The Pittsburgh Steelers’ franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t quite sure what to say after he was asked if he felt he still had “it” after the Week-5 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars. He replied, “I don’t know, maybe I don’t have it anymore,” which ignited a media frenzy that’s still ongoing.
However, during his weekly Tuesday radio show on 93.7 The Fan, Roethlisberger was asked about his comments, and his response was that he feels he’s “still one of the best” to play the quarterback position.
Sunday was a bad day, and Roethlisberger owned his responsibility in the team’s big letdown. But while some outlets are bemoaning Roethlisberger and his comments about being one of the best, what did you expect him to say?
“No, I don’t think I’m that good anymore.”
If you’ve followed No. 7 throughout his 14-year career, you know quite well those words would never come out of his mouth—nor should they. Roethlisberger should still be confident in his abilities because, if he’s not at the top of his game, the Steelers’ aspirations for a Super Bowl in 2017 might be nothing more than a pipe dream.
Time to check in on the Steelers news outside the walls of BTSC:
Upon further review, Ben Roethlisberger not only thinks he still has it, he’s as confident as ever in his quarterbacking skills.
On his 93.7 FM radio segment Tuesday, Roethlisberger backtracked from his “maybe I don't have it anymore” proclamation, saying his words were spoken out of frustration from throwing a career-high five interceptions in the Steelers' 30-9 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars at Heinz Field.
The defeat dropped the Steelers to 3-2 heading into their road game on Sunday with 5-0 Kansas City, the NFL's only remaining unbeaten team.
“You wake up Monday morning, and you realize I'm still one of the best in the world at doing what I do,” Roethlisberger said. “I'm going to have that confidence when I go out there Wednesday to practice and Sunday when we go to Kansas City.”
“I have the belief that I'm one of the best that's ever done it and the best that's ever played this position. You have to have that confidence, and that's what I'm going to have.”
The 35-year-old Roethlisberger will enter the pivotal game in Kansas City as the NFL's 28th-rated passer, posting career lows in yards per attempt and yards per completion. He’s also coming off one of the worst games of his 14-year career.
The Jaguars returned two interceptions for touchdowns, turning a 9-7 deficit into a 20-9 advantage. Four of Roethlisberger's interceptions were thrown in the second half.
It was also the first time Roethlisberger didn't throw a touchdown pass in 46 home games, and it was the first time in nearly eight years that the Steelers didn't score at least one touchdown in a home game.
“I know Ben. I've known Ben 11 years,” coach Mike Tomlin said. “I know the competitor he is. I know his level of confidence. What he says after a five-interception performance, moments after a five-interception performance, probably is not reflective of who he is and how he feels.
Coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday there was nothing wrong with the Steelers' game plan against the Jacksonville Jaguars until quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw two interceptions in the third quarter that turned the tide in a 30-9 loss.
The Steelers were leading 9-7 when Roethlisberger threw interceptions that linebacker Telvin Smith and safety Barry Church returned for scores, giving the Jaguars a 20-9 advantage with 3 minutes, 59 seconds left in the quarter.
“The bomb went off on us in the third quarter,” Tomlin said. “We threw a couple of pick-sixes, so the stats aren't going to reflect our plan or our intentions.”
Until Smith's interception return, running back Le'Veon Bell had 12 carries for 49 yards. Roethlisberger had attempted 32 passes, completing 20 for 193 yards.
The pass-heavy approach seemed skewed considering the Jaguars had the NFL's best pass defense and worst run defense.
“We weren't as balanced as we would like,” Tomlin said. “If you look at our stats at halftime, they resemble what we anticipated. Our rush totals were very similar to Jacksonville's rush totals at halftime. We hadn't thrown two pick-sixes at halftime, so that's just the nature of ball.”
“You're always going to have questions in that area. Feature runners like Le'Veon Bell, you're always going to have questions in that area. When you're winning, you run the ball over the last quarter and a half of football games.”
Bell finished with 15 carries, and Roethlisberger had 55 attempts.
Tomlin also defended the play-calling inside the red zone. On the first drive of the third quarter, the Steelers had first-and-goal at the 5. Roethlisberger threw incomplete on first down, completed a 3-yard pass to Bell on second down and threw incomplete to Antonio Brown in the corner of the end zone on third down.
Tomlin noted that the Steelers ran on first and second down on their first trip into the red zone.
“We ended up in third-and-8, and they dropped eight guys (in coverage) and there was nowhere to throw the ball,” he said. “There are a lot of things that go on during the course of football games. No disrespect if I don't discuss the minutia with you all. I just don't have enough time in the day to explain my reasoning sometimes.”
Tomlin said he didn't need any help from the coaching booth when he decided to throw the challenge flag twice against Jacksonville. The Steelers lost both challenges, one on a line-of-scrimmage ruling and another on an incomplete pass to Brown.
Tomlin said he rarely challenges the spot of a ball, but he thought he had a good view of the play.
“I was standing on the line,” he said. “I didn't think he got the line to gain. I was extremely confident in it. I challenged it. I didn't win the challenge. I challenged it again under the same circumstances, based on what I saw.”