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Following their playoff loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger ended rumors that he was considering retirement, when he said that he planned on playing three to five more years. Three months later, the Steelers drafted Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph with the 76th pick in the third round. However, Roethlisberger took to the radio to vent some frustration.
The two time Super Bowl champion appeared on a local show in Pittsburgh said he was shocked when the team took Rudolph because he thought that the Steelers had a different plan. “I was surprised when they took a quarterback, “ said Roethlisberger, “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 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.”
He would follow this remark by saying that he’s not interested in mentoring Rudolph. “I don’t think I’ll have to since he said he doesn’t need me. If he asks me a question, I might just have to point to the playbook,” said Roethlisberger with frustration in his voice.
This comes on the heels of speculation that Roethlisberger was one of the reasons why former offensive coordinator Todd Haley was let go by the team. Haley was let go by the Steelers after six years, and was replaced by quarterback coach Randy Fichtner. It was reported that Haley and Roethlisberger had tension between them since the week 15 loss to the New England Patriots. Since his firing, Haley has since taken over the reigns of the Cleveland Browns as the offensive play caller and offensive coordinator.
With what appears to be at least a little dysfunction in Pittsburgh, it begs the question, will Big Ben really play another three to five years? After drafting two quarterbacks in the last two drafts, Rudolph this year and Josh Dobbs last year, the Steelers could be looking to the future. While maybe not in Roethlisberger’s best interest, it could be the right move.