I know what you’re going to say, “This article is clickbait.”
Actually, it would be clickbait if any Steelers writer suggested that Ben Roethlisberger, the team’s former starting quarterback of 18 years and a future Hall of Famer, should take the reins as offensive coordinator in place of Matt Canada.
I guess this is why no Steelers writer has ever been dumb enough to pen something so ludicrous (if you have, well, no offense).
A lot of fans have been “silly” enough to call for such a thing, however, and if you think I’m crafting some sort of strawman argument out of one or two comments from the Steelers universe, click on this link to the Freak Show, a popular Pittsburgh morning radio show where hosts Mikey and Big Bob read Facebook comments about a lot of things, but especially about recent Steelers games. Did you catch the part where someone called for Roethlisberger to be hired onto the coaching staff? Yeah, that happens every week during that segment.
If that’s not enough evidence for you, check out a recent episode of Roethlisberger’s Footbahlin Podcast. Roethlisberger’s guest for that week’s show, legendary Pittsburgh sports journalist and personality, Bob Pompeani, asked the two-time Super Bowl champion if he had any interest in coaching. When Roethlisberger said he did not, Pompeani looked straight into the camera and pleaded with people to stop calling into his own shows and suggesting that Roethlisberger should be the Steelers' next offensive coordinator.
Don’t you see how silly and, quite frankly, kindergarten that is when you see it in text? Ben Roethlisberger as the Steelers' next offensive coordinator? This man earned hundreds of millions of dollars during his playing career. Furthermore, he played the quarterback position better than few ever had before or after him.
Name any former NFL quarterbacks of Roethlisberger’s status who went into coaching after their careers were over. I’ll save you the trouble because I can only think of two off the top of my head: Norm Van Brocklin, who coached both the Vikings and Falcons between 1961-1974, and Bart Starr, who coached the Packers from 1975-1983.
I don’t know why Van Brocklin and Starr decided to get into coaching, other than it was a different time and maybe even NFL superstars and future Hall of Famers often had to consider their life’s work after football.
If there are other examples, they likely happened around the time that Van Brocklin and Starr tried it or many years before that.
Just picture Tom Brady becoming a head coach after he finally retires. Impossible, right? How about Peyton or Eli Manning if one or both ever get tired of doing television? Heck, try and imagine Tony Romo, a player who certainly will never be in the Hall of Fame, leaving the broadcast headsets behind in favor of a pair on an NFL sideline.
It simply isn’t going to happen...and at least three of those aforementioned quarterbacks are/were considered to be students of the game.
When did you ever hear that about Roethlisberger? Never. In fact, you often heard the exact opposite sentiments being expressed about his approach to and his preparation for his chosen profession.
Remember the days when fans used to complain about never witnessing Roethlisberger studying those old Polaroid pictures in between series?
Remember Roethlisberger’s gunslinger and schoolyard reputation?
In addition to quarterbacks, few former superstar athletes choose to get into coaching. Why? Money. They made too much as a player and wouldn’t want to take the pay cut as a coach. Why else? The major time commitment that is required in order to be in the coaching profession. It’s actually much more of a time commitment to coach than it is to play. What else? Oh yeah, most all-time superstars have gifts and talents that they can tap into which elevates them one or several levels above their peers. Yes, most also have a work ethic and drive, but they are also blessed with skills that simply can’t be taught or coached to far-less-talented players.
Finally, since I’ve asked you to picture a lot of things, picture Roethlisberger, who just retired after nearly two decades and has three young children, going to his wife and explaining to her that he wants to get back into football and commit way more time to it than he ever did as a player.
Now, I want you to imagine Roethlisberger spending 12-18 hours a day at the Steelers’ facilities breaking down offensive film and devising schemes and game plans that, not only play to his offense’s strengths, but also prey on his opponent's weaknesses.
I also want you to imagine Roethlisberger trying to deal with critical reporters and fans each and every week as the Steelers offensive coordinator.
All that is impossible to picture, right?
Absolutely. So, stop trying to speak it into existence.