Sportress of Blogitude

Steelers GM Kevin Colbert expecting a ‘better Ben Roethlisberger’ in 2020

How Ben Roethlisberger performs in 2020 coming off elbow surgery is without question one of the biggest issues facing the Pittsburgh Steelers this offseason. By all accounts, the veteran quarterback has responded well to the procedure and is making encouraging strides in rehabilitation.

So much so, in fact, that Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert believes the elbow cleanup to Big Ben’s throwing arm could yield a career renaissance for the team’s longtime signal-caller.

Colbert made his optimistic remarks about Roethlisberger while chatting with the media Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine.

“But the thing that’s exciting about it is we might have a better Ben Roethlisberger coming out of this surgery,” Colbert said, as transcribed by Steelers Depot. “He sat for a year, didn’t have wear and tear on his body. Sure, he had a significant surgery but we’re optimistic he might be better.”

What’s more, Colbert suggested that Roethlisberger’s long layoff — he lasted until only Week 2 in 2019 before getting shut down — will only make the quarterback more eager to silence any doubters who suspect he cannot play at a high level in his age-38 season.

“I think he’ll come back hungrier,” Colbert said, per Aditi Kinkhabwala
of NFL Network
. “He wants to prove he’s not done.”

Roethlisberger recently expressed hope he’ll be fully cleared to participate in all football activities by early summer. That being said, Colbert made it clear the Steelers will exercise caution.

“With a guy like Ben you have to be careful and hold him back a little if he progresses a little too aggressively,” Colbert said. “Because we have to make sure he’s there for whenever the first game is.”

It of course remains to be seen whether elbow surgery serves as some kind of quasi-fountain of youth for Roethlisberger. Still, with the encouraging manner in which the Steelers rebounded last season to Big Ben’s absence, his presence should only bolster the odds of the Steelers returning to prominence in 2020, provided he’s healthy.