Big Ben, been here before
Coaches have to do it, players hate to see it happen. Whether in pro sports or the working world, nobody likes to see their said to be successor and replacement walk into the building. What might be more dissatisfying is having to train or in this case coach up, your replacement.
What would’ve been the biggest news out of Pittsburgh following the 2018 NFL draft, the Martavis Bryant trade to Oakland has since been overshadowed by the drafting of Oklahoma State quarterback, Mason Rudolph, which hasn’t been all praise since hearing his name called at the draft.
While many, myself included, seen this as a planning for the future move, others most importantly Ben Roethlisberger might argue that the future is now and drafting his “replacement” doesn’t help the team win “now.”
Ben and the Steelers have been atop NFL news talk as of late, due to Ben’s confusion which in my opinion is his in-the-closet word for frustration, with the drafting of Rudolph. Despite all of last season’s media backlash, it’s finally come to light (for those that didn’t know), that Big Ben has been the guy in the shadows causing locker room tension and commotion among players and staff. To my understanding, it was Roethlisberger who pushed for the firing of former offensive coordinator Todd Haley, it was Roethlisberger who has thrown subliminal shade towards Coach Tomlin, and it was Roethlisberger, who put the fire under his own ass when he flirted with retirement prior to the start of last season.
What I don’t understand is, how does someone so unhappy as Big Ben jump up and verbally commit to 3 – 5 more seasons? Ben is coming off of one of his better seasons physically (only being sacked 21 times, third career least (17 and 20 past two seasons)) but now in his 15th season, he will be returning to a locker room that has changed so much culturally, it seems as if Ben will be the one trying to fit into the scheme of things.
Big Ben’s been around, but before earning his title as pocket giant and Mr. Untouchable (might be a stretch), he was just Ben…the quarterback out of Miami of Ohio.
Players taken in the first round, especially quarterbacks, are more times than not, expected to start sometime within their rookie season, looking at Mason Rudolph, taken in the third, I’m sure Steeler Nation isn’t expecting a Mason Rudolph debut for at least another season. Why does any of this matter? Because when Roethlisberger was drafted at No. 11 in the 2004 NFL draft, it was just a matter of time before he’d be taking snaps for the Steelers over Tommy Maddox…and that he did.
Now granted, Roethlisberger was donned the starting role due to an injury Maddox sustained early in the season, but let’s not forget who we’re talking about, yes Roethlisberger is a big body, but should be treated like fine china...so the window of opportunity whether it be Rudolph or Landry Jones, isn’t farfetched.
The more Ben opens his mouth, the bigger the ditch gets for not only him, but for the Steelers organization as a whole, which is something you don’t want fueled by your franchise leader and quarterback. It’s clear, that Roethlisberger’s pot of patience has boiled over, but has to realize that in life, when you obtain certain things whether it be a job, woman of your dreams or a prized material item, they say you can lose it the same way you got it. So if I were Ben, I’d shut my mouth, better myself mentally and physically for next season and count my blessings as next week’s start under center won’t always be promised.