PITTSBURGH, PA – On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was interviewed during “The Cook and Poni Show” on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh. During the interview, Roethlisberger made some comments about his future that caught the attention of both the media and Steelers fans.
“I’m going to take this offseason to evaluate, to consider all options,” Roethlisberger said. “To consider health, and family and things like that and just kind of take some time away to evaluate next season, if there is going to be a next season.”
IF there is going to be a next season? Wow. Strong words there.
Ben Roethlisberger Radio Comments His Way of Calling Out Steelers
It should be taken into account that these comments came just two days after the Steelers were convincingly beaten in the AFC Championship game by the New England Patriots. I’m sure that Big Ben was still feeling down in the dumps after coming a game short of appearing in his fourth Super Bowl.
It should also be noted that Big Ben has been beaten up throughout his career. Just in the last four seasons, the 34-year-old quarterback has suffered injuries to his ankle, ribs, shoulder, head, MCL and most recently his meniscus. He has missed five games in the last two seasons due to knee injuries, and has undergone several surgeries. The physicality of the NFL gets harder for players as they get older, and durability becomes more of a challenge. Roethlisberger’s comments came at a time where he was still in recovery mode from the AFC Championship, which certainly played a factor in why he said what he said.
However, there is more beneath the surface here.
Big Ben will play next season. There is no doubt about it. But, being broken down physically is not only what Big Ben was going through when he made these comments. He is also broken down mentally.
Big Ben has had it with the Steelers’ shenanigans.
Let’s recap all of the nonsense surrounding the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2016. First, star running back Le’Veon Bell was suspended for the first three games of the 2016 regular season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Backup running back DeAngelo Williams filled in nicely for Bell, rushing for 258 yards in Bell’s absence, but not having your game-changing running back was certainly not ideal for Big Ben and the Steelers’ offense.
Another offensive weapon for the Steelers did not just miss time, but miss the entire season. Wide receiver Martavis Bryant was suspended for the season for also violating the NFL substance abuse policy, like Bell. He apparently checked himself into rehab and we have heard very little from him since. Bryant left Big Ben and the Steelers’ offense high and dry. Pittsburgh also lost wide-out Markus Wheaton just a quarter into the season as he dealt with a shoulder injury.
Along with these injuries and suspensions, the Steelers have had other issues with team discipline, as recently as these past few weeks. After the Steelers defeated the Miami Dolphins in the Wild Card round, defensive coach Joey Porter was arrested outside of a bar after getting into a confrontation. He had five charges against him, but made it back to coach the divisional game against the Chiefs the following weekend.
Speaking of that game, perhaps the biggest story occurred after the game had already ended, as wide receiver Antonio Brown recorded the infamous 17-minute Facebook Live video. Brown was heavily criticized for recording the video and later had to apologize for live-streaming during a post-game team function.
With everything that has happened this season with the Steelers, whether it be failing drug tests, coaches getting arrested, players live-streaming while a coach is talking, it is clear that the Steelers are out of control. Roethlisberger’s comments are his way of showing that he is sick of it and wants things to change. And they should change. The Steelers are better than this.
Hopefully, the Steelers use this as a wake-up call for players and coaches to clean up their act. Right now, it is clear that Tomlin has no control over the team, and that is making players like Big Ben unhappy. Roethlisberger is a future hall-of-famer, and has only a few more years left of his career. There is no doubt that Big Ben wants the Steelers to clean things up so that he can win a third ring before he decides to hang up the cleats.