Ben Roethlisberger sat on the Steelers bench for an extended period of time following Sunday night’s Wild Card Round loss to the Cleveland Browns, with his center Maurkice Pouncey next to him. Many wondered what was going through the quarterback’s mind, if he thought it would be his last time in the black and gold.
On Wednesday, a few days after the dust settled but the pain of the loss hadn’t, Coach Mike Tomlin was asked about Roethlisberger’s future, and if he had made a decision on whether or not he wanted Roethlisberger back, and to assess his play.
“We haven’t made any decisions about any of our personnel along those lines,” said Tomlin. “All of those discussions are interrelated, and we are just beginning to scratch the surface in terms of what 2021 looks like in terms of the makeup of our team and the issues relative to it.
“In regard to Ben, I can’t say enough about his performance this year. With the uncertainly coming off of injury, and particularly not having an opportunity to perform in preseason games and so forth, there really was a high level of concern about his health and his ability to perform. I can’t say enough about his efforts. I can’t say enough about the efforts of our medical staff and our rehabilitation staff that worked hand in hand with him to get him to that process and get him to stadiums this year. I was more than pleased with the performance of his health and his ability to stay up. In terms of the quality of his play and our play, we’ll begin to assess that in the upcoming days, but in terms of him responding to the challenges that he specifically came into the season ready to face, spectacular.”
You can read more from Teresa Varley’s recap of Coach Tomlin’s earlier press conference right here.
We were fighting all the way to the end!— Ben.
Ben’s post-game interview:
I missed the fans this year. I need to apologize to them for tonight. I need to apologize to my teammates. — Ben.
“Meet Benjamin Atlas. At 18 months old, he is an avid outdoorsman, loves his dogs, moms and trucks. He has touched the Atlantic and Pacific (ocean), as well as the Gulf of Mexico. He has never met a veggie he doesn’t love, and cheers passionately for undeniably entertaining Steeler Defense.” — Mom Jenna.
“My name is Chris, and my children’s names are Autumn, Aubrey, Bryor and Maddox! We are the Steelers and Bens biggest fans!”
“Just wanted to send these of my son Noah, they are actually from the 2009 season but they are some of my favorite pictures of him, and he’s an even bigger Steelers fan now!” — Misty Kaefer.
“My son CJ’s birthday was on Christmas and he did a whole photo shoot!!” — Trenda.
“That’s my son Karston (age 10) and my stepdaughter, Sophia (age 11).” — Brett Worley.
Half of the teams in the NFL aren’t playing this week so it’s an honor to have the opportunity. — Ben.
From Teresa Varley, Steelers.com:
On Sunday Ben Roethlisberger sat at home in Pittsburgh watching the Steelers-Browns game with his family after being ruled out to give him some rest before the playoffs.
As he watched along with his family, getting lots of questions from his son Benjamin, he kept a close eye on things knowing there was the potential he might see the Browns in person real soon.
And that is exactly what happened as the Steelers host the Browns at Heinz Field in the Wild Card Round on Sunday Night Football.
I enjoyed watching the game, not as much as playing in it. I sat at home and watched it with my family. I felt like my son asked me a question every single play, so I felt like I was really extra engaged in it.
Watching it with the knowledge that potentially we could play them again, but not knowing what opponent it was going to be. I would love to have known early on it was them, but I definitely watched it close.
Roethlisberger is looking forward to Sunday’s game, just like he does every opportunity he has to play in the postseason. He knows how precious those moments are, how rare they can be, and how you have to take advantage of every opportunity. He has played in 21 career postseason games, but not since 2017, and admits you never know when it will be your last opportunity as they aren’t guaranteed.
I think every player should approach this playoff game like it could be their last playoff game ever. We’ve used examples of players and coaches who have been in this league for a long time that have never been in the postseason, never been to a Super Bowl, whatever it may be. I think it’s prudent for every player to take that mindset and approach. I know I am because nothing is guaranteed in the game, or this world.
Roethlisberger, who said they had another players only meeting on Wednesday to talk about the postseason, said he feels the meetings are valuable as he can already see how the young players have responded to a players only meeting held a few weeks ago.
I think guys took it to heart, I […]
I need to play my best football – that I’ve ever played in my life, truthfully. We’ve got a very good football team, a very special football team. I need to be on my p&q’s, I need to be my best, I need to not turn the ball over. I need to do everything I can to help us win football games. — Ben, on playing in the games going forward.