The Pittsburgh Steelers certainly didn’t play well in their Sunday home loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. On the heels of the Steelers losing by 14 points to the Bengals on Sunday at Heinz Field, head coach Mike Tomlin was asked on Tuesday during his weekly press conference if there was any point late in that Week 3 contest that he considered maybe pulling veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
“No there was not,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin’s response was one that should have been expected and especially based on his track history when it comes to such a thing like pulling Roethlisberger late in games that the team essentially has zero or very little chance of winning.
With the Steelers now stacking back-to-back losses at home through their first three games, Tomlin was asked on Tuesday if maybe thought should be given to having Roethlisberger start practicing on Wednesday, something he really hasn’t done for several seasons now.
“This guy has a body of work over the course of not only what we’ve done in preparation this season, but over the course of 18 years, that has us taking that approach,” Tomlin said on Roethlisberger not practicing on Wednesdays. “And that is a global approach. It rests him and rightfully so. He’s an older guy and the wear and tear of plays affects him differently than younger guys. But also, he’s an older guy and he has a volume of plays that most guys can’t pull from that probably requires more physical work in an effort to be ready to play.
“Also, you’ve got to look at the totality of the journey. You know, we’re going into game four, we have many games that lie ahead, and I don’t want to be fielding questions late in the year about the quality of his throwing arm, for example. But it also provides an opportunity for things that have nothing to do with Ben. We’ve got two quality young quarterbacks that we feel good about and in [Mason] Rudolph and [Dwayne] Haskins and days that he doesn’t work, allows them an opportunity to work with the first unit and grow and develop, which is something that they need as well. So, it’s serving a lot of things with that approach and very rarely is that approach, or that decision to that approach made in a vacuum or made on a singular set of circumstances.”
Once again, Tomlins’s response to that question about Roethlisberger was one most should have expected to get. After all, Roethlisberger not practicing on Wednesdays is something that has happened for years. The fact that him not doing so also saves some wear and tear on his arm is something that also needs to be respected, especially at his age and with him coming off a serious elbow injury a few years ago.
This past week, Roethlisberger played through a left pectoral injury that he had suffered in the team’s Week 2 loss thanks mostly to him getting hit a total of 10 times in that contest. On Tuesday, Tomlin was asked if Roethlisberger emerged from the team’s Week 3 game any worse for wear with him absorbing yet another seven hits in that home loss to the Bengals.
“He and I talked yesterday,” Tomlin said. “He and I always talk, you know. I mean, I referenced that like that was something groundbreaking. We always visit after the game. We always visit on Monday. We always visit on Tuesday. I checked the progress of the bumps and bruises associated with play for him and so I have an understanding of maybe what the front part of the week looks like, and we can plan accordingly. Nothing out of the ordinary there.”
So, there you go, nothing will really be out of the ordinary when it comes to Roethlisberger and the Steelers in Week 4. Roethlisberger won’t practice on Wednesday, and he’ll play on Sunday at Lambeau Field against the Green Bay Packers.