The Ben Roethlisberger Revelations That Matter the Most

It was intriguing he considered un-retiring, but it's what he had to say about his successor and the Steelers' offensive coordinator that should be making headlines.
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Ben Roethlisberger made a splash this week when he confirmed a comeback last season was at least momentarily contemplated, but it’s what the Steelers’ still-retired QB had to say about Kenny Pickett and Matt Canada that should really resonate throughout Steeler Nation.

“Last year there were some truths to the ’Niners thing,” Roethlisberger told Mark Madden on 105.9 The X on Tuesday afternoon. “They called to gauge interest.”

The 49ers spent much of last season winning games and running out of healthy QBs.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t say there was a small part of me that was intrigued,” Roethlisberger continued. “I could still do it and prove to people that I could still play.

“At the end of the day, I just can’t see myself in anything but Black & Gold. At the end of the day it was the smallest little bleep in my heart to go play again.”

Roethlisberger’s revelation made local and national headlines, including this from ProFootballTalk on

“Ben Roethlisberger claims he was in discussions with 49ers during 2022 season.”

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Of much less interest, from a local and national interest standpoint, were Roethlisberger’s thoughts on Pickett and Canada.

When asked by Madden about Pickett, Roethlisberger got around to talking about the late-season, come-from-behind win in Baltimore, and what that late-game drive to beat the Ravens engineered by Pickett should mean to Pickett and to the Steelers.

“At Baltimore, (AFC) North (Division) opponent, and to do that on the last drive, that is big-time football,” Roethlisberger insisted.

He knows a little something about that.

“That is throwing stats out the window, to be able to kind of just play the game, play the game and then when it matters most, turn it on, lead your team down the field,” Roethlisberger maintained. “It wasn’t like he was handing off. He was making plays, finding guys.

“I think right now he can build on that and his confidence is through the roof.”

The same could and should be said about the Steelers’ confidence in Pickett.

They’ve found their next Big Ben.

That was confirmed on Jan. 1 in Baltimore.

As for Canada, Roethlisberger acknowledged the degree of difficulty most if not all of the fanbase remains seemingly determined to ignore while continuing to call for Canada’s head.

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“Honestly, if you look at what he did from the beginning of the year, with the new players, new quarterback, kind of a new (offensive) line, and the way that they, I would say struggled early but found a way to bounce back and finish extremely strong, I think he did a great job,” Roethlisberger emphasized.

“A great job” is overstating it.

But Roethlisberger, better than most, appreciates how challenging coordinating an offense can be with an offensive line in transition, a rookie taking his first NFL steps under center, a rookie at wide receiver (George Pickens) and second-year players at running back (Najee Harris) and tight end (Pat Freiermuth).

Canada’s first two seasons have been complicated by circumstances that somehow had to be worked around.

The bar should and will be raised significantly next season regarding what Canada and the offense will be expected to achieve.

But there’s every reason to believe Pickett’s second season has the potential to greatly exceed his first in terms of what’s asked of him and what the Steelers can glean from him, and that the offense will be more aggressive and more productive as a result.

That should be much more intriguing to Steelers fans than Roethlisberger almost coming back to play a few games for San Francisco, as fascinating a scenario as that might have been to watch unfold.

Categories: Mike Prisuta’s Sports Section