While meeting with the media on Wednesday January 12, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger quipped: “We probably aren’t supposed to be here. We’re probably not a very good football team.” On Sunday night the Steelers didn’t look like a good football team, and certainly didn’t look like they belonged in the playoffs, absorbing a 42-21 defeat at the hands of the No. 2 seeded Kansas City Chiefs.
At his post-game press conference, the 18-year-veteran—having just finished the last game of his illustrious Hall of Fame worthy career—was asked straight away: “Has it hit you yet?”
“It hit me that we lost, and it stinks,” he said. “But when you get to the tournament, only one team is going to end the season the way they want to and we didn’t.”
Playing for the Steelers ‘Was Meant to Be’
Roethlisberger went to add that “it’s tough” to see things come to an end like they did on Sunday night. Then he pivoted and said: “God has blessed me with an ability to throw a football and has blessed me to play in the greatest city in Pittsburgh with the greatest fans and the greatest football team. It has been truly been a blessing and I am so thankful to Him for the opportunity He has given me.”
Roethlisberger also said he believed “it was meant to be that I was going to wear black & gold,” noting that he happened to wear a black suit with a gold tie on the day he was drafted.
“I’m just so thankful. I hope that I’ve been able to pass (on) the legacy of what it means to be a Steeler from Dan Rooney,” he concluded.
Ben Roethlisberger’s Plans for the Future
As for what he is going to do next, Roethlisberger said: “I am going to do everything I can to be the best husband and father I can be and try and expand God’s Kingdom.”
He went on to admit that he’s “nervous” about the next phase of his life, but he’s also excited about getting to go home to be a husband and father.
“As we move from one chapter to the next it’s going to be different, but it’s going to be fun and it’s going to be a new challenge and I’m looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, the Steelers organization also has new challenges to look forward to. That includes finding a new starting quarterback to replace Roethlisberger, while continuing to try to rebuild the offensive line and improve a defense that has repeatedly failed come playoff time.
As noted by Brooke Pryor of ESPN, the Steelers have allowed 42 or more points in their last three playoff games, including 45 points in the 2017 Divisional Playoff against the Jacksonville Jaguars and 48 in the 2020 Wild Card loss to the Cleveland Browns.
After the loss to the Chiefs, Steelers defensive captain Cameron Heyward acknowledged that it’s going to be different going into next season without a quarterback who is a proven winner.
“Ever since I got here (in 2011) we had a guy in ‘7’ who gave you a chance. When you started the season you said, ‘That’s a Super Bowl winning quarterback….’ To start next year, we’ll see. That’s front office. I know we’ve got great scouting, so we’ll see what happens.”
Indeed we will.
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