Ben Roethlisberger admits to playing like ‘poo’ during Steelers’ losing streak
The Pittsburgh Steelers have dropped three straight games and have looked nothing like the team that opened up the season with 11 straight victories. Ben Roethlisberger knows he has played an integral role in the team’s overall struggles and understands how that has led to an outpouring of external criticism.
“I don’t blame them. When you play like poo, you deserve to be talked about like that,” Roethlisberger said Wednesday, per Brooke Pryor of ESPN. “That’s on me, I need to be better.”
The narrative surrounding Roethisberger’s subpar play during the Steelers’ concerning losing streak centers around the perception that the veteran signal-caller is well past his prime and perhaps should step aside. Big Ben pushed back at that notion Wednesday as well.
“I’ll just let media people tell me, I guess,” Roethlisberger said. “They seem to be coming up with all kinds of stories — not from my people or my camp.”
Concerns about Roethlisberger are not unwarranted amid this recent three-game stretch, not to mention a few games prior. The veteran quarterback has posted a sub-90 passer rating in five straight games, the longest such streak of his career.
In the Steelers’ three losses, Roethlisberger completed 57.8 percent of his passes with five touchdowns to four interceptions. Since Week 11, Roethlisberger has posted a 77.5 passer rating as well, which puts him 29th out of 34 QBs with two or more starts during that stretch.
Individual struggles aside, Roethlisberger also addressed Wednesday how the Steelers can get out of their late-season funk. Put simply: a veteran-laden roster laying it all out in a players-only meeting.
Roethlisberger asked everyone to raise hands in the room if they’d been in the playoffs, and only about half the hands were raised. Said he called the meeting for vets to talk with younger guys about how to handle the playoffs — something the Steelers haven’t been in since 2017. https://t.co/w7P6RCVdCb— Brooke Pryor (@bepryor) December 23, 2020
Speculation was swirling last week about Roethlisberger’s health in the wake of a concerning report about an undisclosed knee injury. He pushed back strongly on the reporting by calling it “one of those phony kind of things people make up.”
Regardless of whether the knee injury reports were 100% accurate or not, there’s no question Roethlisberger needs to improve his play dramatically down the stretch if the Steelers hope to make any noise in the postseason.