Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger came as close as he has all season to publicly admitting retirement is imminent in a December 30 press conference.
“I don’t ever speak in definites or guarantees,” Roethlisberger told Steelers media. “That’s just not what I’ve ever done or who I am. But looking at the bigger picture, I would say that all signs are pointing towards this could be it… In the grand scheme of things, in terms of regular seasons, signs are pointing that way this could be it.”
When asked if he’s letting it soak in — that these are the final days of his career — Roethlisberger would only say he wants to be remembered by Steelers fans as a guy who never quit.
“I’ve been a person that I hope that the fans will say that I never quit,” Roethlisberger said, getting visibly choked up. “I’ve given everything I have. I’m going to give everything I have to this game, this team, this season, and just really enjoy what I think, like I said, is the best fans and the best place to play in all of football.”
ALL the latest Steelers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Steelers newsletter here!
Roethlisberger returned for a final season to give the Pittsburgh Steelers a chance for another run at a Super Bowl, even with what he knew would be an inexperienced offensive front. It’s laughable now, of course, but the team wouldn’t have had a shot without him.
Roethlisberger has taken a licking this season behind a Swiss cheese offensive line and endured more sacks this season (35) than he has since 2013. Throughout his career, he’s has played through torn ligaments in his throwing shoulder, a broken hand, cracked ribs, a broken foot and a myriad of other ailments.
Through it all, Ben Roethlisberger never quit. He’s given everything he’s had to the Pittsburgh Steelers. We should all take a moment to be grateful for it.
Memorable Monday Night
January 3 will be a memorable Monday night indeed, especially for those at Heinz Field who will bear witness to Roethlisberger’s final home game.
Roethlisberger’s 25-2-1 record versus the Cleveland Browns is well known. Up until the embarrassing loss in the 2020 playoffs, he’d owned the Steelers rivals most of his career.
Interestingly, though, the two teams have never faced off on a Monday night in the Ben Roethlisberger era. The last time the Steelers and Browns met on a Monday Night Football was in 1985 (per Pro Football Reference).
Mark Malone, selected 28th overall by the Steelers in the 1980 NFL draft, was in his second consecutive season as a starter. He took the reins from Terry Bradshaw after his retirement in 1983.
It was a low-scoring 17-7 affair where Pittsburgh’s only score came in the fourth quarter. While the Browns will be fighting for their playoff lives just like the Steelers on Monday, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Pittsburgh takes a loss this time around. The team will rally around their future Hall of Fame quarterback and get the job done so that Roethlisberger can leave Heinz Field with his head held high.