PITTSBURGH (93-7 The Fan)- Following the Steelers' 23-16 loss at the hands of the Denver Broncos that ended their season, Ben Roethlisberger joined "The Cook and Poni Show" for the final "#1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show" of the 2015-16 season.
Ben opened things up addressing the remarks made by a Denver Broncos cornerback that he was faking his shoulder injury.
"Unbelievable, right? It makes no sense, but it is what it is," he said.
Ben went on to talk more about his shoulder injury, what it took for him to get out on the field and how it feels today.
"Doc did a good job, almost annoyingly so being in my ear every time I came off the field to check on me. You know, it's just unfortunate. You know me, I'll never use an injury as an excuse. You just got to play better all around football. Doc was right, it definitely was sore yesterday and today," he said.
There have been many questions about what Ben will have to do this offseason to repair his injured shoulder and he shared what the doctor's are telling him.
"It won't need surgery," Ben said. "I guess the ligaments will, you know, scar up and heal on their own. Obviously, we'll be dealing with a little bit of pain and some limited movement here for a little bit, but supposedly it will heal on its own...The only thing he told me that possibly could need surgery is down the road sometime going in and just kind of cleaning out the arthritis and where that scarring is and things like that, so I don't foresee any surgeries or anything on the shoulder any time soon."
One of the big disappointments of the loss to the Broncos was running back Fitzgerald Toussaint's fumble. It proved to be a major turning point in the game. Ben talked about the play and how his teammates reacted to him after the game.
"I just wanted him to know that I was proud of him and not to beat himself up because this is more than just him. It's not his fault. All of us could have played better. Obviously, his fumble is going to resonate with him, the fans and everybody, but there were so many plays that all of us left out there. I just recommended to him to take ownership of it because it goes a long ways in taking the blame, but also to not take all of it because it's more than just him and that we wouldn't have been in this situation, in my mind, I don't think we would have even been here if it wasn't for him and Jordan [Todman]," Roethlisberger said.
Toussaint wasn't the only emotional member of Steelers after the game. Ben talked about the rumors that Mike Tomlin was crying when he addressed the players and if he ever saw him that emotional before.
"I've been a part of a lot of games you know, in the post season, the regular season, win, loss, Super Bowls, whatever, and I think that was as emotional of a locker room that I've been around in a long, long time...We all kind of felt like we all let each other down. We felt like we had something special and had a chance," Roethlisberger said.
Talking about the players that stepped up in a big way and contributed this postseason, Ben took some time to recognize the big moments wide receiver Martavis Bryant had after he called him out.
"I'm so happy, proud of him," Ben said. "I thought he grew tremendously in this postseason. My message to him right after was, I told him, I said, 'Hey, so proud of you the way you played today. You stepped up the way you played last week. Now, lets see what level you step up to next.' I mean, I'm already talking to him about the offseason. What he needs to do to really take that next step and he embraces that. And I told him, 'This offseason, you need to become the best in the world,' and you know, I think that's a good goal for him."
Ben went on to say he has no concerns about Bryant and how he'll handle himself this offseason following his 4-game suspension to start this season.
Looking back more on this season and ahead to what he has left in the tank, Ben said the hope is to make another run at a Super Bowl again next season.
"That's one of the reasons the disappointment is there because I really felt like we had a good shot this year. Like I said, hopefully we can get most of our guys back and make a run at it again," he said.
With the season in the rear view mirror now, Ben took some time to look back on the year and how he's viewing it.
"I think it's a wide array of emotions," Ben said. "Obviously, disappointment because we felt that we had a good football team and things were going our way. We got into the playoffs by the Bills helping us out. Then, you beat the Bengals at the end, you just kind of felt like destiny - or whatever you want to call it - was kind of on your side. You're disappointed because the season ended...You look at what an unbelievable season and run that we made with all the injuries we had."
Finally, Ben wrapped things up by looking ahead to next year and the expectations he'll have for this team.
"I think that we felt like we had something pretty special here. Offseasons are always tough because you lose guys, you get new guys, so we're hoping we can get as many guys back as we can to kind of keep building on this special thing we have going on. I think what everyone is excited about is the talent we have," Roethlisberger said. "You know, I say 'the young talent,' but really I mean guys that are in like their third, fourth, fifth, kind of sixth year, like those guys. They're not really young anymore, they've got that experience, but they're still young enough that they're fresh and can make great plays for us, so I just think that the talent we have on this team, if we can stay healthy, like I always say, we can be pretty special.
You can hear the full interview here.
The "#1 Cochran Ben Roethlisberger Show" is heard exclusively Tuesdays at 11 a.m. during the Steelers' season on "The Cook and Poni Show" on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.
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