Art Rooney II: Steelers still confident we can win with Ben Roethlisberger

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The Steelers have made clear that quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will not be back on his current contract, but owner Art Rooney II insists that’s a reflection only of the salary cap, and not of how Roethlisberger is playing.

Rooney said the Steelers still believe that Roethlisberger is a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback.

“We think Ben played at a high level last year,” Rooney told Steelers.com. “We won our division and set a franchise record for most consecutive wins to open a season, so there was a lot of good stuff. Ben was as disappointed as anybody the way it ended. That last game is just hard to swallow, and I think in part Ben wants to come back and leave on a high note. We’re still confident he has the ability to do that. His arm, I would say, is as strong or almost as strong as ever, so I think he’s certainly capable of getting the job done. Part of the concern is putting a [competitive] team around him, and we had a good discussion about that. We know there are still a lot of pieces to the puzzle that still have to fall into place this season, and we’re hard at work trying to make that happen.”

Both Roethlisberger and Rooney have expressed confidence that they can come to terms on a new contract. Still, Rooney acknowledged that the Steelers will not go into the 2021 league year with Roethlisberger on his current contract. That means if a deal can’t get done before the league year starts, Roethlisberger would be released.

“Hopefully we’ll work something out before that,” said Rooney, “but certainly if you want to say there’s a hard deadline, March 17 would be it.”

At this point, all parties are indicating a deal will get done. But that March 17 deadline looms.

31 responses to “Art Rooney II: Steelers still confident we can win with Ben Roethlisberger

  1. I’m confident that the Steelers can win with him, too.

    They should be good to win at least 6, maybe 7 games.

  2. In the last 10 years, the Steelers have been one and done in the playoffs against Tim Tebow, Blake Bortles, and now Baker Mayfield.

    There’s been something wrong with this team for a while now, whether its on Tomlin or Ben, I don’t know, but it’s nothing new. Personally, I don’t think Ben is anymore done than he ever was. There were moments he looked like he was still elite last year and there were big interception games like he’s always had throughout his career. I think people are over-reacting to the end of the season. It’s always who they were.

    That said, they are good enough to win another Super Bowl, if a few things go their way. They just have to peak at the right time.

  3. After 40+ years of being a fan, I’ve learned to trust the office on these things. 6 Lombardis say they know what they’re doing, even if t doesn’t ALWAYS appear that way.

  4. Ben can win you some games but he can also lose games. The bigger problem is Tomlin. He has squandered all the talent they’ve had over the past decade and drastically underachieved. That’s a problem. Additionally, their run game is non-existent and their OL isn’t going to be any better with Pouncey retiring and Villanueva likely gone. They used to have great offensive lines but this group is average at best. Then you have a coach who’s average at best. The defensive secondary is also a complete joke and has been for years. The Browns just shredded that secondary and they didn’t seem capable of covering anyone. Maybe it’s time for a reboot for the Steelers. They aren’t going anywhere under Tomlin so just do a complete house cleaning.

  5. They saw who the backup was and decided they’d better keep broken Ben for another year. Maybe this is what it will take to get rid of the tripper. You will have to pay him lots either way.

  6. Tomlins stats are very similar to cowhers, yet Bill is still considered a great coach, why isn’t Mike given the same assessment?

  7. I get trying to gracefully allow Ben to exit stage left but don’t blow smoke. Ben is a shell of himself, and when he was himself, he wasn’t great. Ben was never the type to carry a team. In the years he was successful, he had top 5 defenses. So, now that the man can’t adequately throw deep balls, one of his staples, Art feels he is a Superbowl winning QB.

    Here is an interesting fact, Ben had a top 3 WR, and RB and we didn’t make the Superbowl. Now, he has neither. I would rather cut Ben, Sign Dupree, Sign Juju, try to keep the young players intact so we can then work on finding a signal-caller, either through the draft or free agency.

  8. They can win another division title with Ben. I don’t think his body allows for January play any longer. The fact that they can win another division title with Ben should worry the rest of the division. Jackson is figured out by the league and Cleveland can’t find consistency. The salary cap will find these teams too. Not going anywhere the past 4 years with these qb’s will also catch up to them. Cincy has a promising qb but the receiver situation is suspect.

  9. I’d rather be tied to Ben for one or two more years than have to pay Baker and Lamar the extension deals they’ll want soon. Lamar’s 4 turnovers against the Steelers in the one game in 2020 sticks in my head as does his vulnerability as a runner. Teams want Lamar to pass!

    Baker looks like a regular game manager in the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker mode. He’s not a franchise QB.

    As for Joe in Cincy, good luck there in the graveyard of aspirations with that franchise.

  10. More to the point will they win under Tomlin and his continued caving at end of season coaching style

  11. The Steelers started out 11-0 and then imploded. Ben was a decent part of the implosion. He didn’t look good. Steelers management should go back and watch those last 5 games plus the postseason game long and hard.

  12. I’m confident he can give Tomlin another non-losing season. That seems to be the measuring stick for the Steelers now. In the good ole days, if was SB or bust. Now, 8-8 or 9-7 gets ole Tomlin pats on the back.

  13. The Steelers have had 5 losing seasons in 50 years and never won less than 5 in a season in that time. The regular season is not the problem recently. It is the coaching and attention to details in the playoffs is what is terrible. If Pouncey does not launch the first snap over Ben’s head, that game would have been entirely different.

  14. Big Ben can still get the job done. The Steelers won the division and have the ability to do it again. Not turning the ball over especially in the playoffs is
    What Big Ben really needs to work on.

  15. As a Browns fan, I’m glad Ben is probably coming back because he sure doesn’t seem like the same guy he was a few years ago. That said, I think it’s a mistake to underestimate the Steelers. They remain one of the best franchises, top to bottom, in the league, and they have a lot of young talent on the roster. Their salary cap is a mess with tons of contracts to negotiate so that won’t be easy, but I won’t be surprised at all if they are right in the mix at the end of the season.

    I will say I’ve always thought Ben has been as much the reason for their failures in the last decade as their success. Simply, he’s a cancer. Maybe he’s softened somewhat, but for most of his career, his teammates despised him. And the fact that Tomlin has little control over him has never sent a good message in the lockerroom. It leads to things like young guys stupidly disrespecting other teams publicly. You NEVER see that from Belichick or Reid or Payton coached teams doing that. I think the Steelers have lived in fear of the 20 years between Bradshaw and Ben when they couldn’t really find a franchise QB and this has led them to put up with someone like Ben who has been bad news pretty much his entire career.

  16. I think this is indicative that Tomlin has no decision making authority with this franchise. I have to believe that surely, he is ready to move on from BR – and put his own stamp on this franchise with a QB of HIS choosing! Rooney is starting to have too much effect on this team, making foolish decisions. But keep blaming the coach!

  17. Tomlins stats are very similar to cowhers, yet Bill is still considered a great coach, why isn’t Mike given the same assessment?

    Gee everybody is banging on Tomlin now but weren’t during the unbeaten run during the season. Tomlin has his issues, but what most on here dislike him because he is black but don’t the guts to admit it. Someone suggested looking at the last five games and I agree with the caution to have a list of the players injured by position…..not an excuse just a fact…..but trolls hate facts and reasonable logical explanations. The Steelers management love Tomlin and he is safe until he starts losing consistently which by the way he hasn’t had a losing season another fact the trollers never mention.

  18. Tomlins stats are very similar to cowhers, yet Bill is still considered a great coach, why isn’t Mike given the same assessment?

    Maybe it’s because his teams have a habit of collapsing in November and December. In 2009 they lost five straight in November and December. In 2012 they lost four of the last five games. In 2018 lost four of last six games. In 2019 they lost the last three games of the season. In 2020 they started out 11-0 then looked awful in losing the next three games. It’s a habit for Tomlin and his teams to collapse in November and December. You can’t tell me they didn’t have more talent than the Patriots but Tomlin has squandered all that talent. BB would have won at least three Super Bowls with those teams….maybe more. They had talent….except for the head coach.

  19. bajer says:
    February 26, 2021 at 10:23 am
    Tomlins stats are very similar to cowhers, yet Bill is still considered a great coach, why isn’t Mike given the same assessment?
    ————————————————————————————————

    Great point! I always thought Cowher’s teams cracked when it came playoff time. I know I’ll get thumbs down for this but I think Cowher and Tomlin are comparable and I’d give a slight edge to Tomlin. Tomlin gets a lot of hate, and I mean hate from football fans. But yet Cowher is the one everyone gloats over.

  20. I think it’s easy to say that “the Steelers would have won if not for…” fill in whatever supposed self-imposed mistake you want. It’s just more arrogance from a franchise that lives off of its past, but, in the past 10 years has been respectable, but certainly not above the pack of perennial playoff contenders with its share of playoff collapses. And, let’s be honest, has any team had an easier path to a SB title than the Steelers in 2008 with the average win total of their opponents being less than 10 wins? Did Holmes toes actually touch at the end of that game? Or what about the phantom holding call in 2005 that changed that entire game? Or even in 1979, if Nolan Cromwell doesn’t drop a sure pick six early in the 4th with the Rams already in the lead? Or in 1978 and Jackie Smith’s epic drop all by himself in the end zone? Playing the what-if game can go the other way because there are a lot of them for the Steelers opponents in their SBs.

    enoughofthatalready says:
    February 26, 2021 at 11:09 am
    The Steelers have had 5 losing seasons in 50 years and never won less than 5 in a season in that time. The regular season is not the problem recently. It is the coaching and attention to details in the playoffs is what is terrible. If Pouncey does not launch the first snap over Ben’s head, that game would have been entirely different.

  21. “We’re still confident he has the ability”

    If you have to say it then it probably ain’t so

  22. The difference between Tomlin and Cowher is Cowher didn’t have a HOF qb for most of his career. And Cowhers defenses would never collapse.
    Like Tomlins has especially in the playoffs. Win a Super Bowl or not Mike T isn’t a great coach. Ben has carried him to a winning record his entire career and I supported Mike T for years.

  23. They can win meaningless regular season games with Big Ben then lose in the playoffs.

  24. enoughofthatalready says:
    February 26, 2021 at 11:09 am

    If Pouncey does not launch the first snap over Ben’s head, that game would have been entirely different.
    ————————————————————————-
    They got trucked for the entire game and you think one play was the difference? If that were true, it would mean the Steelers have no mental toughness to give up after one mistake.

  25. If Big Ben is healthy and in shape, he’s one of the top 3 or 4 QB’s in the league. QB’s get smarter with age. There’s no doubt he can win a third super bowl for Pittsburgh. Rooney has been around the team his entire life. They’ve won 4 rings with Bradshaw and 2 with Ben. The NFL has always been a QB league. It’s nothing new. Probably a bit more nowadays with all the rules favoring the QB.

  26. He better work out then. Hes “billed” at 241 at 6’5 but he looks around 270lbs. If he knocks 40lbs off his frame and gets to a built 230 he may stand a chance.

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