Not because it’s you. But yeah, it looked like a different Tom.”
Brady, speaking on his own podcast, said that a lack of execution is the main reason why Tampa Bay is 3-3 through six games. That lack of execution has led to unforced errors, too many punts and a lack of success in critical moments, such as his incomplete pass to Chris Godwin on Sunday when the Buccaneers were trying to tie up the score. Pittsburgh ultimately stopped the attempt, then proceeded to keep the ball for the game’s remaining 4 minutes, 38 seconds.
“I think there’s a lot of soul searching,” Brady said of his team. “You’ve got to make the right improvements, improve the areas that allow you to win and, hopefully, learn from the losses.”
As far as his former team is concerned, Roethlisberger came away impressed with the play of Mitch Trubisky, who finished off the game after Kenny Pickett sustained a concussion. Trubisky fired the game-winning touchdown pass before converting on two third-and-long passes to Chase Claypool to ice Pittsburgh’s 20-18 win.
“I thought Mitch played as well as I’ve maybe ever seen him play,” Roethlisberger said while adding that Trubisky’s most important play was his recovery on a high snap prior to his first third-down completion to Claypool on the game’s last drive.
“It’s basically just Mitch, the ball and the defender right on his heels,” Roethlisberger said. “If [the Buccaneers] get the ball there, they’re going to win the game. He saved the game, saved the day.”
Roethlisberger sent well-wishes to Pickett, who threw his first career touchdown pass on Sunday prior to sustaining his injury. Roethlisberger said that he wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL steps in this week to ensure that Pickett will be sidelined for the Steelers’ Week 7 game in Miami on Sunday night, given the current climate regarding concussions.
“I’m glad that they took it serious and took all the right steps and precautions,” Roethlisberger said regarding Pickett and the injury. “I always tell people, the brain literally is the only thing in your body you can’t get a new one of. … You’ve got to take it serious.”