When speaking with the media yesterday, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said that he planned to spend the day working on his footwork. “I do feel I got a little lazy with my feet, which then in turn, translated to a lazy arm”, he said. “There were too many throws, I felt looking back, that I just have to get my feet working better, and that will then translate, hopefully, to the rest of the body”.
“That’s, to me, the biggest thing I’m going to work on today, even though it’s an off day”, he added, referring to his intention to do some fundamental work on what is typically his ‘off’ day. “I’m going to really work on my feet and kind of starting it there with translating the rest of my body”.
This year, the Pittsburgh Steelers have Matt Canada as their quarterbacks coach, taking over that role from Randy Fichtner, who now in his third season as offensive coordinator can finally focus exclusively on that job.
“I think it’s very important because you get a fine detail”, Fichtner said of Roethlisberger working with Canada, via transcript. “You get more eyes on everything that you’re doing. You have more access during time to be able to keep working fundamentals and technique”.
All things considered, Roethlisberger has played pretty well through the first two games of the season on his way back from surgery on his elbow. The fact that he feels there are ways he can continue to get better is certainly exciting.
“He walked in, and he asked for it. He said, ‘hey, I want to get a little footwork done’”, Fichtner said. “Anytime that he’s working footwork and any time that he is working on just base fundamentals, we challenge the whole group. Week-to-week the first thing we have to do individually is improve—that’s collectively as a player and a coach—and learn and move forward. That’s real positive that he was in that position and wanted to and felt good to do that”.
The Steelers, of course, have four quarterbacks, and the other three are all still relatively young, in Mason Rudolph, Joshua Dobbs, and Devlin Hodges. Dobbs has been in the league longest, but the other two have more playing experience.
Even though he may not have injured his knee, it’s reasonable that the injury to his elbow and the recovery period, as well as the football missed, will have affected his mechanics overall. It will be a process getting everything working the way he’s used to, but it’s a process he’s actively embracing.