If you were anything like me, you may have been a bit skittish, Saturday night, when news broke that Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was about to shock the world by announcing his retirement.
Those nerves may have kicked in when you began to see all of those retweets of Luck walking off the field in Indianapolis to a cascade of boos from the home fans; and that’s because, agree with their tact or not, you may have understood exactly what they were feeling at that moment.
“Man, our season is screwed!”
I don’t know if Steelers fans would have booed quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had he decided to hang up his cleats on Saturday, but they sure would have watched their 2019 football season flash before their eyes had he gotten hurt on Sunday in his three-series appearance in the all-important third preseason game against the Titans in Tennessee.
Thankfully, not only was Roethlisberger protected quite thoroughly by his highly-decorated offensive line that included all five starters, he seemed pretty content with getting rid of the football as fast as possible on the majority of his 13 pass attempts, of which eight were caught, of which seven may have been caught near or behind the line of scrimmage (at least it sure seemed that way).
So, did Roethlisberger look rusty in the two series before his final one, which resulted in a 17-yard touchdown strike to receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster? I honestly don’t know. Thanks to the sheer quickness he displayed while unloading the football, he looked like a college frat boy playing a game of “Pass the angry bee hive.”
I couldn’t really tell whether or not Roethlisberger was ready for the regular season opener against the Patriots on September 8. I don’t know if he was in-sync with his receivers—both familiar and new.
I just know he didn’t suffer an injury that may have forced me to prematurely manufacture a perhaps irrational belief that Mason Rudolph can and will be his heir apparent.
The belief held by many is that Roethlisberger absolutely should play more in the preseason. I get that, but I don’t see how he or the team could possibly benefit from it, if all he’s going to do is work on his short passing game in a covert effort to avoid getting his leg caught in a vise of big, angry linemen.
The only thing I know for sure is that the team absolutely wouldn’t benefit from him missing extensive regular season action.
I also know Steelers fans can rest easy now that their franchise quarterback will be available in Week 1 to work on his intermediate and long passing game.