Now that the 2020 offseason has begun, following a second consecutive season in which they failed to even reach the playoffs, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we have seen happen over the course of the past season, and with notice to anything that happens going forward.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends, such as an accumulation of offseason activity. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the summer as we move forward.
Player: QB Ben Roethlisberger
Stock Value: Up
While there isn’t a lot of football activity going on to talk about right now, we did recently hear again from Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers quarterback who is working his way back from elbow surgery back in September.
Speaking to Ed Bouchette, he told The Athletic that he was preparing for and would have been ready to participate in OTAs this year had they taken place. Barring something drastic and unforeseen, the COVID-19 pandemic is going to wipe out that portion of the offseason, and remains a threat to the rest of the NFL calendar as well.
The fact that Roethlisberger believes he would have been prepared to do some football-like throwing about a month or so from now, however, is significant all the same. While he allowed that he didn’t know how extensive his participation would be or whether or not he would work in any team drills—limited as they may be in the Spring—he was clear that he would have been throwing.
He also said that, because of the circumstances, he and his doctor have been taking it easier and more conservative than they otherwise would have, because there is no immediate timeline to work toward, and going about it at a more gradual and methodic pace presents less risk of a setback. Currently, his only goal is to be ready for training camp, assuming there is one in late July and early August.
Roethlisberger told Bouchette that he has been consciously throwing the football while taking something off of it, estimating that he is only throwing at about 60 percent capacity because he is choosing to remain at that level. He said that he knows he can really push the ball, but that there is no need for him to do so right now. But, again, the fact that he feels he could do this if necessary is to be taken as a positive indication of his recovery.