Steelers Kevin Colbert on Ben Roethlisberger: ‘We might have a better quarterback moving forward’
The Pittsburgh Steelers may be getting a new and improved Ben Roethlisberger in 2020. Here’s why general manager, Kevin Colbert, believes that will be the case.
Ben Roethlisberger is one of the toughest players in the National Football League. This statement may seem like an opinion, but Steelers fans know this to be factual. After shrugging off defenders and dealing with minor physical ailments for most of his first 16 years in the league, Roethlisberger finally suffered a season-ending setback in 2019.
Just a week-and-a-half into the regular season, Big Ben experienced an elbow injury that we later found out was quite serious (three flexor tendons were torn from the bone). We also found out that Roethlisberger essentially had two options after his injury: To retire or to have surgery and undergo extensive rehab on his elbow.
Fortunately, Ben chose the latter. While many analysts are wondering if Roethlisberger’s time in the league is coming to an end, Steelers general manager, Kevin Colbert, seems to be very confident in his full recovery – even claiming that ‘we might have a better quarterback moving forward.’ Here’s what he had to say, according to Steelers.com writer, Bob Labriola:
"“We had some information on how the surgery went. We were confident how the rehab was going. We were encouraged by how Ben was so positive in this issue. The thing I kept saying was that we might have a better quarterback moving forward because at his age without one year of wear-and-tear on his legs and his body and with maybe a healthier arm coming out of this surgery, that this guy could actually be a better quarterback than he has been. And that’s exciting… To this point, it’s been great. Physically, he looks great.”"
Colbert continued to note that Ben is still working on some timing issues with a few of his new offensive weapons, including Chase Claypool and Eric Ebron. However, those things will come with practice.
What’s comforting is knowing that, by all firsthand accounts, Ben is back. While it may take him some time to get reacclimated to the speed of the game after suiting up for just two contests since the 2018 season, Roethlisberger is a veteran player who will be ready to roll by mid-season.
If what Colbert said is true and we really are getting a ‘better quarterback moving forward,’ the sky is the limit for what Pittsburgh may be able to accomplish in 2020. The Steelers already had a top-five defensive unit that was arguably the best in the league from Week 4 until the end of the season last season. Javon Hargrave’s loss in free agency will be masked by the return of Stephon Tuitt and there is no reason to believe that this unit can’t be great again in 2020.
Offensively, the Steelers may not have any ‘star’ skill players, but they are now loaded with depth at both wide receivers and running back. In addition, a veteran Pro Bowl pass-catcher like Eric Ebron should offer an extra safety blanket over the middle of the field for Roethlisberger.
As of now, we should have realistic expectations for Ben Roethlisberger after a long offseason of rehabbing his surgically repaired elbow. However, if we see Colbert’s words come to fruition, the Steelers are sure to be a playoff team and then some in 2020.