It’s hard not to get excited about a few of the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp practice reports so far when it comes to specifically how quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is looking. On Wednesday, Roethlisberger was reportedly very sharp with his throws and especially on the ones to wide receiver Ryan Switzer. After Wednesday’s practice was over with, Switzer was asked to talk to the media and during that session he answered quite a few questions about Roethlisberger.
First off, with so many players saying that Roethlisberger seems hungrier than ever this offseason, Switzer, who has probably spent more time with the veteran quarterback this offseason than any other p[layer on the Steelers roster, was asked did give his assessment of his teammate’s hungriness and attitude throughout the spring and summer.
“Yeah, so the first couple offseasons with 7 [Roethlisberger], you realize that he likes to take that time to spend with his family and to give his arm a break because of how much he throws throughout the year,” Switzer said. “Obviously, missing last year and having the surgery, it was a different type of offseason for him. Knowing him like I do off the field, it was a really neat process to be involved with, to be honest with you, and I’m talking about his rehab process.”
Switzer went on to describe how Roethlisberger inspired him this offseason during his rehab from the serious elbow injury he had suffered early in the 2019 season that required surgery.
“It was inspiring to see someone with his credentials, with his success, push forward like he did,” Switzer said. “I think I’ve said it in the past, it would have been really easy for someone who has it all, who has the trophies, the money, everything, to take a backseat and let something like that beat him, but he didn’t.
“And I was fortunate enough to be with him throughout his rehab process and see how hungry he was, see how detail oriented he was, to see how focused he was. It was just something really unique to be a part of. And like I said, I was fortunate that he allowed me to be so close and it’s good to get back out on the field with him.”
As far as where Roethlisberger’s arm is right now in terms of strength, accuracy and velocity, Switzer, like so many other players and coaches have done the last few weeks, put to bed any concerns about that subject after Wednesday’s practice.
“He was slinging it today,” Switzer said of Roethlisberger. “And I’ll tell you where you can really see it, is you can really see it in film when you’re watching it. Because you get to see a couple of different angles of the ball and the velocity. And you see things on the field and you’re like, ‘hmm,’ and then you go and watch it on the film and it just validates that, ‘yeah, that was a ball.’ He’s been throwing it really well. He’s been throwing it consistently on back-to-back-to-back days.”
In his two seasons as a member of the Steelers, Switzer has caught 44 passes for 280 yards and a touchdown. 42 of those receptions have come on passes thrown by Roethlisberger so it’s very understandable why Switzer is one of the quarterback’s biggest cheerleaders this offseason and why he’s really looking forward to playing with him again in 2020.
“I’ll tell you, it’s really good to be back out there with him,” Switzer said of Roethlisberger after Wednesday’s practice.