Pittsburgh Steeling Itself for Life Sans Roethlisberger
As long as the Steelers have starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger among their ranks, SBG Global sportsbook will give them good odds to win the Super Bowl but, how long will that be? Picturing Pittsburgh without Big Ben is like imagining London without… Big Ben, but the fact remains that his 14th season – matching Terry Bradshaw as the longest-tenured Steelers signal-caller – might also be his last. And then he’ll presumably go on to star in Failure to Launch 2. Aware of this sad state of affairs, head coach Mike Tomlin will start rookie Josh Dobbs on Friday’s preseason game against the New York Giants.
“I hope he stays here more than one year, but we have to be prepared,” general manager Kevin Colbert told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. And indeed Big Ben has committed himself to play no more than one season. The two-time Super Bowl champion had previously expressed his desire to play into his 40s – à la Tom Brady – but made a volte-face shortly following the Steelers’ loss to the Patriots in the 2017 AFC Championship game. However, Roethlisberger remarked that the Steelers having their derrières handed to them by the Pats had nothing to do with his decision. “It had nothing to do with frustration, me saying it,” Big Ben told the aforementioned periodical. “It had to do with other factors in life.”
The NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year cited age as one of them factors and Colbert agreed. The executive said that he might meet with more college quarterbacks because of Roethlisberger’s age, regardless of whether or not he was talking about retiring. “At 35, you may put a replacement in place sooner than later, and we did that, again adding a young player like a Josh Dobbs into the mix at this point.” The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Dobbs as the 135th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. The uncertainty surrounding Big Ben plus an abdominal injury to backup Landry Jones landed Dobbs the gig as the preseason-opener starter.
“One man’s misfortune is another man’s opportunity,” Tomlin said per Sporting News (somewhere in Miami Jay Cutler is thinking, “Tell me about it”). if he plays his cards right, Dobbs could actually usurp Jones’s spot as backup for Roethlisberger for the remainder of Big Ben’s stay with the team, however long that may be. Dobbs was the starting QB for the Tennessee Vols during the last two seasons of his college career, and led the Vols to back-to-back 9-4 seasons – the most wins by the program in a two-year period since 2006-2007. As for Roethlisberger, he envisions throwing passes to a different kind of receiving corps in the near future. “Being healthy, being able to play catch with my kids,” he said. “I feel good mentally, I know this new study that came out that 90 percent [of NFL] players’ brains who were studied had CTE. There’s a lot of scary things, and I think my wife would be OK if I hung it up, too.”