Roethlisberger on Brown: 'A.B. made me who I am'

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A portion of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's apology to wide receiver Antonio Brown made the rounds Monday afternoon as part of an in-depth interview Roethlisberger did with Bob Pompeani of KDKA, a CBS affiliate in Pittsburgh.

The full interview aired Monday night and Roethlisberger touched on a variety of subjects, including the perceptions on his leadership, his recent contract extension and, of course, Brown.

Roethlisberger and Brown became a dynamic tandem for years in Pittsburgh, and Roethlisberger said they were close friends. The relationship, though, deteriorated in the second half of the 2018 season before the Steelers traded Brown to the Oakland Raiders.

The fallout resulted in numerous questions on what went wrong, which still has Roethlisberger in search of answers.

"I'll start with saying you're right, A.B. made me who I am," Roethlisberger told Pompeani, via KDKA's official website. "He was the greatest wide receiver I ever played with. And the things that he did in this league and that we did together are among the best of all-time. You're talking about [Joe] Montana and [Jerry] Rice, and [Troy] Aikman and [Michael] Irvin, and some of those great names. To be mentioned with those same names is so humbling.

"And so, I'm very thankful for the relationship that we had and playing together. And you're right, there were some great things, and then all of a sudden it just kind of, it disappeared, and I'm not sure really where it went."

Roethlisberger then conceded that there were some moments of disagreement with Brown over the years, but that the two often worked out the differences.

"I think any great relationship, whether it's at home, coach and player, player-player, there's always going to be ups and downs," Roethlisberger said. "I mean, especially when you're together for as long as you are.

"One of the biggest things I always took pride in -- and I think he would say the same -- is that we always worked through it, you know? We always came out the other side smiling and hugged it out, enjoyed it and moved on, and this time, I really don't know."

Brown has been vocal on his departure from Pittsburgh and hasn't held back on his opinions of Roethlisberger.

Still, Roethlisberger told KDKA that he has attempted to reach out to Brown, whom the Steelers signal-caller still considers a friend.

The desire to reconnect, however, hasn't produced a positive result at this point.

"I have a few times -- sent him some messages, called him -- I haven't heard back," Roethlisberger said. "But I'm sure he's getting busy with his season and getting ready as I am with the guys that we have here.

"But I really am looking forward to reconnecting with him, talking, because like I said, he's a good friend of mine. I still call him a good friend. And I hope that we can reconnect and I hope that our friendship can continue to grow."

Whether the attempt to repair his relationship with Brown works remains unknown, but Roethlisberger appears more than willing to at least give it a try.

In the meantime, click here to watch the full interview at KDKA.

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