Updated: Jun 1, 2021
(Photo by Benjamin Solomon/Getty Images)
Some believe that Ben Roethlisberger's arm will be stronger in his second year of coming off major elbow surgery, and the 39-year-old quarterback mentioned his elbow reconstruction to the media today when asked about his deep ball that was off last season.
"You know I had total reconstruction on my elbow. That might have something to do with it. But no excuses," Roethlisberger said via Brooke Pryor of ESPN.
Almost two years removed from his elbow surgery, Roethlisberger says he's having no issues with his arm.
"My arm feels great, though," Roethlisberger said. "I’d like to wait until we get into more of the season and see how it feels. Right now it feels really good. My arm was healed. I played. But I think anybody that has a major surgery, it almost takes that first year back. It’s still, you’re back, but are you really back? That’s why I want to reserve the answer until we get into the season a little bit to let you know how my arm feels, even compared to last year."
Roethlisberger's deep ball was not up to par in 2020 and he averaged just 6.3 yards per pass attempt, the lowest of his career when playing more than two games. He also struggled down the stretch last season, along with the rest of the team, as they lost five of their last six games of the season, including the embarrassing loss to the Browns in the wild-card game.
In the first nine games, Roethlisberger had a 22-4 touchdown-interception ratio and had a quarterback rating over 100 seven times. In his last seven games of the season (including the playoff loss), Roethlisberger had a 15-10 touchdown-interception ratio and had a quarterback rating over 100 just once.