Pessimistic Pittsburgh Steelers fans, get ready to greet your new favorite commentator, because Marc Sessler just buried the team live on NFL Network, essentially writing them off from having any opportunity to compete in the near future until they resolve their quarterback situation—a sentiment that, based on activity on this site, a large portion of you are in agreement with.
“We live in a post-Steelers society, a post-Steelers America”, he said during a segment on the league’s network. “It’s been chic for the past 20 years or since 2004 when Big Ben was drafted just to ticket them to the Super Bowl without even thinking about it, or at least deep into the playoffs. Not anymore”.
“We are now at a point where the Steelers have a bigger question at quarterback than an answer, and that question becomes even more grave and concerning a year from now”, he added. “I’m getting 2010 Brett Favre vibes from Big Ben”.
Favre is, of course, one of the quarterbacks Roethlisberger was often compared to coming into the league, and he would go on to have a 20-year career, as Roethlisberger heads into year 18. 16 of those years came with the Green Bay Packers, but after he unretired, they traded him in order to move on with Aaron Rodgers.
Still, he found success in his first two of three seasons that would follow, but things went haywire in 2010, his final season, during which he brought the Minnesota Vikings to a 5-8 record (missing three games) after going 12-4 the year before. He threw for just 2509 yards with 11 touchdowns to 19 interceptions and was clearly done.
Many Steelers fans believe Roethlisberger, who played last season after returning from major elbow surgery to repair three torn tendons in his throwing elbow, is already at that point. The team is probably somewhat less than fully confident that he’s not as well, as evidenced perhaps by their request that he take a pay cut.
Of course, the problems aren’t entirely on him, and one must wonder what his blocking will look like, something Sessler also noted. “I look at the offensive line, and it no longer has Maurkice Pouncey. Alejandro Villanueva is out the door. You don’t have much money to fix these issues”, he said. “Yes, you’ve got a good defense, but if Big Ben breaks down, we are in an AFC North that could look very different”.
It’s fair to say that Pittsburgh is in arguably its most vulnerable state since they drafted Roethlisberger, but that’s generally the case for any team during its run with a franchise quarterback. it appears they’re going to make one more run with Big Ben, however, for better or worse, and hoping for some magic to happen.