Ben Roethlisberger did suggest retirement is a possibility. To reset, he went on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, and wouldn’t say whether or not he’d return next season.
I can see why he’d feel that way. He’s going to be 35 soon. And while they had an excellent season, getting back to the AFC title game, it ended horribly. He’s not happy with the way it played out and he wants to make sure everyone knows about it. That’s what that’s about. Because he’s not retiring. Not now.
When I hear and see what he’s saying, I don’t see a guy who’s thinking about retiring; I see a guy who’s mad at some of his teammates and his coaches. He said as much when he said “we were outplayed and outcoached.”
That line essentially covers everything. We didn’t play as well as we could have. And the coaches didn’t do enough to prepare us. And he’s right.
And there is plenty of blame to go around. Just as long as he looks in the mirror as well.
And while he didn’t say, it’s not much of a leap to figure he’s not happy with his offensive coordinator Todd Haley. They had a stretch of 19 consecutive possessions against the Chiefs and Patriots, where they didn’t have a T.D. pass. How the hell is that possible with Roethlisberger at Qb, Antonio Brown at wide receiver, Le’Veon Bell catching passes out of the backfield, and a very good offensive line? Haley has to wear that. And you know that’s part of the reason Roethlisberger is so bent.
And when he says we were outcoached, he’s obviously not just talking about his offensive coordinator. He probably wants to know why defensively, they couldn’t get any pressure on Tom Brady, and played so passively when Brady was shredding them. Just like he probably wants to know why Tomlin doesn’t or hasn’t reigned in Antonio Brown.
If I were Roethlisberger, I’d probably feel the same way.
Notice, you weren’t hearing any of this when they were ripping off 9 wins in a row and were the hottest team in the league. Maybe all of this was there the entire time. But it wasn’t an issue then because winning is the ultimate deodorant. But it’s obviously an issue now.
And I don’t have a problem with Roethlisberger pointing the finger at so many people as long as he looks in the mirror himself. He’s not without blame. He has to own a chunk of this too. He did not have a typical Ben Roethlisberger year. And he has to find a way to play through some of this stuff he seems to be complaining about.
But in terms of him retiring, I don’t see that at all. I just see an extremely frustrated guy, coming off an extremely disappointing loss saying, this is why it happened, this is what’s wrong and it has to be fixed. I see a guy sending the team a message. The message being, we jacked it up and now we have to make sure it doesn’t happen again; not I’m not playing next year.