The Pittsburgh Steelers appear set at quarterback moving forward.
Following the selection of Kenny Pickett in the first round of the 2022 NFL draft and the free agent signing of Mitch Trubisky, Pittsburgh is setting itself up for life in the post-Ben Roethlisberger era.
There will certainly be uncertainty considering the Steelers featured Roethlisberger under center for the past 18 seasons. That may lead to some fans clamoring for a Tom Brady-like comeback after Brady returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March. The problem is, Roethlisberger is ruling that possibility out of the equation.
While discussing the draft during an interview with Pittsburgh-area radio station WDVE, the 40-year-old Steelers legend addressed the idea of a comeback. Needless to say, he quickly shot the idea down.
“First off, my coach and GM don’t want me back,” Roethlisberger said on Thursday, April 28, referring to Mike Tomlin and Kevin Colbert. “Second of all, I’m pretty content with where I’m at. Being a bus driver, making lunches in the morning.”
Why Roethlisberger Won’t Come out of Retirement
The two-time Super Bowl champion called it a career after leading the Steelers into the postseason after a rough 2021 season. According to Pro Football Focus, Roethlisberger posted a 53.0 offensive grade and a 52.8 passing grade last season. Not only were those the worst numbers of his 18-year career, they were the worst numbers of any starting QB in the league last season.
While the Steelers’ offensive line play wasn’t elite by any means — Pittsburgh ranked 15th in pass-blocking last season — Roethlisberger’s drastic decline in arm strength and mobility in recent years was a large reason for his declining production. Furthermore, it was a large reason why the Steelers relied on a predictable quick-passing attack used to cover up both the Steelers O-line’s flaws and Roethlisberger’s own weaknesses.
Roethlisberger’s average yards per attempt (6.2) was the lowest of any starting quarterback in the league not named Sam Darnold, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson. Two of those three players were rookies last season. His yards per completion (9.6) was the lowest of any starting quarterback in the league.
As revered and as respected as Roethlisberger is, it’s time to move on for both sides. And “Big Ben” appears to understand that as much as anyone.
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