There are things a younger Ben Roethlisberger wishes he’d have done differently.
But when the Steelers quarterback saw Philadelphia rookie Carson Wentz leaving the pocket and taking big shots, he could only shrug, knowing it was the same kind of play he used to make.
“Well, it’s hard. Now, I understand that there’s a time and a place to sell your body out, and a time and a place to get down and get out of bounds,” Roethlisberger said, via Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News. “As a young guy, though, kinda in the same shoes as Carson is now, you don’t see that; you just want to do everything you can for the team.
“You know that your guys love it when you’re selling your body to get a first down or try and get an extra yard. At some point, he’ll realize that it’s more important for him to be on the field than be injured and get that extra yard.”
Roethlisberger admitted it took time for him to learn the same lesson, but he’s 34 and Wentz is 23 so he understands the generation gap.
But because they’re of similar build and mentality, Roethlisberger knows it’s hard for Wentz to know when to say when.
“I think it’s hard to rewire him,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said of his rookie. “I think you just need to constantly keep talking with him and going back and showing him those plays on tape, to just make him aware and conscious of, ‘Hey, again, as I mentioned before, I don’t need the extra yard here. It’s OK to throw the ball away. It’s OK to step out of bounds or slide.’
“Just keeping showing him over and over and over again . . . not only for his longevity, but obviously for the team, as well.”
Roethlisberger has survived to play at a high level for many years, though he rarely plays 16 games in a season (having done so just three times). Wentz has years to go to match Roethlisberger’s level, but the old Big Ben is trying to offer advice to help the kid without having to learn the hard way.