Ben Roethlisberger has been the subject of some controversy this offseason, pretty much all of it coming in the ‘stupid’ variety. From his newsworthy haircut to his practice habits, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback has been talked about quite a bit for somebody who hasn’t played in eight months.
But you can’t say he hasn’t thrown in eight months. In fact, he has been throwing since February, which even he admits is a change of pace for him. He has mentioned a number of times in recent years that he limits the amount that he throws in the offseason to save his elbow.
In hindsight, that probably was wise, considering the deterioration of his elbow and how it ultimately culminated in a lost season. But now that he has had that time off, he is trying to get in as much throwing as possible.
And he has been throwing steadily since February, as Ryan Switzer told the lovable scamp, Mark Kaboly, of The Athletic. The wide receiver said that Roethlisberger’s recent publicized throwing session was “leaps and bounds different from when we first started”, with Kaboly noting that he has been catching passes from the quarterback since February.
In the wake of reporters such as Jay Glazer taking shots at the quarterback’s offseason work habits, Switzer was sure to paint a very different picture of how Roethlisberger has been approaching the rehab process, as somebody with still and outside-looking-in, but more-inside-than-the-rest-of-us view.
“He worked like a workhorse this offseason in terms of getting with his trainer and getting with the guys he rehabs with”, he told The Athletic. “He really put the pedal to the metal. I don’t think he left any stone unturned. I think he exhausted all efforts to get back to 100 percent, and that’s just from on the outside looking in”.
Roethlisberger played only six quarters during the 2019 season, missing by far the most time in his professional career. It was readily apparent in hindsight that his elbow issues was a cumulative one, and not something that suddenly crept up, but clearly, he and the team thought he could play through it.
Every sign that has come out of rehab process has been positive, however, and there is some hope even that he could come back stronger than where he left off, with his elbow in a healthier state than it had been. Teammate Maurkice Pouncey had said that his elbow had been bothering him for years.
The last time he played through a complete season, he set new franchise records by throwing for over 5000 yards and with 34 touchdown passes. While many make a big deal out of his league-leading 16 interceptions, it’s worth noting that is the lowest number to lead the league during a season since the 1930s. And Lamar Jackson led the league in touchdown passes last season with 36. So that just goes to show how significant year-to-year statistical rankings can be.