From time to time, Ben Roethlisberger makes news when doing interviews on Pittsburgh’s 93.7 The Fan. And it’s the kind of news that often makes us wonder why he continues to do it.
They pay him for the segments, that’s obvious. But they’re can’t be paying a $20-million-per-year guy enough to justify the problems that often arise from the answers he provides in a setting where he is far more relaxed, casual, and loquacious than when he’s at a press conference or standing with a bunch of microphones in his face in the locker room.
The biggest and most obvious headline coming from Friday’s visit by Roethlisberger to 93.7 The Fan arose from his comments about his reaction to the team’s decision to burn a 2018 third-round pick on a quarterback. Near the end of the 20-minute interview, the issue comes up again from the perspective of the team’s 2017 fourth-round quarterback.
Here was the question: “How about Josh Dobbs? A guy that gets picked last year as a fourth-rounder, now he might feel like he’s getting squeezed out or he’s the odd man out. Have you talked to him about his situation now with this team?”
Said Roethlisberger, who interjected a “yeah, I know” as the question was being asked: “[Dobbs] and Landry [Jones] were the two guys I’ve spoken to the most. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t worried about someone taking my job. I feel confident that I can go out and beat whoever I need to beat out for my job, that’s just the confidence I have in myself. And I just got back to those guys. . . . I don’t know what’s gonna happen. I assume Landry’s still the [No.] 2. I don’t really know. And Josh, same thing, last year he was taken in the fourth round. So does that mean the like Steelers screwed up in that pick? Like, do they think he wasn’t the one that they thought? Or has he not developed the way they thought? Why else would you take a quarterback in the third round the next year?”
The host interjected at that point, saying that G.M. Kevin Colbert said Thursday that he won’t keep four quarterbacks on the 2018 53-man roster.
“So did they screw up the pick?” Roethlisberger said. “Or was he not as good as they thought? I don’t know, and I feel bad, because Josh puts a lot of work in.”
Then Ben brings the arrival of rookie Mason Rudolph back to himself, with a comment that likely was more joke than serious remark. But he still said it out loud.
“I wouldn’t think they’d get rid of Mason, keep Dobbs and Landry,” Roethlisberger said. “I wouldn’t think. Maybe they’re trying to trade me away or something, I don’t know.”
He laughed as he said it. The Steelers likely weren’t laughing very much when they listened to the full interview, because it’s clear that there will now be plenty of tension in the quarterback room, and that the guy who has led the depth chart since entering the fray as a rookie in 2004 won’t be bashful about stirring things up, publicly and presumably privately.