Ben Roethlisberger learned early the perks of a music-free locker room, namely the ability to absorb what he could whenever Pittsburgh Steelers icon and Hall of Famer Dan Rooney would pop in to take the pulse of the team and offer advice and insight on everything and anything.
“You wanted to listen to him,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday. “You want to hear what he has to say, whether it was about Steelers, about life, just about whatever. I mean, he was like a grandfather to all of us.”
There are still times when Roethlisberger half-expects to see Rooney, who died in April 2017, to walk through the door.
“You just wanted to listen to him because he was so soft-spoken, but he was so wise,” the longtime quarterback said. “And so that was always my thing of why I didn’t want the music because you never had it when he was around.”
Times change. Players too. Roethlisberger is one of just five Steelers who were on the roster in 2016, Rooney’s final season with the team.