Kevin Colbert says Ben Roethlisberger is 'capable' of playing under center
(Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert was on 93.7 The Fan this morning with Ron Cook and Joe Starkey to talk about the Steelers 2021 draft class and this upcoming season. One of the topics that the AM team asked Colbert about was the future of 39-year-old quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and how he'll do in his 18th season with the Steelers.
“We do know that he wants to be here and he wants to try to win a Super Bowl and he’s obviously had discussions not only with Coach Tomlin, I know he met with Coach Canada and everybody’s comfortable with Ben being our guy as we move into it,” Colbert said.
Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus posted an interesting graphic on Twitter on Tuesday of how the Steelers drastically don't use play-action compared to the rest of the league.
The reason for the lack of play-action is a combination of the Steelers' running game being horrendous the last three years and Ben Roethlisberger not really being fond of turning his back to the defense. He would rather be in the shotgun to have a better read at the coverages.
According to Michael Lombardi of The Athletic, Roethlisberger last season was in the shotgun on 573 of his 608 passes. The Steelers also ran a lot of empty sets with four wide receivers on the field in 2020 and Roethlisberger attempted only 34 passes with two receivers on the field last season, per Lombardi.
"(Roethlisberger) hates playing under center, never wanting to turn his back to the defense, thus eliminating the play-action passes that might help the Steelers’ offense make chunk plays down the field," Lombardi wrote.
Despite what Lombardi said, Colbert doesn't see Roethlisberger lining up under center as an issue for the future Hall of Famer.
“Ben’s capable of playing under center, he’s certainly capable of playing from the shotgun and we’ll see how it all evolves because again he’ll have a couple new offensive lineman in from of him, Colbert said. "He’ll have a different tight end in the mix, he’s got a different runner in the mix, the receivers as we sit here today are the same."