The Pittsburgh Steelers didn’t draft Mason Rudolph to replace Ben Roethlisberger, like they drafted Big Ben to replace Tommy Maddox.
Everyone seems to be okay with the fact that Mason Rudolph is going to sit on the bench for three years, except for the person who’s starting in front of him. After 14 years in the NFL, you’d think Big Ben would be calm under pressure. But the two-time Super Bowl champion isn’t handling a young backup like many expected him to.
Now, everyone is bringing back the past, reminding Roethlisberger that even his predecessor was upset about the pick when Pittsburgh brought in their future quarterback. The difference, though, is that Ben was brought in to replace, Rudolph was brought in to learn.
Roethlisberger doesn’t want to walk into work every day and be reminded that he’s on his way out. That’s understandable. A career like his, it’s hard to walk away, and Rudolph is a constant reminder that it’s coming sooner rather than later.
But he needs to look at it much differently than Tommy Maddox looked at Ben. Maddox was looking at a first-round pick with a great arm and winning ability. He belonged to a team that wasn’t winning a Super Bowl with him behind center, and he was coming off of an injury.
When Paul John Tagliabue took the podium in 2004 and announced Ben Roethlisberger with the 11th overall pick, Maddox knew his career as a starter was over. Ben heard the pick in the third-round after luck of the draw kept Rudolph around, and knew nothing more than one day this kid was going to be the starter.
No one is forcing Roethlisberger out any sooner than he wants to go. He has five more years left? Great. Go win five more Super Bowls, or don’t. Either way, no one is going to blink an eye about who the starter should be.
This is not a pressure situation for anyone, especially not Big Ben. He’s the quarterback of the Steelers until he decides not to be. The only reason they’re in the situation is because he said he’d like to play three more years. So, everyone reacted and figured three years was plenty of time to learn from the future Hall of Famer.
The situation is becoming larger of a deal than it needs to be. This is Big Ben’s team until No. 7 calls it a career. Everyone except Roethlisberger knows that.
Now, stop comparing it to the past, and realize that Big Ben is a Hall of Famer with Super Bowls left in the tank. Not a quarterback who’s providing the 11th pick in the draft and getting upset that his team drafted someone new.