The Pittsburgh Steelers’ training camp practices took place at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex over the weekend and Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated was on hand for them. He also was able to talk to veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger while present as part of a one-on-one interview.
Roethlisberger, who is now heading into his 18th season, will be two years removed from his serious elbow surgery in September, which is significant. Last week during his first media session of training camp he told the media that his arm feels “fresher” this year because he didn’t have to throw as many passes during this offseason compared to last year when he was rehabbing his elbow.
“I feel great,” Roethlisberger told Breer. “You go two years ago, only playing a couple games, having elbow surgery, last year’s your first year back from a major surgery. I think if you ask anybody that’s had a major surgery, their first year back, no matter how far removed from it, it’s always a re-figure out, and getting to a comfort level with that part of your body. For me to feel more back to normal, I’m excited for that.
“It’s always interesting, because when asked last year how I felt, I would tell you I felt great. But then, one year removed, I look back on it, and I’m like, ‘Man, maybe I wasn’t as good as I feel now.’”
Roethlisberger’s deep ball wasn’t great last season and the veteran quarterback averaged just 6.3 yards per pass attempt, which was the lowest for that stat for his career in seasons that he played more than two games in. As the 2020 season progressed, Roethlisberger’s deep connectivity rate got even worse, and he admitted during this year’s minicamp that he felt “worn down” at the end of last year.
So far during this year’s training camp, Roethlisberger has connected deep quite a few times, according to some reporters. Hopefully him being even further removed from his elbow surgery and combined with an offseason that didn’t require him to throw so many passes, Roethlisberger’s right arm will be ready to make it through an entire 2021 season at full strength.