Steelers expect Ben Roethlisberger to play, but need a “plan in place”


The Steelers do not expect quarterback Ben Roethlisberger to retire this year, as he mused about doing at the end of the postseason, but they do expect to make plans to be without Roethlisberger some day.

Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert said today that he believes Roethlisberger is the Steelers’ starter for 2017 but also believes the franchise needs to know what it will do at quarterback once Big Ben is gone.

“You should have a successful quarterback plan in place,” Colbert said, via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

That plan may include keeping backup quarterback Landry Jones for years to come. Although Jones becomes a free agent next month, Colbert confirmed that the Steelers will try to re-sign him. Colbert also said the Steelers will add a quarterback, although he appeared to be referring more to a long-term future project than someone they’d expect to play in 2017.

“We’d like to have Landry stay in the mix,” Colbert said. “Will we add a guy? Absolutely. When? It’s hard to say. Sooner or later we will have to address that.”

Given the way Roethlisberger has talked about his future, it could be sooner rather than later. But it probably won’t be this year.

32 responses to “Steelers expect Ben Roethlisberger to play, but need a “plan in place”

  1. No doubt Ben is going to play next season. Ever since Favre pulled this stunt towards the end of his career other quarterbacks have used this ploy to feel wanted.

  2. Blame Cheerleader Tomlin!

    Belichick drafted Brady as a 6th round, 4th QB development case in 2000, and has just done much the same with Garoppolo (2nd round) – and did so with Cassel (7th round) and Hoyer (undrafted) too, and is currently nuturing Jacoby Brisset (3rd round). You can argue about how good they are, but they were all development cases and they’ve all won games as NFL starters.

    How many young starters has Tomlin developed in this time? Hell, even Edelman’s probably as good a QB as Landry. Tomlin has just ridden Big Ben’s durability into the ground and will be horribly exposed without him, as they seem to be whenever a couple of other key players are out. No real depth.

  3. .
    Having Roethlisberger and Jones in the fold would give the Steelers time to develop a raw project who might be available in the middle or late rounds. The Patriots took Jacoby Brissett at the end of the third round last year knowing full well that he’ll need some redshirt years before he’s ready for prime time.

  4. He has at least a few years left, but the Steelers should try to make the most of it by adding more quality WRs and shoring up the defense. I think with Bell/Brown they fell into the same trap the Patriots did with Moss/Welker — it’s great when it works, but the other players may not be prepared to step up when it doesn’t.

  5. The Steelers also have Mettenberger, for all he’s worth. Which isn’t much. So they’ll probably end up with Roethlisberger, then some combo of Jones, a draft choice and Mettenberger. Maybe the other three and the draft pick stays on the practice squad.

    It’s better than overpaying for someone else’s castoff. They’re coming off finishing tied for 3rd in the NFL, on a mostly young team. The Pittsburgh playoff window is still wide open. Next year is when to start looking for Ben’s heir.

    Go Steelers!

  6. Yikes, the Pats and Belichick really did a number on this guy upstairs, otherwise not sure how you give up 15-20 mill, asIi’m sure he would easily give back parts of the signing bonus as stated in his contract, correct?

  7. Do they also expect him to pass for an awesome .5 touchdowns in each of his last two playoff games?

  8. The Steelers need to put a plan in place to consistently score more than 18 points in a playoff game. 1 out of the last 6 — while playing against the backup qb at that — won’t cut it.

  9. Landry Jones? I thought you said you were aiming for a SUCCESSFUL quarterback plan, Kevin.

    The guy you’ve got at number three would be a much better option to keep as the backup. He can actually play.

    As for Ben, just get him some receivers who won’t drop 100+ yards worth of passes and leave 18 points on the field like they did at New England. Sounds like a plan to me.

  10. “You should have a successful quarterback plan in place.”

    Lord knows they need one, since Big Ben hasn’t been able to get them over the hump lately.

  11. Always good to have a “plan in place” when your franchise QB is 40 pounds overweight, holds onto the ball forever and refuses to take a sack or just throw the ball away.

    Every year Ben gets a little fatter and a little slower. He’ll never play a full 16 games a year. He’s too out of shape and stubborn and exposes himself to way too many big hits.

  12. The Patriots are super bowl champs and pitt is circling the drain. Even with 26 and 84 they can’t even give the Patriots a game. Best. Of. Times.

  13. For several years, the Steelers had one of the best backup situations in the NFL with Charlie Batch and to a lesser degree Leftwich (both were developed elsewhere). Now they have one of the weaker situations.

    Perhaps they would be better off staying with veteran castoffs and using the draft picks on other positions.

    Most teams won’t be contenders if they lose their starter for the season, but you need have a backup can win a game or two if your starter misses a month.

  14. I believe The thought of retirement honestly crossed Ben’s mind, and I don’t blame him. Ever since the Steelers got Tebowed out of the playoffs some years ago, there’s been no real improvement. Tomlin is out of answers, the offensive line still blows, the defense isn’t the monster it used to be, and Ben has no real weapons outside of Bell and Brown. As it is now, they will never beat the Patriots, the one team they need to get past to make it back to the Superbowl. If I were Ben, I’d consider retirement too.

  15. “As for Ben, just get him some receivers who won’t drop 100+ yards worth of passes and leave 18 points on the field like they did at New England. Sounds like a plan to me.”


    That’s not why they lost, but, good try.

    Brady will still be playing when Roethlisberger retires, and I doubt the Steelers will have a QB as good as he is as the incumbent. Based on Ben’s comments a month ago, that time is not too far off. I like watching him play, so I’m not quite looking forward to it.

  16. All of the women in Pittsburgh shudder with horror knowing that Big Ben is sticking around. Maybe Trip Tomlin can have a talk with Ben and ask him to tone it down

  17. I’m going to enjoy watching the Steelers pick up some more hardware in the future while the greatest cheater of all time shady brady declines in a downward spiral. It will happen.

  18. Steelers should have thought about a Ben replacement several years ago. They don’t have that development time now and their backups won’t keep them relative until a development case (that they don’t have) is ready. Without that, how much interest will top receivers have in hanging around? They want catches, not “developments”.

  19. PFT readers, you tell me–who do you think is more likely to “pick up some more hardware” in the next few years? Hmm?

    The most decorated, insanely-driven quarterback in the history of the game with a permanent chip on his shoulder who wants to play until they drag him off the field, or…

    the overweight guy who has already floated talk of retirement, and who’s off-season workouts consist mostly of finding which barbecue joint is open?

    I know who my money is on.

  20. Some trolls from Pittsburgh dare to talk about IQ levels, spares us the high horse bs clown. Take a look at mirror.

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