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Ben on his second offseason removed from elbow surgery: 'Man, maybe I wasn’t as good as I feel now'

(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated was at the Steelers' training camp practices this weekend at the UPMC Rooney Sports Complex, and he got the chance to speak with Ben Roethlisberger in a one-on-one interview.

Roethlisberger, 39, is heading into his 18th season, and in September he'll be two years removed from major elbow surgery, which is significant. Roethlisberger told the media last week that his arm feels "fresher" because he didn't have to throw as many passes this offseason compared to last year when he was rehabbing.

“I feel great,” Roethlisberger told Breer. “You go two years ago, only playing a couple games, having elbow surgery, last year’s your first year back from a major surgery. I think if you ask anybody that’s had a major surgery, their first year back, no matter how far removed from it, it’s always a re-figure out, and getting to a comfort level with that part of your body. For me to feel more back to normal, I’m excited for that.

“It’s always interesting, because when asked last year how I felt, I would tell you I felt great. But then, one year removed, I look back on it, and I’m like, 'Man, maybe I wasn’t as good as I feel now.'”

Roethlisberger's deep ball was subpar last year and he averaged just 6.3 yards per pass attempt, which was the lowest figure of his career minus the 2019 season when he played in just two games. As the season progressed, Roethlisberger's deep ball got even worse and he admitted during minicamp that he felt "worn down" at the end of last year. Hopefully, with Roethlisberger's right arm having more rest this offseason, it will do wonders for him and the Steelers in 2021.

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