NFL Analyst Questions Pittsburgh Steelers Decision to Re-Sing Ben Roethlisberger

Published 03/06/2021, 2:34 AM EST
Jan 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) throws a pass against the Cleveland Browns in the third quarter of an AFC Wild Card playoff game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports


It’s official – Ben Roethlisberger will return to the Pittsburgh Steelers. The legendary quarterback will remain with the franchise for the foreseeable future. Many felt that Roethlisberger returning to the Steelers was necessary because he was one of the best players for the franchise over the last few seasons. But, not everyone is entirely convinced about the signing.

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Recently, NFL analyst, Peter Schrager, spoke on Good Morning Football and wondered whether the Steelers made the right decision in keeping Ben Roethlisberger. Schrager pondered that the Steelers could have waited to bring in someone new, and transition into their long-awaited rebuild process. But they chose to bring Ben Roethlisberger.

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“Was this the year you turn the page?… Maybe this was the year you drafted a different quarterback? Or this was the year you went and got a Sam Darnold and you made a play. But they’re still all in on Ben. Ben has been the quarterback since 2003. I like the Steelers, I think if Devin Bush comes back healthy, it’s big. I know you’ve got good defensive players, and this is a team that could win games.” 

Schrager wondered whether the Steelers could win against some of the bigger teams in the AFC like the Chiefs and the Bills. He believed that they may have taken the safe option by bringing back ‘Big Ben’ for the next season. He looked back at the Steelers’ second half of the season when they started to lose their early momentum.

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“But was that Steelers team from last year, even when they were 11-0, going to take on the Chiefs, the Bills? Is bringing back Ben repeating the same good team or are we just saying ‘this is going to make us excellent’. This is what I remember, late in the season, they didn’t have it. It was completely shot, it wasn’t on Ben 100%.” 

Is it a good idea for Ben Roethlisberger to return?

Schrager also added that during the two most important games of the season, the Steelers struggled. And Roethlisberger was very isolated for the most part, struggling with the defense. He noted that the Steelers didn’t come in fully prepared for the game, especially given that upsets happened that very weekend.

“But in the two biggest games – the Monday night game when they could’ve secured home-field advantage against a terrible Bengals – this was the ticket, and then, of course, the playoff game… They had all weekend to watch the film. This was the sixth game of wildcard weekend, and they saw upsets.” 

Schrager, while being slightly critical, noted that he wondered whether the Steelers’ fans were happy about seeing Roethlisberger back in their offense. Furthermore, he added that this could have been the right time to start a new project with the franchise. While they may find success during the season, Schrager wondered whether they could win the Super Bowl.

Jan 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) walks off the field after throwing an interception to Cleveland Browns outside linebacker Sione Takitaki (not pictured) in the fourth quarter of an AFC Wild Card playoff game at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports

“To me, if I’m a Steelers fan this morning, was this the year we say ‘Alright lets turn the page and look to the next era’. Or are we hanging on to something and trying to win the wildcard round and the divisional round, but are we winning the Super Bowl?”

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Despite the disappointment last season, the franchise showed glimpses of their excellent play. Furthermore, they had a solid undefeated run during the early phase of the season, and if they can make some adjustments, there is no reason for it not to happen again.

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What do you make of Pittsburgh’s decision to bring back Ben Roethlisberger?

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1161 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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