Big boys sometimes cry too. This is what Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger admitted to when he took a phone call from Heath Miller, who informed him of his retirement.
Roethlisberger described the call that rocked his emotions, per Ron Cook of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“He told me it was official, that he was retiring. He thanked me for being his teammate and said how lucky he was to play with just one quarterback for all of his 11 years in the NFL. I told him he had it all wrong. I told I was the lucky one …”
After playing for 11 seasons with the same team, Miller, who is 33, announced his retirement from the NFL.
Roethlisberger continued with his praises of a selfless Miller who he referred to as the “greatest teammate.”
“There’s never been another like him. I’ve never known a more unselfish player.”
“I’d ask him if he was open on a play and he would say ‘no’. Other receivers say they are open on every play, but he never did. Then, I would look at the film and he’d be wide open. He always told me he didn’t want me to have to worry about him.”
The two developed a friendship as well having worked together since Miller was drafted by the Steelers in 2005. Per the report, Roethlisberger said that every season he voted for Miller for the Steelers MVP.
During Miller’s tenure with the Steelers, he recorded 592 receptions for 6,569 yards and 45 touchdowns. He also is a two-time Pro-Bowler and a two-time Super Bowl champion. A reliable target downfield and good friend off the field, Miller will surely be missed by Roethlisberger.
Speaking about the long-term inevitable Roethlisberger discussed his own eventual departure from the NFL.
“I know my time is coming. There’s no doubt about that. The good thing is I still feel really good. That sounds crazy because I’m coming off a really unhealthy year, but I think I’m still playing well. I don’t think it’s time for me yet.”
Roethlisberger, who is also 33, recently signed an $87.4 million deal that takes him through 2019.