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The post-Ben Roethlisberger era won’t be pretty for the Pittsburgh Steelers

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While some fans think the Big Ben era is over, they might want to re-think what will come when his time really is up.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

If you have spent any amount of time on social media following the Steelers’ 30-9 defeat to the Jaguars in Week 5, you’ve likely seen Ben Roethlisberger’s 5 interception day be the focus of conversations.

Throughout those conversations, you probably saw more than one person suggest No. 7 is done, and the Steelers should start to look elsewhere for a quarterback.

While most would agree the Steelers will be looking for their future quarterback in the NFL Draft, some have even talked about potential trade partners for a signal caller like Kirk Cousins, who is playing under the franchise tag this year, or even Alex Smith, who is in the final year of his contract with the Chiefs.

Either way, many have written off Roethlisberger as old, washed up and done.

After his outing on Sunday, it is hard to disagree with this sentiment, but fans shouldn’t be so quick to just move on to the next guy in line. After all, do we need a history lesson of the pre-Big Ben quarterback carousel in Pittsburgh?

Let’s go through some names, shall we?

Since 1991, here are the names of quarterbacks who have started at least 3 games for the black-and-gold:

Neil O’Donnell
Bubby Brister
Kordell Stewart
Mike Tomczak
Kent Graham
Tommy Maddox
Michael Vick

Granted, these quarterbacks were all under the Bill Cowher regime, a man who only drafted Kordell “Slash” Stewart following the team’s trip to Super Bowl XXX, otherwise relied on journeyman quarterbacks to bridge the gap until he selected Ben Roethlisberger in the first round of the 2004 NFL Draft.

While there were some winning seasons with those quarterbacks at the helm, Roethlisberger was the first franchise quarterback the organization has seen since Terry Bradshaw was the man winning 4 Super Bowls in 6 seasons. Plain and simple, there is no guarantee the team finds the next franchise quarterback with ease.

Just take a look at some of the quarterbacks who have been selected high in the NFL Draft, only to not live up to the standards and ultimately fizz out.

Johnny Manziel
EJ Manuel
Robert Griffin III
Brandon Weeden
Jake Locker
Blaine Gabbert
Christian Ponder
Mark Sanchez
Josh Freeman

I think you get the picture, but all of these players were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft, and have been relegated to back up duties, or are out of the league all together. In other words, nothing is certain when it comes to adding a quarterback to help an extremely talented team be a Super Bowl contender.

Steelers fans have been ridiculously lucky since 2004 when the Big Ben era started officially in a hurricane in Miami, and although the era will eventually end at some point, fans shouldn’t be pushing him out the door. Not without a chance to resurrect his play, this season and this team.