Ben Roethlisberger scared Steeler Nation on Tuesday, hinting at retirement this offseason and perhaps venting some frustration about his teammates. On the one hand, you would think Roethlisberger would be happy with an 11-5 season in which the Steelers won the AFC North, won nine straight games and advanced to the AFC Championship. On the other hand, they scored just two touchdowns in their final two playoff games and were embarrassed in New England, trailing 36-9 and ultimately losing 36-17.
“He ended the season feeling like some of their players didn’t give everything they had,” Pittsburgh’s The Fan host Andrew Fillipponi said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “When he said that the moment was too big for some of those young guys, I think that was a shot at their preparedness for the game, and I also felt like that was a way of blasting the coaches. I took those comments as you didn’t get these guys ready to play in this game. They went into this lion’s den that is New England and that they were shy or too tentative and they got scared. I do think that’s a critique of (Mike Tomlin). I think Ben feels like they underachieved this year.”
Fillipponi believes that Heath Miller retiring last year has affected Roethlisberger a great deal. Both are 34.
“I think that left an impression on Ben,” Fillipponi said. “He mentioned that today – leaving the game before he needs to be carted off the team. His commitment to the team over the next three years, he’ll play. He’s got too much respect for the Rooney family, I think he’s got too much pride, and I think he’s also got too much incentive. He’s not going to walk away form that money. But I also think what he learned today, if we didn’t already know this about Ben, is he’s not going to be Tom Brady. He’s not going to be out there in his 40s still trying to play. He’s not going to be Favre trying to hold on to his dying breath. He’s going to be a guy that makes his almost $200 million playing football and gets out when he still has his faculties in check. I think he’ll go season-by-season. I think if next year he suffers a big injury, I think he might walk away from the game. I think what he did today was set everybody up for the next three years. Nothing happened this year that would cause him to retire this offseason, but if you think he’s going to play until he’s 40, I think you’re wrong.”