The same issues that plagued Roethlisberger last year during Pittsburgh’s collapse in the second half of the season have not gone away through two games in 2021. The Steelers have limped to a 1-1 start and the offense has not looked good.
The Steelers are struggling to throw downfield or mount much of a running game. When Roethlisberger isn’t getting rid of the ball almost immediately, he’s taking hits. He’s playing through a pectoral injury now and a source who watched him practice tells La Canfora it’s obvious he’s not 100 percent.
While the Steelers promoted OC Matt Canada to try and fix things, La Canfora says the 39-year-old Roethlisberger’s lack of mobility is hurting the scheme. Other observers from AFC teams have said as much to him as well.
“The ball gets out in two seconds, or he gets hit. And he can’t shake ’em off like he used to. I don’t think they can get him through the season like this,” one AFC executive said.
Roethlisberger, 39, is a former first-round pick of the Steelers back in 2004. He finalized a three-year, $68 million contract extension in 2020 that included a $37.5 million signing bonus.
Roethlisberger was owed $19 million for the 2021 season when he agreed to a $5 million pay cut that also made 2021 the final year of his deal.
In 2021, Roethlisberger has appeared in two games for the Steelers and completed 45-72 of his passes (62.5 percent) for 483 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.