PITTSBURGH (93.7 The Fan) – While Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin announced Ben Roethlisberger is dealing with a hip injury to go along with his previous pectoral injury. He also made a firm statement about his starting quarterback.
“Absolutely,” Tomlin said when asked if Roethlisberger is the best quarterback for this offense. “What he does and what he’s done makes be really comfortable in saying that.”
There you have it. If healthy, and the week will speak to that in Tomlin vernacular, Ben Roethlisberger starts at quarterback against Denver.
So why has it been such a struggle for him through four weeks?
“It’s him some,” Tomlin said Tuesday. “It’s us collectively some. We just got to keep working.”
“Sometimes it could be attributed to altering of plans late in the week because of player availability or guys not being available. We lost Chase Claypool toward the latter part of the week last week.”
“We aren’t looking to make excuses. We’ve had some big play opportunities. We haven’t cashed in on them. We need to cash in on them. They are a big component of moving the ball and scoring.”
In the last few weeks Roethlisberger has missed JuJu Smith-Schuster a couple of times along with James Washington and Claypool. Roethlisberger mentioned after the game, some of his inaccuracies were because he dropped his elbow a few times. Tomlin said Ben works with quarterbacks coach Mike Sullivan with that, even with his veteran status. Tomlin acknowledge the quarterbacks probably get more work than other positions.
Is there anything due to age or skill level that is just not correctable about Roethlisberger anymore?
“Everything except mobility,” Tomlin said of fixable things. “I don’t have an answer for that or lack thereof. Ben used to be able to run really good when he was young. Those days are behind him.”
“Other than that, I don’t see much that isn’t a discussion in terms of technical alterations or quality of play that can be improved.”
They will work, health willing, towards making those corrections this week. They will do so with a fan base that is growing more and more restless at the lack of results, especially with their favorite team at 1-3 and everyone else in the division 3-1.
“I think Ben and I have at our jobs long enough that we know and we understand what comes with it,” Tomlin said. “We love Pittsburgh, PA. We love Steeler nation and appreciate the passion that they have. We understand the responsibility that come with our roles, him being a quarterback, me being a head coach. Often times we get too much credit when things are going well. We are always ready to absorb the negativity of our positions when things are not going well.”
“That’s just life for us.”