Ben Roethlisberger talked to Andrea Fappani for the first time since signing his new one-year contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He took on many topics including Maurkice Pouncey's retirement. Ben says it was one of the hardest things when he heard Pouncey was going to retire.
Ben Roethlisberger on Maurkice Pouncey Retiring: "We were together 11 years. Probably the greatest teammate I ever played with. I think he is the best that has ever played the position. We have such a chemistry, relationship. We are good friends. I was debating on whether I was going to come back this year, and once he retired, I was like I don't know if I want to play without him. I still have a love for it and gas left in the tank, so I want to give it another shot. It's not going to be the same without him. That is one of the biggest killers going into this year, not having that guy with me because he is the best."
That is a strong statement from Ben Roethlisberger saying he didn't know if he wanted to continue playing football after Pouncey retired. This is what I speculated as well when the announcement was made. It is hard seeing Ben Roethlisberger coming back after both Vance McDonald and Maurkice Pouncey have retired because those are two veterans he leans on. It is also very hard to see Ben come in with a new offensive coordinator. Matt Canda's offensive scheme is much different than Ben has played in so it will be interesting to see how they will work together going forward. Ben will no longer be able to just go rouge under Matt Canada.
Ben says he went on a trip with Brett Keisel in Wyoming and they both did talk about football. They also spoke about leadership. It looks like Ben Roethlisberger got some perspective from Brett Kiesel during their fishing trip on his future, and Maurkice Pouncey retiring.
Ben Roethlisberger: "We had guys on that team that were veteran leaders, that were the voices, that kept me from having to come right in and say this is my team, this is how I do it," said Roethlisberger. "I think that is one of the key things to being a leader, knowing who you have around you, knowing how to speak to guys, how to motivate guys, how to communicate to guys. I learned that as I got older. Each guy needs to be led, communicated differently. If I would have come in hollering like this is my team, I don't know what would have happened. They would have probably put me in my place quick because they were older. I didn't have to do that early on but learned how to do that in my career."
It sounds like Ben Roethlisberger has come a long way from maturing. It seems his elbow injury has made him realize he isn't invisible any longer and he needs to start enjoying the last days of his career. This is much different talk than what we have heard from Ben Roethlisberger in recent years. It sounds like a Ben Roethlisberger who knows his career is coming to an end and he wants to enjoy every moment of it while it lasts. He is ready to give it one more shot at a Super Bowl in 2021.