clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

If Ben Roethlisberger has time to throw, the Steelers will be pushing the ball deep down the field

In the “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” series, we break down situations which could take place for the Steelers in 2021.

NFL: DEC 27 Colts at Steelers Photo by Jeffrey Brown/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Steelers are preparing for the 2021 regular season, but before the real games begin, the team has to head to training camp to fine tune their skills. As we here at BTSC prepare you for the start of camp, we give you a series called “30 Scenarios in 30 Days” which gives you a Steelers scenario every day leading up to the start of camp.

It is simple how it works. We provide you the scenario, reasons why it will or won’t happen, and then our prediction for what we think will take place.

Let’s get to the scenario...

Scenario: If Ben Roethlisberger has time to throw, the Steelers will be pushing the ball deep down the field

Starts at running back:

2020: 108 passes, 12 TDs
2019: 98 plays, 6 TDs
2018: 121 plays, 13 TDs
2017: 131 plays, 8 TDs

Why it will happen: When it came to the Steelers deep passing game in 2020, it wasn’t about the receivers. While some of the national media tried to say Roethlisberger couldn’t physically throw the ball deep, this wasn’t the case either. If the second half of the Colts game showed Steelers’ fans anything, it was when Roethlisberger had the time to throw he was willing and able to push the ball down the field. If he’s given time to throw again in 2021, the gunslinger is going to do it.

Why it won’t happen: Ben Roethlisberger is 39 years old and doesn’t have to constantly throw the ball deep. With the Steelers hoping to revive their rushing attack, there will be less emphasis on Roethlisberger. It’s not that the Steelers will take the occasional deep shot, but don’t look for them to break out into throwing the ball deep down the field constantly. Plus, some feel Ben can’t throw more than 15 yards.

Prediction: The key to this scenario is “if Ben Roethlisberger has time to throw.” I think this will be the ultimate test. When the Steelers had multiple injuries on the offensive line later in the season, the dink-and-dunk passing game emerged more. I don’t believe the Steelers shied away from throwing the ball deep in certain circumstances because they didn’t want to, it’s that they simply didn’t have time. And no, it’s not that Big Ben can’t do it. So I believe the Steelers will push the ball down the field if the offensive line can protect Ben Roethlisberger. But that is ultimately the big “if.”

Check out yesterday’s ‘30 Scenarios in 30 Days’ prediction:

Be sure to stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news and notes surrounding the black and gold as they prepare for the 2021 regular season.