Ben Roethlisberger has hinted at an imminent retirement over the past few years, but has now informed the Pittsburgh Steelers he wants to play for another three to five seasons. And with that in mind, he reportedly has zero interest in mentoring the team’s newly-drafted young quarterback, Mason Rudolph.
The Steelers took Rudolph with the 76th pick in this year’s draft and that selection surprised Roethlisberger. To Big Ben, a team in Super Bowl contention spending a third-round pick on the future was an odd choice.
Here’s what he had to say to 93.7 The Fan in Pittsburgh on Friday:
“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. 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.”
When asked about mentoring the young rookie, Roethlisberger seemed uninterested:
“I don’t think I’ll need to since he said he doesn’t need me. If he asks me a question, I might just have to point to the playbook.”
The 36-year-old quarterback apparently informed team management he planned on playing a few more years early in the offseason. He felt that would help them plan things out better.
This was the second draft in a row the Steelers took a quarterback. In 2017 they selected Tennessee signal-caller Josh Dobbs in the fourth round.
We’ll see how this plays out, but it’s clear the front office didn’t inform Roethlisberger they planned on selecting another quarterback that early. He doesn’t seem happy about it.