“It’s family. The Pittsburgh Steelers are family, from the Rooneys down. It means a lot because there’s a lot of love from the Rooney family to the coaches to the players and the players back to the Rooneys.” — Ben
More from Ben’s interview with Mike Prisuta at Steelers.com:
The Steelers organization and the franchise quarterback are on the same page as it relates to Ben Roethlisberger’s immediate and long-term future.
General Manager Kevin Colbert said today he doesn’t see “a circumstance where Ben won’t finish his career here.”
And Roethlisberger doesn’t want to envision one.
“That’s always been what I’ve said, too,” Roethlisberger acknowledged this afternoon at Saint Vincent College. “I said it last year when the erroneous NFL Network reports came out (about Roethlisberger being unhappy in Pittsburgh and being expected to ask the organization to explore possibilities of a trade in the offseason).
“I want to be here.”
Steelers President Art Rooney II reiterated on Friday the team’s “intent” to sign Roethlisberger to a long-term contract extension after the upcoming season, and he said the Roethlisberger camp has been informed of the Steelers’ plans.
“We wanted to make sure they were understanding that we do want to make a commitment, that we do want to address Ben’s contract next year,” Rooney told Steelers.com. “It’s not a situation where we’re saying we want to put it on hold. We did assure him that next year is the time frame in which we want to address it.”
It’s an arrangement with which Roethlisberger is more than happy to take his chances.
“Every time you step on the field it’s a gamble, whether you’re in a contract year or you just got a contract or whatever, because it’s a very violent, physical sport. But you know what? We play it, we know the risk. We just go out and give it everything we have.
“We can’t worry about getting hurt or playing safe. I’m not going to get rid of the ball any quicker this year because I’m thinking about not getting hurt. I’m going to give it everything I have like I always do.”
If things eventually work out as Roethlisberger and the Steelers plan, he will have started and would ultimately finish his career with the same franchise.
“It would mean a lot,” Roethlisberger said. “It would mean everything to me because I love this team, I love the family, and that includes the fans.
“I love Pittsburgh, it’s home for me, and I don’t want to go anywhere else.”
You can read more here.
*Thank you to fan Marilyn McClellan for the photo!
Quotes of the Day:
Both from former Steelers RB Jerome Bettis, via ESPN.com –
“I don’t believe that Ben falls short in the leadership department. You don’t win a championship with a lack of leadership.”
“Ben Roethlisberger told me, ‘Hey, don’t retire. I’m going to get you a championship. Trust me on this,'” Bettis said. “After every playoff game [in 2005], he gave me the game ball. After we won the Super Bowl, he gave me the game ball. That’s leadership.”