By Jeremy Hritz
It’s a special edition of the Steelers Study Notes today, as it was reported last night by Adam Schefter that 2021 will in fact be Ben Roethlisberger’s final season. Schefter Tweeted, “Ben Roethlisberger privately has told former teammates and some within the organization that he expects this to be his final season playing quarterback for the Steelers, league sources told ESPN.” While this doesn’t come as a surprise, to hear it reported brings a sense of reality and finality to what we all knew was coming, and it makes these final 6 Steelers’ games a treasure for fans. My thoughts on Ben’s final 6, and on some other Steelers items in today’s Study Notes.
- If these are in fact Roethlisberger’s final 6 games, it is prudent for Steelers fans everywhere to enjoy, savor, and be mindful that this will be the last time you ever watch #7 play football. He has had a storied 18-year career, and there will never be anyone like him. And it may be a long time before the Steelers find their next franchise quarterback.
- I’m curious about the timing of this report. Was there a motive here? Does this give some sort of cover for the organization, for Roethlisberger himself if he does not play well?
- Knowing this report is out there, does Big Ben go all gunslinger and just start letting it rip like a madman, starting today against the Ravens? Does he not hold back and just unload? I’m curious to see how his performances change, if at all.
- Ben’s last game at Heinz Field will be against the Browns on Monday Night. That place should be electric.
- His final game as an NFL quarterback is entirely appropriate and the stuff of legends: at Baltimore. What better way to go out than in the rivalry that shaped your folklore?
- Is this announcement regarding Roethlisberger a rallying point, a turning point in the season? Is this enough to bond this team together in one final playoff push?Is there any Big Ben magic left?
- In non-Big Ben news, TJ Watt is off the COVID list, though there is no word yet on Cameron Heyward and his illness. Having Watt out there is significant for the defense, and gives them a fighting chance.
- Kenny Pickett led Pitt to the ACC Championship last night over Wake Forest, and he continued to make his case as a legitimate QB1 in the upcoming draft. The more I watch him play, the more I want to see him as a Steeler.
- And finally, it’s a Steelers/Ravens day. Enjoy this. This is the final time Ben will play the Ratbirds at home. Let’s get this win boys!
That is all for today! Make it a great one!