Steelers Handled End Of Ben Roethlisberger’s Career, Transition To New Era Perfectly, Ross Tucker Says

As the Pittsburgh Steelers fell off late in the 2020 season after starting 11-0, and then struggled throughout the 2021 season with highs and lows offensively, much of the discussion surrounded the play of one Ben Roethlisberger, with many sports talks shows and talking heads spending hours upon hours debating over and over again whether the future Hall of Fame quarterback should have hung up the cleats after 2020, or if the Steelers screwed up in having Roethlisberger back for one final ride.

Former NFL offensive lineman and current color analyst and podcast host Ross Tucker, appearing on 93.7 The Fan’s morning show with hosts Colin Dunlap, Chris Mack and Adam Crowley Friday, wasn’t one of those who lamented what the Steelers did late in Roethlisberger’s career, going all in, selling assets for veterans and restructuring deals overall for more cap space to try and plug some holes and compete for a championship.

Of course, that championship never came, but the Steelers still remained competitive at the end of Roethlisberger’s era, and should remain competitive as they transition to Mitch Trubisky and Kenny Pickett. That period of transition has been handled perfectly by the Steelers, according to Tucker.

“They in fact made the playoffs and they still got the first quarterback off the board. They had their pick of the guys this year. I would say, actually, I think they did it perfectly,” Tucker said on the Fan Morning Show, according to audio via 93.7 The Fan. “You know, I was a fan. If you guys remember last year, I was a believer in giving Ben [Roethlisberger] one more shot, because I also thought it was just a year ago that they had, what were they? 11 and oh, and I know he had some shoulder issues. He didn’t play great, but I thought he, and sort of that group, deserved one more go round and they did it and they made the playoffs.

“You guys have a different standard and I get it and you should, but like there are franchises that never make the playoffs,” Tucker added. “There are GMs and head coaches that will cut off the tip of their pinky to make the playoffs and the Steelers do it in like a rebuilding year.”

The prevailing thought, at during the 2021 season regarding the Steelers, was that they should have forced Roethlisberger into retirement after the 2020 season when the offense went downhill fast after an 11-0 start and was bounced in the first round of the playoffs in embarrassing fashion by the Cleveland Browns.

Instead, as we all know, the Steelers restructured Roethlisberger’s deal as he took a paycut and added on voidable years to the contract, allowing the Steelers a relatively painless out.

A playoff run occurred, even if it was a painful one, and then the Steelers signed Trubisky in free agency to a two-year deal and landed Pickett — their top quarterback on the board — at No. 20 overall, getting two young, high-pedigree quarterbacks they believe in to implement into offensive coordinator Matt Canada’s system.

A little bit of luck occurred with Pickett falling to No. 20, but a little bit of luck can go a long way. Tucker believes the Steelers handled things perfectly in a year of transition, and that’s hard to argue with. The Steelers were competitive each week, made the playoffs, and then landed their intended next franchise QB, a guy they are very high on, without having to tank for a high draft pick.

Talk about a win-win.

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