Bradshaw predicts another good year
But the former Steelers quarterback says a 15-1 record won't happen again.
LATROBE (AP) -- Terry Bradshaw hadn't been to St. Vincent College in 22 years, but he returned to see that the expectations for the Pittsburgh Steelers are still just as high.
The NFL quarterback-turned-broadcaster said Wednesday he doesn't expect his former team to match its record from a year ago, but he believes they could be better.
"I definitely think they'll be good, but not 15-1," he said. "There are too many teams that are going to be better and too many teams are going to play differently with Ben [Roethlisberger] in there. But I do think Ben will play better."
Bradshaw had some pointed remarks about Roethlisberger's riding his motorcycle without a helmet recently. On Wednesday, Bradshaw reiterated that the Steelers' quarterback should "ride it when you retire."
He also had a simple explanation for why Roethlisberger slumped at the end of last season.
"I thought he got tired at the end of the year, just wore out. It's not so much physical, but this stuff," said Bradshaw, pointing toward reporters.
"It beats you up. If they were to finish 8-8 it wouldn't have been as bad on him. But boy when you get on a roll like that, week in and week out, there are all those expectations to carry the team."
Bradshaw said the holdout of Hines Ward shouldn't bother the team during training camp because Ward has been with the team a long time: he knows the offense and he's in shape. But he warned a holdout could have a devastating effect if it lingers into the season.
"Believe me, it's huge because that's a guy you depend on; that's a guy that you know if there's a gap in the defense, he'll get there; he'll make the big catch," Bradshaw said.
Ward should do what he needs to do, even if it does mean holding out, Bradshaw said. But there should be a time when Ward returns to the field, he said.
"If he doesn't get [the money he wants], I think an athlete gets on the field and plays," Bradshaw said.
The beginning of the end of Bradshaw's Hall of Fame career occurred at St. Vincent College. He pointed to the eastern end of the field where he hurt his right elbow during a practice before the second preseason game of 1983.
"We played the Patriots in Knoxville and I didn't play," he said. "What happened was this thing was killing me so I had a friend of mine shoot it up. My ulnar nerve splits and we didn't know it, so it leaked into the ulnar nerve. After I got it shot up in the [bathroom] I could feel it going down, down, down. ... When I reached down to pick a ball up my arm was shaking. Before you know it I couldn't even feel it. So I went to the doc and then I had to go tell Chuck [Noll] I can't play. 'Why?' My elbow's shot up and my fingers are numb. He gave me the look. You know the look?"
Bradshaw was asked if he's seen current Steelers coach Bill Cowher give a similar look.
"I can get by this guy," Bradshaw said with a laugh. "I don't have problems with this guy. He can't bench me."