Steelers receivers have message for Ben Roethlisberger
Sunday night’s 42-21 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs is expected to mark the end of Ben Roethlisberger’s playing career. But if his Steelers wide receivers had their way, Roethlisberger would be back for more.
JuJu Smith-Schuster returned from his shoulder injury to suit up for the playoffs. He had five catches for 26 yards on eight targets. Smith-Schuster said after the game that his chemistry with Roethlisberger instantly returned.
Smith-Schuster also was highly complimentary of the 39-year-old quarterback. Smith-Schuster said Roethlisberger still has it, and that he wants his teammate to return next season.
JuJu Smith-Schuster said there was “no hesitation” about playing tonight and being back out there with “7.”
— KimberlEY A. Martin (@ByKimberleyA) January 17, 2022
Smith-Schuster added that all the receivers want Roethlisberger back.
JuJu Smith-Schuster on what makes Roethlisberger special: "When he's playing backyard football, it's unbelievable … I think Ben's still got it."
Says he and all the receivers want Ben back.
— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) January 17, 2022
Those watching know that this version of Roethlisberger is not the same one we saw during his better years. He can still get the job done to an extent, but he can’t take the Steelers as far as they want to go.
But the comment from Smith-Schuster makes sense. The Steelers have seen in recent years what life is like under the likes of Mason Rudolph, Duck Hodges, and Josh Dobbs. Roethlisberger isn’t what he used to be, but the dropoff between him and the backups is drastic. Pittsburgh’s receivers know how lucky they are to have a franchise quarterback. Unfortunately for them, those days are ending, unless the Steelers find a new quality QB fast.
Photo: Dec 19, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) warms up before the game against the Tennessee Titans at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports