Roethlisberger says he's re-evaluating his life, being smarter

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger(notes) spoke to the media Thursday for the first time since being served up a six-game suspension sandwich, courtesy of Roger Goodell.

[Photos: See the latest Ben Roethlisberger images]

He didn't say a lot — Roethlisberger made a brief statement and took two questions — but he did, in a roundabout way, acknowledge that his behavior was poor and that he needed to make some changes in his life.

Here are a couple of the money quotes, courtesy of this full transcript from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"I've put a lot of thought into my life, decisions that I've made in the past that I've been sitting at home thinking about things. I've been working closely with the commissioner on ways to make changes, corrections."

And in response to a question about the changes he's making:

"A lot of them are personal things, you know, which is just something that I need to do. But it's been neat being able to really re-evaluate my life and spend time with my family and kind of re-evaluate and re-figure what's important in my life. That's me ... evaluating what I need to do and be smarter when it comes to certain things."

That's exactly what you'd want to hear from a guy accused of making the kind of mistakes he's accused of making. It's impossible to judge an athlete's sincerity when standing in front of the media, but one certainly hopes that Roethlisberger truly is putting some thought into how he lives his life, how he treats women, and how to be a better guy moving forward.

That's what it's all about, isn't it? Living and learning? Making the inevitable mistakes that everyone makes, and then bouncing back to become a better person because you learned something?

If we take Roethlisberger at his word — and I'm willing to be an optimist on this one — then we're seeing the very beginning of that process here. I say good for him. It's not about forgiving or even forgetting. I just hope he means it, and I hope those changes make his life a more fulfilling, less sleazy experience for everyone involved.

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