During media availability on Wednesday, January 12, Roethlisberger addressed the team’s upcoming matchup versus Kansas City. It wasn’t exactly evident what Roethlisberger was going for here — a joke, reverse psychology or just being absolutely truthful — but the veteran quarterback was rather descriptive of his mindset heading into Sunday night’s game versus the Chiefs.
Big Ben’s Motivational Speech for Steelers
“We probably aren’t supposed to be here. We’re probably not a very good football team,” Roethlisberger said. “Out of 14 teams that are in, I think we’re probably at No. 14. We’re double-digit underdogs in the playoffs. So let’s just go play and have fun and see what happens.”
Well, Roethlisberger isn’t exactly wrong in his comments — which is why they’re so perplexing. The Steelers were blasted by the Chiefs not too long ago in Week 16 when they lost 36-10. The score was every bit as bad as it looks as Pittsburgh fell into a 30-0 hole to begin the game.
The Steelers are 12.5-point underdogs on Caesars Sportsbook entering their playoff game. Roethlisberger didn’t exactly mince his words on just how favored Kansas City is.
“We’re probably 20-point underdogs, and we’re going to the No. 1 team — I know they’re not the No. 1 seed, but they’re the No. 1 team that’s won the AFC the last two years, arguably the best team in football,” Roethlisberger continued. “We don’t have a chance. So let’s just go in and play and have fun.”
The 39-year-old Roethlisberger isn’t exactly a stranger to the postseason. The 18-year veteran is starting the 23rd postseason game of his career (the sixth-most in NFL history and fourth among all quarterbacks). If one had to assume, Big Ben is probably trying to provide some motivation to his team, especially considering observers aren’t giving them a snowball’s chance to win.
As the Steelers defend the AFC champions looking to wash away the memories of just three weeks prior, we’ll see if Roethlisberger’s comments provide a spark.
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Steelers Targeting Ridder as Franchise QB?
With the Steelers looking to likely replace Roethlisberger heading into next season, one Bleacher Report writer believes Pittsburgh will target a quarterback in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft.
However, it’s not the University of Pittsburgh’s Kenny Pickett — it’s the University of Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder.
Via Brent Sobleski of Bleacher Report on Jan. 6:
“The Ben Roethlisberger era is all but done for the Pittsburgh Steelers,” said Sobleski. “The 39-year-old quarterback basically admitted as much before Monday’s contest with the Cleveland Browns and was treated as such during the game. So, Pittsburgh will be searching for a new starting quarterback for the first time since the 2004 offseason.
But the upcoming quarterback class isn’t very good. Still, Cincinnati’s Desmond Ridder is the best of the bunch and might be worth taking a shot on later in the first round.”
Ridder is coming off of a sensational season at Cincinnati. The senior led the Bearcats to their first-ever appearance in the College Football Playoff and threw 30 touchdowns versus just eight interceptions.
With the Steelers set to draft likely around No. 19 in the first round, Ridder becomes a realistic option for Pittsburgh — Pickett is projected to go at No. 11 by CBS Sports’ Ryan Wilson — as they brace for life in the post-Roethlisberger era.