Ben Roethlisberger is struggling mightily as the 2021 season has opened up. His decision-making has been off, he is injured, and most importantly, his mechanics are a mess, thus causing his accuracy to be spotty at best.
While he now has a hip injury on top of a left pectoral injury, Roethlisberger’s mechanics have largely gone out the window with the injuries. He noted on Wednesday that his lower-body mechanics have especially been a mess.
“As a quarterback, there’s so much involved in your lower body,” Roethlisberger said. “People probably think, as a quarterback or as a thrower, it’s how’s your arm doing. Your arm is honestly a small part compared to the whole package. It’s your core, it’s your lower body. I’ve got to find ways to be better with my lower body. Going back and watching the game, a lot of the throws that I missed were missed because my lower body wasn’t in sync: over-striding, not stepping towards my target, things that, mechanically, I know I can fix and need to fix. Obviously, when you’re dealing with pain, it’s harder to get through those things, but it’s nothing I can’t get through and I’ll work to get through.”
The lower-body part of the equation is something new this year. Roethlisberger has previously noted that he dropped his elbow, but after watching the tape, he now believes it was mostly all about his lower-body mechanics.
“Yeah, and honestly, going back through, I think it was more about the lower body than my elbow,” Roethlisberger said. “I think there is some compensating that happens when you can’t drive into a throw. But once again, I’m not going to make excuses. I’ve been doing this a long time and played through lower-body injuries before. That’s a thing I need to get better with.”
Fixing mechanics are incredibly hard and they are not often variable on a week-to-week basis. However, Roethlisberger is also not used to playing much as a pure pocket passer and had to rework his mechanics after having massive elbow surgery. All of these things contribute to this accuracy problem, and it is why his mechanics are so off.
“Ben’s taken it on himself, and we’ve got to continue to call good plays, put him in position to make plays, protect him and all those good things to help him,” offensive coordinator Matt Canada said. “But he’s well aware of it. He’s on top of it.”