During his press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was asked about how his arm and elbow are feeling—and why he didn’t throw the deep ball well last year.
“You know I had total reconstruction on my elbow. That might have something to do with it,” he began, before adding: “I’d like to wait to answer that question until we get more into the season and see how it feels. Right now, it feels really good.”
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But he admitted he might not have been all the way back from the surgery he had in 2019—a surgery and recovery that was well documented in the four-part miniseries titled ‘Bigger Than Ben,’ with the second episode a particularly revealing look into the medical world of Ben Roethlisberger.
“My arm was healed, obviously I played,” he noted. “[But] I think that anybody that has a big surgery—that first year back you’re back, but are you really back and feeling great?”
Sounds like Big Ben believes his arm might be better in 2021 than 2020, although it’s the health of the rest of his body that might be the biggest determining factor in how he performs during his 18th NFL season.
Ben Roethlisberger on Dwayne Haskins’ Mechanics
Yet Roethlisberger was more forthcoming when asked about how recently-acquired quarterback Dwayne Haskins has looked during Organized Team Activities (OTAs).
“I was just telling [quarterbacks] coach [Mike Sullivan] the other day that his release and throwing motion mechanics are some of the prettiest I’ve ever seen,” Roethlisberger said, per Noah Strackbein of Sports Illustrated. “I told him, ‘I wish I had that.’ Just everything he does. And he throws the ball, I joked he could throw it through a car wash and it wouldn’t get wet.”
Of course, Roethlisberger is selling himself short. Never mind the fact that Haskins is 15 years younger and has relatively little football mileage on his tires, just 22 games in college at Ohio State and another 16 in the pros.
Haskins, 24, a former first-round pick of the Washington Football Team, signed a one-year Future/Reserve contract with the Steelers in January after Washington gave up on him before the end of his second season in the league.
Haskins: ‘Blessed to be Here’
But he seems more than pleased about the opportunity to compete for a job in Pittsburgh, where Mason Rudolph and Josh Dobbs are penciled in as the second- and third-string QBs, with Rudolph having recently received a one-year contract extension that takes him through the 2022 season.
Washington selected Haskins with the No. 15 overall pick in 2019 after he passed for 4,831 yards and 50 touchdowns in 2018, which was good enough for him to finish third in the Heisman Trophy race that season.
If he makes enough of an impression that the Steelers want him back in 2022, they ought to be able to keep him for a modest cost, as Haskins will be a restricted free agent after his current agreement expires early next year.
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