"I don't see any circumstance of where Ben won't finish his career here."
That was the statement given by Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert to Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Alan Robinson in an article posted on the newspaper's website this morning.
One reason behind Colbert's confidence that Roethlisberger will retire a Steeler is due to the "excellent" working relationship between Colbert and Big Ben's agent, Ryan Tollner.
"Most negotiations aren't that complicated or time consuming once they get started, if you have two people or two parties that want to do a deal," Colbert said. Colbert also said it would be "wonderful" if Roethlisberger raises his price tag by leading the Steelers to another Super Bowl title this season.
Colbert's remarks in regards to Roethlisberger came just days after it was announced that the team will not hash out Big Ben's next contract until 2015. Big Ben said that while he wants to remain a Steeler, he also wants to "seek his market value in negotiations."
The 11-year veteran quarterback was in the media as well Wednesday morning, with this USA Today article. Roethlisberger expressed his confidence in the Steelers brass.
"I'm here to play ball now," Roethlisberger said. "I love that they said they want me to be a Steeler for life. I take them for their word."
The article largely focused on Big Ben's happiness in working "behind the scenes" while other quarterbacks have been receiving more media attention.
"It doesn't bother me because I'd rather slide under the radar," Roethlisberger said. "I'll let them have all the attention and we'll just go to work. We just want to be the best team we can be. And we've got the them (Cleveland Browns) Week 1."
Playing during the NFL's golden passing age sometimes leaves media "experts" choosing quarterbacks with gaudier statistics over Big Ben when it comes to discussing the game's best current signal callers. But Warren Sapp, a Hall of Fame defensive linemen in town with NFL Network earlier this week, praised Roethlisberger. "Ben is a top five quarterback all day," said the Super Bowl champion and former NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
Very few quarterbacks in the NFL today can compare with Big Ben's statistics as a winning NFL starting quarterback. He's already won over 100 games as an NFL starter that includes leading Pittsburgh to four AFC Championship games, three Super Bowls and two Vince Lombardi Trophies. But despite that, quarterbacks like Johnny Manziel, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and others have been getting more hub.
"I don't think I'll ever get that credit," Roethlisberger said. "It will probably be when I'm done. People will look back and say, 'Wow, he was better than we gave him credit for."
Steelers fans surely don't take for granted what they currently have under center. Having enjoyed the stellar play of Terry Bradshaw in the late 70's, Steelers fans then had to wait over 20 years for their next franchise quarterback. A franchise blessed with having many past and present sterling players, the Steelers are one of just nine teams to have had two different quarterbacks lead their franchise to Super Bowl victories.
Personally, Big Ben's leadership skills-which were somewhat scrutinized earlier in the week by a former Steelers receiver-were cemented last season. After the team plummeted to an 0-4 start, a team with weaker leadership could have fallen completely off the canvas while turning in a 3-13 or 4-12 season. But Roethlisberger, a guy who has never been anything but a winner, wouldn't allow it. He willed the Steelers offense to eight wins in the team's last 12 games while putting together one of the finest seasons of his career. While many "experts" break down what Roethlisberger doesn't have, the one thing he is is a winner, which is the biggest quality a quarterback can possess.
Big Ben said that he is excited to try to lead the team to yet another Super Bowl win not just this year, but every year until his retirement. He thinks this team could do some special things, and he's happy to be in the thick of it.
"I know I'm 10 years in the league. But I'm only 32," Roethlisberger said. "We've got a good blend of young and second-year guys. I'm excited about this team. If we can stay healthy, we can be pretty good."