If there was one theme in Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s post-game press conference today, it was the fact that he stinks, that he knows it, and that he’s frustrated about stinking, considering all the stinking time he’s put into not stinking.
While the veteran completed 27 of 40 pass attempts for 295 yards by game’s end, throwing one touchdown to one interception and posting a quarterback rating of 87, he repeatedly harped on his own performance as the source of the Steelers’ failure to win.
“I wasn’t good enough today. There were times that we looked good, and a lot of time we didn’t, so we’ve got to get it figured out”, he said early on. Later, when asked about the Las Vegas Raiders’ defense, he said, “they’re a good defense. They got after us, like we anticipated. I just didn’t play well enough”.
Likewise, when asked if he took solace in the fact that he was able to avoid sacks despite being hit throughout the game, he said, “I’m disappointed that we lost the game. I’m disappointed that I didn’t play well enough to help us win the game. The bumps and bruises come with football”.
Roethlisberger is playing behind a new offensive line in a new offensive system this year under Matt Canada as offensive coordinator. That has resulted in his being required to adapt to a lot of new things, and by all reports, he has taken that challenge head on throughout the offseason.
“It’s frustrating, because I put a lot of stinking time in, more than I probably ever have”, he said about his performance thus far after an offseason of a heavy amount of work. “I’m not really sure. Got to get it figured out, though, because I am frustrated that I’m not playing well enough. The good news is it’s still early. We’ve got a long road ahead of us. Got a lot of time to try to get it fixed”.
In all, he placed the blame on himself during the game about half a dozen times or so when asked a variety of questions about different aspects of how the afternoon played out. He even expressed his regrets to the fans for their home opener, the first regular-season crowd of any type of size since 2019.
“Right now, my play is just not good enough. If I played better, we have a chance to win the football game”, he said. “That loss, I’ll take that. I apologize to the fans for the home opener. They were awesome. It’s disappointing that we didn’t get that”.
It’s one thing to flagellate yourself and express frustration with your play, but it doesn’t make you any better. But if it’s not the work that’s the problem, then it has to be either the experience or the talent. So he’d better hope that he can step things up as the weeks progress.