Joe Greene, Terry Bradshaw, “Big Daddy” Lipscomb, Brett Kiesel. What do all of these former Pittsburgh Steelers have in common besides the fact that they were all great players? Well, their biggest common denominator is that they all had to retire—eventually.
Well, well, well. The on-again, off-again, “I’m going to retire, now I’m not going to retire” alter ego of Ben Roethlisberger is beginning to rear its ugly head. Roethlisberger once again is showing the world that it is all about him when he discussed the Steelers choosing his possible replacement, Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph, in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Listen to the “glowing” endorsement that Roethlisberger gave regarding the selection.
“I went and talked to Art (Rooney II) and coach (Mike Tomlin) and coach Randy (Fichtner) and basically said, ‘Listen, I can’t control—barring major injuries, barring things at home, and things out of your control—the way my body feels.’ The way our O-line is put together, as good as they are, they kept me healthy as can be the last couple years. I really feel I can play this game another three to five years. I’ll still take it one year at a time and give it everything I have that one year, but that’s what I felt comfortable in telling them.”
If Roethlisberger is injured this season or next season and decides to retire, the Steelers may be stuck in the middle of the season, maybe even in the midst of a playoff run, with a totally inexperienced QB. Roethlisberger will be on the sidelines in street clothes with a clipboard under his arm, faking as if he is a pseudo-mentor, still getting paid. He does not give a damn about anyone but himself. The Steelers can’t take it one year at a time—they have to prepare for the future.
How can anyone in their right mind say in one breath that, “I feel that I can play this game another five years” and in the next breath say, “I’ll still take it one year at a time and give it everything I have for that year…” ?
I, I, I, me, me, me. That’s what it’s all about.
Big Ben goes on to say: “I was surprised when they took a quarterback, because I thought that maybe in the third round, you know, you can get some really good football players that can help this team now. And nothing against Mason. I think he’s a great football player. I don’t know him personally, but I’m sure he’s a great kid. I just don’t know how backing up or being the third guy, who knows where he’s going to fall on the depth chart, helps us win now. But, that’s not my decision to make. That’s on the coaches and the GM and owner, and those kinds of things. So, if they feel like he can help our team, so be it, but I was a little surprised.”
It probably wouldn’t be a surprise to Steelers management or to Steelers nation that after a “questionable” Roethlisberger injury, “Big” Ben would jump in front of the television cameras with a hastily-arranged press conference threatening to retire again, just as he did when he squandered a possible victory in the 2017 Steelers/Jaguars divisional playoff game when he committed two costly turnovers, resulting in 14 points for the opposition. After that loss he again began to toss around the idea of retiring.
Ben Roethlisberger is the “Queen” of drama and the “King” of narcissism. Hell, Pittsburgh might as well rename the team, “The Pittsburgh Roethlisbergers.” Big Ben should also be the head coach, general manager and the majority owner!
Drafting future players for the Pittsburgh Steelers is not Roethlisberger’s decision to make, yet it is OK for him to criticize the decision. The Steelers did not draft Ben Roethlisberger to fumble a bone-dry football and to throw picks at crucial times during playoff games, did they? Maybe “Big” Ben should stick to “performing” and let Mike Tomlin continue to be the head coach and Kevin Colbert perform his job as the Steelers’ GM.
“Big” Ben now even wants to control the depth chart of the Black and Gold. “(Dobbs) and Landry, those two guys are who I feel the worst for. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t worried about him (Rudolph) coming and taking my job. I feel confident that I can go out and beat whoever I need to beat out for my job, that’s just the kind of confidence I have in myself. I assume Landry’s still the two, I don’t really know and Josh, same thing. Last year you take him in the fourth round, so does that mean the Steelers, like, screwed up in that pick?”
In reality, the Steelers drafted Dobbs in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft partially based on the 2016 offseason retirement murmurings of Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger decided to play another season—surprise, surprise, surprise. It is easy to profile everyone’s screw-ups but your own. “I feel confident that I can go out and beat whoever I need to beat out for my job.” Yea yea yea…
If I were a betting man while simultaneously having Mike Tomlin’s ear, here’s what I would tell him. I’d send Landry Jones off somewhere to “Nascar land” to pursue another career because, in my most subjective opinion, Landry Jones does not deserve to draw another NFL paycheck. And I would keep both Joshua Dobbs and Mason Rudolph to challenge Roethlisberger in 2018.
(Aubrey Bruce: email@example.com.)
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