Ben Roethlisberger addresses retirement chatter following brutal loss
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ quest for a seventh Super Bowl championship will have to wait until next season, at the earliest.
It’s going to be a long offseason for Steelers fans after a lion-hearted comeback attempt came up short in a 45-42 loss in the AFC Divisional Playoff loss to the upstart Jacksonville Jaguars.
For many Steelers fans, however, once the sting of the playoff loss wears off, they’ll be wondering if the push for the franchise’s seventh Lombardi trophy will happen with longtime starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
After all, Roethlisberger will be a ripe 36 years old by the time next season starts.
And, love him or hate him, his list of accomplishments all but guarantees him a bust in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as soon as he’s eligible.
Retirement chatter is nothing new for Roethlisberger.
At the conclusion of last season, Roethlisberger made headlines by publicly contemplating retirement.
It doesn’t look like there’ll be any similar drama.
As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger indicated after Sunday’s loss that he’ll return for the 2018 NFL season, which will be his 15th.
“I plan on coming back next year,” Roethlisberger said after the game, per the Post-Gazette’s Ron Cook.
Roethlisberger also alluded to the status of his stellar offensive linemen, which seemed to play a role in his retirement decision.
“I don’t know who’s coming back, but I know the guys up front are and that makes it good for me. So I look forward to next year with these guys,” Roethlisberger said when asked by the NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala.
Of note, it’ll be interesting to see if Roethlisberger changes his tune in the coming days and weeks.
He had just finished an emotional game that saw an epic comeback fall short.
And despite his 469 passing yards and five touchdowns, Roethlisberger was dwelling on an interception and lost fumble that led to 14 points for the Jaguars.
“It doesn’t matter when you give them 14 more,” he said after the game. “That’s on me. I’ll take full blame for those points and that loss because you can’t put your defense in that situation.”
Despite his age, Roethlisberger had a stellar season, throwing for 4,251 passing yards and 28 touchdowns. With most of his skill position players returning, with the possible exception of Le’Veon Bell due to contractual issues, it’ll be interesting to see if the Steelers quarterback can continue to thrive at age 36.
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