New England Patriots

Sep 8, 2019; Foxborough, MA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) looks to pass the ball against the New England Patriots during the first half at Gillette Stadium. (David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports)

By Ty Anderson,

If Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has an opinion on ex-teammate Antonio Brown joining the Patriots, he didn’t feel like sharing it with a working microphone following a 33-3 loss at Gillette Stadium on Sunday night.

In fact, Roethlisberger needed just one word to answer a question about Brown’s move from Oakland to Foxboro.

“Whatever,” Roethlisberger said.

Roethlisberger’s decision to keep his thoughts on Brown to himself is hardly surprisingly, really.

Not only did this question come after the Pittsburgh offense did absolutely nothing against New England (this was Roethlisberger’s first touchdown-less game since Oct. 8, 2017 against the Jaguars), but the last time Roethlisberger spoke about Brown, it ended with the 31-year-old Brown laying a Twitter smackdown on him for all to see. Even when Roethlisberger seemed to admit he was at fault for the falling out between Pittsburgh’s most dynamic one-two punch.

Discussing the spat in Denver (Roethlisberger blasted Brown for what he believed was a poor route run by the seven-time Pro Bowler) that led to Brown deciding he was down with Roethlisberger and the Steelers in an exclusive preseason sitdown with NBC’s Michelle Tafoya, the 37-year-old Roethlisberger expressed regret both on a professional and personal level.

“I wish I wouldn’t have [called Brown out],” Roethlisberger told Tafoya. “Obviously, we saw what happened, and obviously, it ruined a friendship. I just got caught up in emotion and the heat of the battle.”

Brown didn’t care for that admission, clearly, and responded with a quickly-deleted tweet in which he told Roethlisberger that they were not friends and to just “shut up already.”

So perhaps a one-word answer was all Big Ben could have done to avoid additional drama with the Steeler-turned-Patriot.

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, meanwhile, had a similar take when asked about Brown’s decision to join New England.

“I have none,” Tomlin said when asked for a reaction to the news, which broke (Football Twitter) early Saturday evening. “[Brown] didn’t play for them tonight, he wasn’t going to play for them tonight, he wasn’t going to play for anyone this weekend. So, didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about it or dwelling on it.”

The Steelers sure could have used Brown’s hands and route-running in this one, though, as new Pittsburgh wideout Donte Moncrief finished with a far from boomin’ night, with three catches (on 10 targets) for a grand total of seven yards in the loss.

Ty Anderson is a writer and columnist for Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Yell at him on Twitter: @_TyAnderson.