Now that the 2021 offseason has begun, following yet another year of disappointment, a fourth consecutive season with no postseason victories, it’s time to take stock of where the Pittsburgh Steelers stand. Specifically where Steelers players stand individually based on what we are seeing over the course of the offseason as it plays out. We will also be reviewing players based on their previous season and their prospects for the future.
A stock evaluation can take a couple of different approaches and I’ll try to make clear my reasonings. In some cases it will be based on more long-term trends. In other instances it will be a direct response to something that just happened. So we can see a player more than once over the course of the season as we move forward.
Player: QB Ben Roethlisberger
Stock Value: Up
Reasoning: Whether you like it or not, the Steelers more or less reaffirmed their belief in Ben Roethlisberger as a capable quarterback and their desire for him to return in 2021 for at least one more season.
As has become an annual tradition, there has been speculation over whether or not Ben Roethlisberger will be back with the Steelers in 2021. For perhaps the first time in seriousness, there was also speculation over whether or not the Steelers would want him back.
Although he was somewhat surprisingly declarative in his comments about the need for a restructuring of his contract, team president Art Rooney II also made it abundantly clear in his recent comments that the Steelers also want Roethlisberger back for another season and believe that he is capable of winning for them.
Among other things, he noted that he still has the same arm strength that he has always had, basically that the elbow surgery that he had in 2019 has left him no worse for the wear. Establishing that, then, the only thing left is whether or not you still believe he can play.
Including the postseason, Roethlisberger completed 446 of 674 pass attempts for 4304 yards with 37 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, over 16 games. But as you can clearly see, his yards per pass attempt has been trending in the wrong direction.
Despite the misconception, it’s not because he attempted fewer deep passes, but rather because he hit on fewer of them. If they can get the deep passing game back on track, this could be a different offense, and Chase Claypool with a full year under his belt could certainly be a factor in that.
Add in a semblance of an actual running game, perhaps with a running back taken in the first two rounds and a clearer vision of how to block, and we may actually have something to work with.