When veteran tight end Heath Miller retired from the Pittsburgh Steelers early on in the offseason the organization didn’t waste any time when it came to trying to replace such a reliable target for quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. That replacement wound up being unrestricted free agent tight end Ladarius Green, who played his first four seasons in the league with the San Diego Chargers.
Due to Green needing offseason surgery on one of his ankles, the Steelers new tight end was unable to practice with the team during the three weeks of OTAs. That inactivity is now carrying over into the team’s annual minicamp that got underway on Tuesday and thus Roethlisberger won’t get an opportunity to work with Green until training camp gets underway in late July. Roethlisberger is certainly looking forward to that finally happening.
“I’m excited once I get him on the field to see what he can do,” Roethlisberger said on Tuesday. “I’m always joking with him every day, ‘You’re like that brand new Ferrari that I have that’s in the impound lot or something and we’re just looking through the fence at.’ But he’s been communicating a lot, talking, very into everything from a mental side, so [I’m] excited about what he can bring when he gets on the field.”
Even though Green has yet to take a single practice rep with Roethlisberger since signing with the team, the Steelers quarterback already thinks he knows quite a bit about his new Ferrari tight end as he managed to perform his own personal used car history report, if you will, earlier in the offseason.
“Obviously from playing against them [Chargers] and I’ve got a good friend, Eric Weddle, who used to be with them, and asked him a lot about him,” said Roethlisberger when asked what he already knew about Green. “So I know that he was really excited for me to be able to have a weapon like that.”
Outside of his Roethlisberger’s rookie 2004 season, Miller has been his primary tight end so you can see why it’s urgent for Green to get on the practice field as soon as possible so that the two players can work on developing some sort of chemistry together.