Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger made an appearance on the radio soon after the draft in an interview that largely focused on the team’s decision to use a third-round selection on quarterback Mason Rudolph. The sentiment was largely driven by the presence of Landry Jones and Joshua Dobbs on the roster, but more so his desire for the team to draft somebody that could help him win a Super Bowl in 2018.
One of the threads that has been woven through the fabric of the offseason so far has been the sentiment that Roethlisberger has told the organization that he feels like he can play for three or more years. We heard this from virtually everybody but Roethlisberger until he said it in that interview.
He said that he told the front office right away. “I wanted them to know so that they wouldn’t have to worry about drafting a quarterback”, he said during the interview. Yet even then, he added, “the key is, for me, I’m always going to take it one season at a time”, which was a comment that went surprisingly unnoticed.
He said it again during the first day of OTAs, which makes it all the more perplexing why Roethlisberger would have expressed a confusion over why the team would attempt to address the future of the quarterback position if given a golden opportunity, which was the case when Rudolph slid to the third round.
“I think just being excited about the group we have. The linemen in particular in front of me”, he told reporters. “Having those guys back makes me feel good, because I’m healthy. Just lots of prayers and spending time with family. I’m still going to take it one year at a time, but just feeling like what you have left in the tank”.
The veteran quarterback spent much of his interview session trying to clarify things that he had previously said, which might be a reminder to him that perhaps he should be more diligent in paying attention to what he says in the public, so that he doesn’t have to answer the same questions multiple times, weeks apart.
The bottom line, really, is this: nothing has changed from a year ago. Every season, Roethlisberger is going to reflect upon his playing career, how he feels physically and mentally, where the team is from a competitive standpoint, and what his family life dictates, and is going to make a decision on a yearly basis on whether or not he is going to come back for another season.
That is where we were last year. That is where we are now. The only difference is that he decided much earlier this year. We’ll be in the same situation a year from now as well. And that’s fine. Frankly, chances are he will play another three to five seasons, or even more. But not even he will know for sure until we get there. So that’s why you plan ahead to prevent from getting caught with your pants down when you don’t have a quarterback you can put out on the field.