Steelers Should Plan For Life After Big Ben


The Steelers will award Ben Roethlisberger another well-earned contract, but they should also plan to replace him because few QBs are “plug-n-play” ready.

I know Big Ben just came off of a great year.  He’s absolutely earned more time with the Steelers and I think most of Steeler Nation would agree.  However, how much longer can he play at this level?

I think most NFL teams fail to plan for QB replacements and I find that odd because the QB is the linchpin.  It takes time to learn a system and to adjust the system to the talents of the offensive leader.

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I have been underwhelmed by the Steelers latest attempts to develop young QB talent.

Dennis Dixon had promise but that didn’t work out and he got a couple of chances elsewhere, but seems to have contributed more on the practice squads – as he did during the Ravens recent Superbowl year.

Landry Jones was a controversial pick in my mind. I’ve seen a lot of criticism and little support.  When he played in preseason he did not provide a warm fuzzy in the Steeler’s QB “line of succession.”

Ben has a distinctive playing style and it will be tough to find someone to step in without needing to adjust the offensive playbook much.  I guess the coaches can’t worry about watering down their practice focus, so they focus on the current active make-up.

Back-up QBs and the third-string QBs rarely get actual playing time, let alone first team reps (unless you are the Washington Redskins or the Cleveland Browns, then everyone gets a turn). Any replacement will create some confusion.

I think teams can be more effective if they plan for the worst.  If that kind of planning becomes part of the routine process, then it isn’t hard.  It’s just the way the team does business.  Ben looks strong and effective now, but the clock is against him and the team needs to plan for both the now and the future.

I’m not sure this year’s draft is the right place to look this year based on the talent pool.  However, there are other options to be explored.

Should the Steelers develop someone right out of college or someone who has been in the league a few years and not seen much playing time?  I’d say they need to look beyond college to some unsigned talent.

What do you think Steeler Nation?

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