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One less beard, one more reason to be happy about the progress of Ben Roethlisberger

With Ben Roethlisberger’s clean-shaven face and hard-slinging right arm, Steelers fans have even more reason to be excited about the 2020 regular season.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It’s hard to say who’s happiest, these days: Steelers fans, Ben Roethlisberger or Mrs. Roethlisberger.

I do know one thing: There is plenty of happiness to go around in Steeler Nation, thanks to a video released by Roethlisberger’s Twitter account on Monday of him slinging darts to JuJu Smith-Schuster, James Conner and Ryan Switzer.

Not only did Roethlisberger’s arm look strong, his waist looked slim. That’s right, Big Ben still had his big beard in the workout portion of the video, so he kind of looked like Santa Claus in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer right before Mrs. Claus fattened him up on Christmas Eve.

Speaking of weight, the beginning of the video showed a clean-shaven Roethlisberger talking to someone while flying on a plane; even more so than his trimmed face and hair, the first thing I noticed about Roethlisberger was his trimmed waist.

Good news on two fronts.

Does this mean Roethlisberger’s surgically-repaired elbow will hold up to the rigors of 29.8 passing attempts per game (Roethlisberger’s average prior to last season) once the bullets start flying for real? Of course it doesn’t mean that.

It doesn’t mean anything at this point, other than Roethlisberger’s right where he needs to be at this stage of his rehabilitation. Let’s face it, with less than four months to go before the start of the 2020 regular season (as of now), if Roethlisberger wasn’t posting impressively-edited social media videos of himself throwing “legit NFL passes,” as he put it while flying in said plane, that would mean big trouble.

But when you combine those big bombs with his small waist, I think that’s a testament to Roethlisberger’s commitment to getting back to where he was before his 2019 season was cut short.

As I’ve said before, bouncing back from major elbow surgery isn’t for the faint of heart for just about anyone. I believe that goes double for a major professional athlete like Roethlisberger who is being counted on to play the quarterback position at the same level he has for the vast-majority of his Hall of Fame career.

There have always been questions about Roethlisberger’s commitment. And now at the age of 38, there is suddenly a concern about his age. I believe he answered a lot of questions with one little video on Monday.

Can Roethlisberger bounce all the way back? Can he prove the doubters wrong? It certainly looks like he’s motivated to do so.

Speaking of beards and speaking of commitment, if Ben Roethlisberger does return to his old form in 2020, perhaps he can commit himself to growing a playoff beard next January.

I’m sure Mrs. Roethlisberger won’t mind.