In the beginning of the preseason, there was nothing — then suddenly once the regular season exploded there was a Big Ben. Ok, but on the more serious side, the Steelers are running out of short-term options. But first, let’s back it up a bit.
On Sunday, Ben Roethlisberger was injured by messing up his elbow pretty bad. But sadly, the Steelers’ worst fear came true. Ben was declared out for the season because he needed immediate surgery on his elbow.
This is a really big bummer for the Steelers franchise. This is Ben’s 16th season as a Steeler and he has not had a season-ending injury before. He’s also getting older — he is currently 37 years old and is still playing — but is gradually losing his steam. It’s easy to tell by the way that he moves under pressure that all of the sacks and tackles have taken a serious toll on Ben. This injury certainly didn’t help anything.
Even though this loss was a dramatic blow to their current roster, there have been worse events that lead to the roster losing a good portion of its finesse. Both Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown left this team (Bell at the beginning of last season, Brown in free agency). Bell was at that point argued by many to be the best running back in the league. And Antonio Brown could catch and hold on to almost anything. They were practically the only ones that made that offense (with exception to Alejandro Villanueva). After losing all of these players, the Steelers management needs to realize that the ship to pick up a star-studded veteran is over for them. They lost their big three. Now they need to focus on the next draft. Especially since it seems that Bell, Brown, and Roethlisburger are getting towards the end of their careers.
Problem is, the Steelers just traded the Dolphins for defensive end Minkah Fitzpatrick for their 2020 first round pick. Now if they tank, it will be useless without a really good draft pick. Plus, that draft pick can be surrounded by other draft picks as well in the future and build a great chemistry.
I am personally curious to see what exact approach Mike Tomlin is going to take this season. Is he going to continue to try and get good fast without AB, Big Ben, or Bell? Or will he figure out that he is planning to start from the bottom up and rebuild…
By SteelCityHobbies – Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3491250