"Ben is the unquestioned leader of this group," general manager Kevin Colbert told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. "Like I said, he's the elder statesman and the Super Bowl winner. If our players were smart, they'd listen to him because he's been there, he's done it."
It was Roethlisberger's comments that apparently caused a rift between him and Antonio Brown this past season, leading the wide receiver to miss Pittsburgh's crucial Week 17 contest. Roethlisberger has made a habit of using public platforms to take shots at teammates in recent years.
"He can tell them, 'No guys, what you're doing is or is not good enough to do this,'" Colbert added. "And I honestly believe that that can be a burden on him more often than he may like to admit, because he has to ... he's got 52 kids under him quite honestly. I want them to step up and say, 'Hey Ben, what do I have to do? Can I do this better? What do we have to do to win a Super Bowl?' I think that once you win it, you've got 53 guys who can say what it took. Right now, he's the only one, so I have no problem with him."
Roethlisberger's leadership abilities have been questioned throughout his time with the Steelers. He admitted in 2015 that he "wasn't a good teammate" early in his career.
However, the two-time Super Bowl champion said in November that he had "earned the right" to call out his teammates.
Roethlisberger also criticized the front office last offseason, as he openly questioned the draft selection of quarterback Mason Rudolph.
"He can call me out and that's fine," Colbert said. "What he does, I totally respect because I see him too many times win games for us and come through in situations."
Roethlisberger, who'll turn 37 on March 2, led the NFL last season with 5,129 passing yards. He tossed 34 touchdowns but also committed 18 turnovers.
The Steelers have said they intend to sign Roethlisberger to a contract extension this offseason.