The Pittsburgh Steelers are 2-0 with Ben Roethlisberger back under center. Since his return from a severe elbow injury, he has completed 50 of 73 pass attempts for 540 yards with five touchdown passes to one interception. Outside of the interception, his numbers are better than Patrick Mahomes right now.
It’s the moment Steelers Nation has been waiting for, perhaps. The moment that they can truly be comfortable with where Roethlisberger is and having faith that he is now back to his old self—even with the bone-headed interception—without the worry of his arm, or his level of play, suddenly falling off.
How did we reach this point? It’s because he gave everything he had to getting back to this point over the past year. And he did it because of those around him.
“I was excited about this team. We have a very, very special team”, he told Bill Cowher in an interviewed that aired prior to yesterday’s game for their home opener. “They were one of the biggest factors of why I came back. I personally have accomplished everything individually that I need to accomplish. I wanted to come back for them because I think they’re special, and we can be special together”.
Roethlisberger is already top 10 all-time in most passing categories that matter. He has two Super Bowl trophies. He has made plenty of money, though he has a lot of money left on the table as well, and that is always incentive. But as a professional, he knows his legacy is already more than secure.
What about the future, though? How much longer might he have? And will it all be in Pittsburgh? Some of the greats, like Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, and Brett Favre, didn’t finish their careers with their team. Aaron Rodgers’ team just drafted a quarterback and may be looking to Favre him in a couple years. Could that happen to Pittsburgh? Cowher tried to get Roethlisberger to categorically say that that would not be him.
“I can most likely go on record and say that”, he allowed. “I have no plans of going anywhere, and I feel like if they even decided to trade me, I would probably just call it quits. This is home. I don’t know anything but bleeding black and gold”.
“I have no plans of going anywhere and I feel like if they even decided to trade me, I would probably just call it quits. This is home. I don’t know anything but bleeding black and gold.” ~ Big Ben to Cowher #Steelers pic.twitter.com/bmtSLgjtuH
— Steelers Depot 🏆👑 (@Steelersdepot) September 20, 2020
And you know that as long as Roethlisberger is still playing like Roethlisberger, the Steelers are going to keep paying him (because that’s what you do with Hall of Fame, franchise quarterbacks, unless they have wives who make even more than they do).
Right now, he is under contract through 2021, but there’s a good chance that the Steelers will try to get him signed to a modest extension of one or two years prior to the start of the new league year. They won’t have found their heir apparent by then, at least. Of that I’m pretty confident.