The football world has been counting out Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers for months. And that’s the way this team seems to like it. Vance McDonald gave a hint to Roethlisberger’s mindset heading into the season and it’s safe to say he’s as hungry as ever to get out on the field.
“I’ve got to say, I’ve never seen 7 like this,” McDonald said during a fan Q&A for Steelers Nation Unite. “Meaning, like, he has a fire under him and he is so hungry to not only get the season rolling, but to just win it all.”
Roethlisberger sure sounded properly motivated speaking with the media earlier this week, hinting a desire to play for years and a clue goal to win multiple Lombardi trophies. Almost all the news surrounding Roethlisberger has been positive so far. His rehab and recovery is on track and teammates, including McDonald, raved about how his arm looks.
“Seeing him out there, you know, a couple of days here in the camp and he’s rifling the ball around, it is amazing to have that.”
Diontae Johnson recently echoed that sentiment but McDonald’s words simply carry more weight. Johnson caught just seven passes from Roethlisberger last season, that’s training camp, preseason, and regular season combined. McDonald has been catching passes from Roethlisberger for three years now so he can offer a better gauge of where his arm is at. The good news is the assessment appears the same.
Several analysts this offseason have chided the Steelers for not finding a veteran backup behind Ben. They’ve questioned Roethlisberger’s ability to return to his past form, if this is the end of his career, along with those who made fun of his appearance or perceived bad work ethic. Couple that outside criticism with his internal motivation, proving he can play to himself, teammates, and fans, and you have a QB defenses won’t want to face this season.