Big Ben 'fine' with Pittsburgh Steelers' critics


James Harrison. Mike Wallace. Rashard Mendenhall. Keenan Lewis. Willie Colon.

Just some of the names out the door in Pittsburgh, leaving fans to wonder if the Steelers -- on the heels of a disappointing 8-8 season -- are in trouble.

Free agency brought no relief. Instead of restocking the shelf, general manager Kevin Colbert issued radio silence. This well-respected and typically Teflon organization is suddenly drawing heat from critics. As Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote Sunday, "It's hard to see the plan. Plenty of people who watch the Steelers are worried."

Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is not one of them -- at least, that's what he said Thursday in an interview with KDKA-FM in Pittsburgh.

"I'm fine with people saying that we're going to be terrible and, 'Let's overlook them,' because that means our opponents are doing the same thing. I like that. I like being the hunter."

Sure, it's jarring for fans to watch core veterans vanish, but overpaying for Wallace and re-upping with an aging Harrison isn't how the Steelers do business. The Steelers are on the hook to nail the draft, but with Big Ben under center, this team cannot be counted out.

It's April, people. Let's pump the brakes on burial rites for an organization that hasn't suffered a losing season since 2003.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.