Is this Ben Roethlisberger’s final season in the NFL? It’s been widely speculated to be such, and there have even been reports indicating that he has been telling people around him that this will be his final season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, while he has also strongly hinted that he doesn’t intend to play for another franchise.
In his 18th NFL season, he has the Steelers at just 6-6-1. He has gone 297-for-455 for 3,066 yards with 19 touchdowns to 7 interceptions with a 92.1 quarterback rating. But he has also taken 30 sacks, the most since 2014, and we’re talking a full season – he had 33 that year.
He also leads the NFL in game-winning drives this season with five, so clearly he’s still capable of making the crucial plays. Many have been running him out the door while packing his bags for him, though that’s not the case for everyone. Some don’t want this to be his last year.
“I hope not”, Joe Greene said when asked if he thinks this will be Roethlisberger’s final season, on the Zach Gelb Show. “I like Ben. I’ve been liking him for a long time. What we saw Thursday night, when Ben started to make the calls on his own when he was going no-huddle, you could see that he could put the ball where he wanted to put it, even though he didn’t have much time to do it”.
Roethlisberger has not been horrible by any means this season, and we saw this past week that he is still capable of making some very difficult high-quality throws, even if they’re ultimately caught or not. He’s not a top-10 quarterback anymore. The question is whether or not he is good enough to win with talent around him. And that’s where Greene’s thoughts were.
“If we can get some people around him to block not only for the pass but block for the run, Ben can still be the quarterback that we can win with”, the four-time Super Bowl champion said. “Ben knows that, and a lot of people know that, but when things are not going well, hey, everybody wants to get on the bandwagon and say, ‘well, it’s time for him to go’. All those people don’t know crap about football”.
The problem is, the Steelers’ offensive line needs a lot more help than it can get right now—and likely over the course of the next offseason as well. And what we have definitely seen from Roethlisberger in recent years is a drastic decrease in his mobility, and his general ability to avoid pressure and sacks.
Head coach Mike Tomlin has repeatedly referenced quarterback mobility over the course of the past year when speaking globally about the quarterback position. That should be a hint about where his head is for the post-Roethlisberger life. And really where any head coach should be heading.