It’s not exactly unusual or out of the ordinary for an established veteran quarterback to go out of his way to gather some of his teammates for some type of offseason activity, whether it be for business, pleasure, or a combination of both. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has been no exception to that for most of his career, though you might think otherwise depending on where you look.
It made waves recently when a few of his teammates posted videos on social media from Roethlisberger’s boat on a Georgia lake, where he gathered a dozen or so teammates culled from the offensive skill positions for a social gathering that included the likes of JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner, James Washington, Ryan Switzer, Xavier Grimble, and others.
Many took it to be a brand new thing in spite of the existence of videos of him doing to same thing with the likes of Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell, and Martavis Bryant, but there has been some question about what has occurred in between then, in 2015, and now.
According to Jeremy Fowler, Roethlisberger had the gathering on a hiatus for a couple of years, in large part due to the fact that he had an expanding family, particularly in 2017, and there were scheduling conflicts last season as well.
So it is true that this has been the first outing in a least a couple of years, perhaps the first since 2015, and Roethlisberger evidently felt that this would be a good time to make sure to get something situated, which does make a lot of pragmatic sense.
This is a pretty new offense now without players like Brown and Bell, a couple of long-time veterans. Even Smith-Schuster, just 22 years old, is in his third offseason, and this is also his first trip to Roethlisberger’s Georgia residence, as perhaps it might be for everyone else in attendance.
A lot of these young players probably still don’t know the 37-year-old quarterback very well, so this was a good opportunity to get together in a social setting, though according to Fowler it wasn’t all pleasure, as there was some on-field work involved as well.
Hopefully Roethlisberger continues to take the approach this offseason that actions speak louder than words. He certainly has been the target of plenty of negative words over the course of the past several months, but has overall come out the other side looking pretty clean after Brown and Bell have damaged their own credibility.
He and the rest of the Steelers organization remain committed to moving on and moving forward, and that starts with building and strengthening the relationship of those with whom he will be working. Not a bad time to unmoor that boat, I would say, even if it remain docked, proverbially, the past couple of offseasons.