Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger turns 36 in March. He mused about retirement in the offseason, and while bemoaning a five-interception game against the Jaguars earlier this season, Roethlisberger questioned whether he “had it anymore.”
Thus, the 14-year veteran empathized with Eli Manning after the Giants benched their 14-year quarterback.
“It sparks the reality that that could be me,” Roethlisberger told Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday. “They could do that to me next year or whenever, who knows?
“It’s eye-opening that you have to take every play, every game. Don’t take it for granted. Take it for what it is because you never know when you’re done.”
Roethlisberger, though, said he doesn’t believe the Steelers would treat him the way the Giants did Manning.
“I don’t, and I don’t mean to talk negatively about the Giants, especially I know the Steelers and Giants are very close and are family too,” Roethlisberger said. “But I don’t think they would; I think they would handle it differently.”
The Steelers are rolling since the 30-9 thrashing by the Jaguars. Roethlisberger has thrown 14 touchdowns and five interceptions during the six-game winning streak. It has Pittsburgh among the Super Bowl favorites.
While Roethlisberger hasn’t announced his plans beyond this season, he told Bouchette he will never play for another team.
“No. If they said, ‘Ben, you’re done here,’ I don’t want to play for anyone else, even if I felt like I still had it in me, that black and gold bleeds through me,” Roethlisberger said. “Joe Montana did it for me. It killed me when he went to the Chiefs. I couldn’t watch. It wasn’t the same.”