The Pittsburgh Steelers seemed on track for a perfect season in 2020 behind the strong play of Ben Roethlisberger. The AFC North franchise started 11-0, setting itself up well for a deep playoff run.
However, the Steelers’ offense sputtered down the stretch as the team lost four of its last five regular season games. In the first round of the playoffs, Pittsburgh imploded, losing 48-37 to the Cleveland Browns.
Although he started off the season well, Roethlisberger struggled to pump the ball down the field as the year went on. At 38 years old, the longtime Steelers quarterback showed signs of wear and tear, leading to concern about his future in Pittsburgh.
Former NFL general manager Mike Tannebaum saw enough. He thinks that Roethlisberger won’t be able to bounce back from the letdown of last season and ultimately won’t make it through the entirety of the 2021 campaign.
“[Ben Roethlisberger] is going to be bad, and I expect him to benched by the middle of the season,” Tannenbaum said in an appearance on Get Up on Thursday. “… He’s had a great career. It’s over.”
“[Ben Roethlisberger] is going to be bad, and I expect him to benched by the middle of the season. … He’s had a great career. It’s over.”
— Get Up (@GetUpESPN) July 8, 2021
Roethlisberger still completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,803 yards, 33 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions in 2020. However, his yards per attempt plummeted to just 6.3 yards per throw, the lowest mark of his career in a full season. That concerns Tannebaum and many others, considering the fact that today’s NFL is pass-heavy.
The Steelers revamped their offensive line this offseason, turning toward their young players to try and give Roethlisberger a more consistent protection scheme. The Pittsburgh quarterback lacked a solid offensive front and a run game in 2020, which led to the team relying heavily on the short passing attack.
Roethlisberger turned 39 back in March and has put a hefty amount of mileage on his body over the years. Time will tell if he has one last hurrah in him this season.