At this stage in his career, Ben Roethlisberger has seen, and read, it all by now. Fans of the Pittsburgh Steelers know all too well how the NFL media likes to manipulate, and twist, the narratives surrounding the team’s franchise quarterback.
Anyone else remember the rumors of Roethlisberger wanting out of Pittsburgh, and him going to be a member of the Raiders?
How about the rumors of him wanting to get specific coaches and players fired/released from the team?
I could go on, but fans who have been paying attention know all too well about these rumors and news which often are just that...rumors. Not to suggest there isn’t some truth in some of these rumors, but often times the overall scope of the report is outlandish.
Prior to the Steelers’ Week 14 game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday Night Football, CBS Sports insider Jason La Confora reported, via sources, the Steelers organization was concerned about Roethlisberger’s knee(s). Not his surgically repaired elbow, but his knees.
To be fair, Roethlisberger did injure his knees against the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9, to the point where he left early at the end of the first half to go get checked out, but he returned and didn’t miss a snap in the second half.
In fact, he never missed any time in an actual game. Nonetheless, during Roethlisberger’s Wednesday media session he was asked about those rumors, and the health of his knees.
“Yeah, I mean, I’m 38 years old.” Roethlisberger said. “I’ve played football for 17 years. I’ve had multiple surgeries. I saw that report. I don’t know where it came from. I think it was the one that said the Steelers were concerned. I would love to know who that was or who told him because the week before against Washington I was having issues with my knee, landed on it, had something going on, but other than just an old knee and arthritis, my knee actually feels really good this week, especially after playing on an artificial surface. Typically, that is another issue that makes it kind of ache.
“After last week, it feels pretty good. That report to me is just one of those phony kinds of things that people sometimes want to make up. I actually feel pretty good.”
While Roethlisberger’s knees were the main focus of the report, many fans are still wondering about his throwing arm. Has he lost some zip on his throws? Does he still have the deep ball in his arsenal? Can he continue to get the job done as an elite quarterback?
Roethlisberger answered some of those questions Wednesday.
“I think I know my body pretty well, and that is why I said earlier, my arm feels really good. Typically, this time of year, my elbow would be getting worn down and I don’t feel that right now, so I’m very encouraged by that.
“That being said, I talk to the doctors a lot. I talk to Garret Giemont, our strength and conditioning (coach), I talk to John Norwig, our trainer. Just because it feels good, you don’t want to push it so much that you end up falling off that cliff or you go down hill right away. It might not be a slow decline; it could be a big fall off. You want that to happen at the end of February, not right now. Right now, my arm feels really good, and we want to continue that. That’s kind of how we approach our work every week, just how it feels and how I can express that to the people around me.”
The Steelers will continue to give Roethlisberger an extra day off every week to help not just rest his arm, but his body, as the regular season continues into the final quarter. The Steelers, who have already clinched a playoff spot and could clinch the AFC North with a win Monday, are now looking ahead. Having Roethlisberger at his best, and healthiest, is paramount for the team, but rumors of the team being concerned about his knees has been proved to be nothing more than rumors.
Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the Cicinnati Bengals on Monday Night Football in Week 15.