How many more starts do Steelers give Ben Roethlisberger at this rate?

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Mandatory Credit: Philip G. Pavely-USA TODAY Sports /

The Steelers decided to bring Ben Roethlisberger back for another year in 2021, but how many more starts should Pittsburgh give him at this rate?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have done everything in their power to make sure they were competitive for one last ride in 2021. Following a disappointing end to their 2020 campaign, nobody knew for sure what the team planned to do this season, and many thought it was time to finally move on.

I was one of the founding members of the “rebuild” club. Over the second half of the 2020 season, Ben Roethlisberger played the worst football I’ve seen from him in his professional career. His yards per attempt plummeted to the bottom of the league and he seemed physically incapable of making plays down the field.

However, despite the many surrounding questions, Kevin Colbert agreed to bring back Ben for another season with the veteran taking a pay cut.

Now pushing 40 years old, it’s clear that Roethlisberger didn’t fall from the same tree as Tom Brady, as the years have not been kind to him. Through the first three games of the 2021 season, Roethlisberger has arguably been the worst non-rookie starting quarterback in the NFL, and the question must be asked: how many more starts should the Steelers give him before turning to someone else?

How many more starts should Ben Roethlisberger get?

I understand that Big Ben is far from the only issue with this offense, the entire offensive line has been a nightmare so far and the team can’t run the ball as a result. However, you would have a hard time convincing me that the Steelers quarterback wouldn’t already be benched if his name wasn’t Ben Roethlisberger.

The Rooney’s know that Ben is probably the single-most important player their franchise has ever had, and they don’t want to tarnish his reputation this late in his career. However, winning games has to be the ultimate goal.

Sadly, I still think Roethlisberger might give them the best chance at doing just that. While playoff expectations might seem unreasonable at this point, we have seen an adequate sample of NFL starts from both Mason Rudolph and Dwayne Haskins, and neither looks like anything more than a low-end NFL starter or quality backup.

Though Roethlisberger isn’t getting any more talented, his experience counts for something, and he may be able to simply ‘manage the game’ if the offensive line can hold up for more than a few seconds.

If there was a more capable option waiting in the wings, perhaps this is something the team would take into consideration. While many might think that Ben Roethlisberger should already be benched, the Steelers made an investment in him and they are going to see it through.

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As bad as he’s been, I’d be surprised if he gets benched at any point this season. We just have to hope that he’s got enough left in the tank to turn things around while it’s still early in the season.