The Pittsburgh Steelers have a logjam at quarterback, and longtime starter Ben Roethlisberger doesn’t seem too happy about it.
After drafting a quarterback in Josh Dobbs in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected another signal-caller in Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph in 2018. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh also has veteran Landry Jones as a backup.
Roethlisberger now is 36-years-old, and after his very public contemplation of retirement last offseason, he indicated to the Steelers before this year’s draft that he was committed to playing another 3-5 years, health permitting.
Speaking Friday on 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh, one week after Rudolph’s selection, Roethlisberger discussed the decision, and he made a few comments that seemed to indicate he wasn’t exactly pleased with the franchise’s decision.
“I was surprised when they took a quarterback because I thought that maybe in the third round, you know you can get some really good football players that can help this team now,” Roethlisberger said, via ESPN. “Nothing against Mason; I think he’s a great football player. I don’t know him personally, but I’m sure he’s a great kid. I just don’t know how backing up or being a third (string) — well, who knows where he’s going to fall on the depth chart — helps us win now.
“But, you know, that’s not my decision to make. That’s on the coaches and the GM and the owner and those kind of things. If they think he can help our team, so be it, but I was a little surprised.
Roethisberger also took a slight shot at a comment Rudolph made after being selected.
Rudolph was asked about learning how to make his way through the NFL from Roethlisberger, which Rudolph responded by saying it’s not up to Roethlisberger to teach him. While that is a comment that takes some accountability for Rudolph’s own path, Roethlisberger had a unique response to a question about mentoring Rudolph.
“I don’t think I’ll need to since he said he doesn’t need me,” Roethlisberger said. “If he asks me a question, I might just have to point to the playbook.”
Although Big Ben doesn’t sound happy with the decision, like he said, it’s not really up to him. Furthermore, developing a quarterback doesn’t happen overnight, so it doesn’t hurt the Steelers to prepare in advance.