After an inexcusable loss to the Cleveland Browns during Wild Card Weekend, the Steelers need to move on from Big Ben.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has had an absolutely outstanding career as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offensive leader since his drafting by the esteemed franchise all the way back in 2004. However, emotional bias can in no way block us from the truth, and that is that Ben is merely not playing to a contender’s standard anymore.
Some would say that his departure is long overdue, as many may see him as “overrated” due to the playing and coaching talent that has always surrounded him, along with his trigger-happy tendencies resulting in many interceptions throughout his career. There was always an argument and a rebuttal for why we Steelers fans should not give up on him just yet. That time has passed. Nowadays, the best quality that he could take any credit for was his clutch performances to come back in the second halves of games. But to refute this, it is worth mentioning that he was a big part of the blame as to why the team would be in a hole in the first place.
Regardless of the reason(s) for needing a comeback, all that matters is that he could not pull one off against Cleveland on Sunday. He even went as far as to throw his fourth–yes, fourth–interception of the affair in a pivotal moment that could have brought Browns fans to the edges of their seats. Instead, that pick put the game away for sure.
His yardage was there though, as he threw for over 500 yards on 68 passes attempted. It is important to note that Roethlisberger was not the sole cause of the loss. Even when the Pittsburgh offense was cooking, the “great” defense could stop neither the rushing attack nor Jarvis Landry. Ben’s deeply flawed game is still unacceptable nonetheless.
Roethlisberger himself said that he would hang it up when he stopped playing good enough to win, and despite the 12-4 regular-season record, along with the high passing numbers, that day has come. So the question is if either Ben retires or the Steelers insist on moving forward without him, who should take his place? Well, let’s take a look at a few prominent options. Here are 3 quarterbacks that could replace Ben Roethlisberger next season.
Note that Mason Rudolph will not be included on this list, as he is obviously a noteworthy candidate who has already been cemented as the go-to guy on the team whenever Ben is off the field.
It’s appropriate to go ahead and get the obvious guy out of the way first. Deshaun Watson of the Houston Texans has not been a happy camper recently when it comes to the management of him and his team. And who could blame him? Whether the topic is Bill O’Brien, the trading of Deandre Hopkins, or the unexpected hiring of this new GM, Houston has looked as dysfunctional off the field as they have on it. With that comes wasted days of being an NFL star like Watson has proven himself to be.
So there is no doubt that he wouldn’t mind taking the first plane out of that snake-bitten franchise. All he would need is a better destination. Say what you want about the Steelers, but their ownership, management, coaching, and roster are all top-notch, especially when compared to those of the Texans.
This would be a solid move for Pittsburgh in the eyes of a fan as well, as he has an outstanding arm and can use his feet when he needs to, but not rely on them too heavily like what Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray are hated on so much about. And he still has many years left in his career, which would mean that if he was happy in the Steel City, then he would not be going anywhere for a long time.