Considering the Steelers’ dire need for a new quarterback, it was a surprise when Ben Roethlisberger agreed to yet another pay cut. The team’s biggest star has been a scapegoat for fans for several seasons now, and he has obviously played a role in the Steelers’ recent struggles at the quarterback position. Fearing this may not be the end of the quarterback troubles in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger shared his thoughts on the Steelers’ recent signing of Landry Jones.
The Pittsburgh Steelers were on the verge of having their season derailed after losing star wide receiver Antonio Brown to a season-ending injury for the second time in as many years. It was a devastating blow to the team, which had already lost its franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for the season.
PITTSBURGH – After losing to the Cleveland Browns in the first round of the playoffs, Ben Roethlisberger has decided to return for at least one more season as quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. To do so, however, he acknowledged that his $41.25 million investment was unsustainable and asked management to cut his salary to fill the holes in the roster around him. It was my idea, Roethlisberger said Tuesday, for the first time in public since his postseason loss. I told them I wanted to help the team in any way I could, so I went to them and told them I would do anything to help the team contract guys that would help us win football games. … To do that, to get the boys here, I felt I had to do that. Roethlisberger, 39, saw his salary cut by $5 million by signing a new contract that expires after the 2021 season. But while the terms of the deal appear to end his tenure as quarterback, Roethlisberger has been reluctant to speculate on his future. I’m going to approach this season like I approach every season – like it’s my last, he said. I think that’s the approach you should take. And you go not because it could be your last game, but because every football game could be your last. Any game could be the last. It just means I’m going to give it my all. 1 Connected I never looked ahead. I’ve always looked at the moment, and that’s what’s important to me this season – giving everything I’ve got, here, right now, to this group of guys. Although the Steelers started the season 11-0, their 2020 season fell apart in the final six games as Roethlisberger became inconsistent with his throws and decisions. I didn’t play well enough at the end of the season, he said. It’s no secret, and I’ll be the first to point the finger. When you have the ball in your hands every game, you have to play and give your best football. If the quarterback, and that’s me, doesn’t play good football, it’s win and lose – especially late in the season. I’ll take the playoffs and those games. I felt exhausted and I wasn’t playing good enough football at the end of the season. Deep balls were often missed, and he completed only 29% of passes thrown 20 yards from the ground, which ranked 30th among qualified quarterbacks. According to Roethlisberger, this is partly due to the elbow surgery he underwent a year earlier. I had a total elbow reconstruction, so maybe that has something to do with it, he said. But no excuses. … My hand was healed, I played naturally. She was in good health. But I think for anyone who has had major surgery, it takes time…. like the first year back, you’re back, but are you really back and do you feel good? However, Roethlisberger will not be able to measure the improvement in his elbow for the rest of the season. But my arm feels fine, he said. I want to wait until the season starts to answer that question and see how it goes. I feel pretty good now. Last year, Roethlisberger increased his usual pitching volume in the offseason as part of his rehab, but this year he’s back to normal. I threw thousands of balls last year in the offseason because we were rehabbing, Roethlisberger said. This year he’s back to his regular routine: He’s pitching here, and doing a little exercise at home with a trainer. But mostly, I take off. I’ve taken a lot of time to pitch, and I hope, I think, and I really believe it will pay off this year.