Count former MVP and current NFL on CBS analyst Boomer Esiason as one who didn’t buy Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s hint at retirement following their AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots. Esiason joined The Jim Rome Show on Thursday and said that’s just Big Ben being Big Ben.
“My first initial reaction was eye roll. Like, come on man, stop,” Esiason said. “We know you’re a great player, and we know you’re good. And then there’s the reputation that Ben has at times. He can be somewhat of a drama queen and all that other stuff.”
Roethlisberger’s hint at retirement got Esiason thinking about the long season Mike Tomlin has had in Pittsburgh.
“At the end of the day, when you lose a game like they lost, and you’re frustrated, and you got a lot of young players,” Esiason said. “I remember after they lost to the Baltimore Ravens, Ben Roethlisberger came out and said you know, we need to button things up around here, we’re not disciplined enough. So to me, that was a direct shot at his teammates and his coach.
“Then Terry Bradshaw piles on with the whole Mike Tomlin is a cheerleader as a coach, then you have the Antonio Brown Facebook issue, and then of course, you have the game in which they get beat pretty good against the New England Patriots. And everybody comes out after that game, and basically said we were out coached, we were out prepared, we were not the better team. I mean, there’s a lot of stuff going on there in Pittsburgh, and I feel bad for Mike Tomlin, because he’s the one that ends up having to deal with all these things at the end of the year.”
Bottom line, Esiason believes Roethlisberger will be on the football field in 2017.
“At the end of the day, if he walks away, he’s got to write a $18 .6 million check back to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s not doing that, I can tell you that,” Esiason said. “He will be back next year, he will be better than ever. They will have Martavis Bryant back. They will be jacked up. They will have one of the best offensive teams. Todd Haley’s coming back. It will be good again and Pittsburgh will be right back in the mix.”