Ben Roethlisberger delivers emotional apology to center Maurkice Pouncey after loss to Browns

Ryan Young
·Writer
·2-min read

There were plenty of sad faces on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ sideline on Sunday night, but perhaps nobody was more emotional than Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger, however, wasn’t upset only because they fell to the Cleveland Browns 48-37 in brutal fashion in their AFC wild-card matchup.

He was sad because he felt he had let longtime center Maurkice Pouncey down.

“I’m sorry, brother. You’re the only reason I wanted to do this, man,” a tearful Roethlisberger told Pouncey on the sideline after the game, via NFL Films. “Oh I feel worse for you than me. I hate it, man.”

Though Roethlisberger threw for 501 yards in Sunday’s loss, he also threw four interceptions and led the Steelers into a quick 28-0 hole. He and Pouncey struggled immediately, too, fumbling their opening snap which was recovered in the end zone for a Browns touchdown.

Pouncey, Roethlisberger considering retirement

Neither Roethlisberger nor Pouncey have announced their retirements, however both are nearing the end of their careers.

Based on their emotional conversation on the bench Sunday night, that might be right around the corner.

Pouncey wrapped up his 10th season in the league, all of which he spent snapping the ball to Roethlisberger. Reports out of Pittsburgh, and his conversation with Roethlisberger before leaving the field, certainly make it seem as if Pouncey is going to walk away from the game soon.

Roethlisberger, 38, has been in Pittsburgh since 2004. He said after the loss that he isn’t ready to make a decision regarding his future just yet.

“It's going to start between me and God, a lot of praying. A lot of talking with my family, discussions, decisions. I still have a year left on my contract," he said. "I hope the Steelers want me back, if that's the way we go. There will be a lot of discussions. But now is not the time for that.

"This loss is fresh. It's just sitting on our hearts and our minds right now. It will for a while."

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and center Maurkice Pouncey
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sits on the bench next to center Maurkice Pouncey after their 48-37 loss to the Cleveland Browns in an NFL wild-card playoff game in Pittsburgh on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021. (AP/Don Wright)

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