The time is ticking on Big Ben

The weight of the 2019-20 season rests on Roethlisberger's shoulders.

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The time is ticking on Big Ben

Will the clock strike midnight on Big Ben’s career, or are we experiencing the golden hour of Roethlisberger’s ability to lead a team to success?

Will the clock strike midnight on Big Ben’s career, or are we experiencing the golden hour of Roethlisberger’s ability to lead a team to success?

Will the clock strike midnight on Big Ben’s career, or are we experiencing the golden hour of Roethlisberger’s ability to lead a team to success?

Will the clock strike midnight on Big Ben’s career, or are we experiencing the golden hour of Roethlisberger’s ability to lead a team to success?

Wyatt Harris, Staff Writer

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As one of the world’s most dedicated and emotionally invested Steelers fans in the world, I have been nothing if not disappointed in the lack of the success my team has had in the past five years. Despite the winning records, division championships, and conference championship appearances, I believe that as an organization, we have sorely underachieved. Over the past five years we have had all generational talent at wide receiver with Antonio Brown and the emerging Juju Smith-Schuster as well as at running back with Le’Veon Bell, and finally at the helm, a future hall of famer in Ben Roethlisberger at quarterback. When you pair this with a solid offensive line, great ownership, and one of the premier coaches in football, it becomes a mystery as to how we have not won a Super Bowl in the last five years.

This past offseason it has become increasingly clear that the Steelers organization as a whole has been running in disarray these past few years and a large reason for our lack of success is the disfunction that has clouded our organization. Star running back Le’Veon Bell has been holding out for a mega-contract extension for the past few years and in the past year instead of playing through a franchise tag, he sat out the entire season and has just recently signed with the Jets. This whole saga largely falls on the ownership’s reluctancy to offer guaranteed money to an older running back who has had disciplinary issues in the past and Bell’s reluctance to sign a contract that didn’t offer guaranteed millions. Furthermore, Antonio Brown has frequently displayed several emotional outbursts and misconduct that has been detrimental to the team and to the locker room. Due to irreconcilable differences the Steelers have had to part ways with Brown. Finally, Roethlisberger himself has been an issue, making questionable decisions on the playing field as well as using fellow teammates as scapegoats for losses in big games. This has been both disruptive on and off the field and has ruptured his reputation as the leader of the Steelers’ offense.

Now that the rest of the stars are gone, the weight of the team’s success rests on Ben’s shoulders. The Steelers still have a top five roster in the AFC and with a bounty of draft picks in this year’s draft, including the 3rd and 6th round pick they acquired in the trade for Antonio Brown, they are poised to improve in their weakest areas on the defense. The Steelers thrive on being underdogs as they play to their competition so if Ben wants to turn his reputation around, he needs to have a successful winning season. Hopefully with new, spry talent along with the reduction of drama in the locker room, Ben should be poised to have a monster season that translates his usual monstrous stats into wins and hopefully the playoffs.

The Steelers are not a clear Super Bowl favorite this year. The Chiefs, Chargers, Patriots, and Colts all have more talented rosters with greater winning cultures. However, they should still perform highly and hopefully with any luck sneak out with a win in the playoffs. It has been tough being a disappointed Steelers’ fan over the past few years, but I am looking forward to the next era and I hope Roethlisberger is too.

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