Despite not having played football since the middle of September, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is still taking hits.
The latest came not from an opposing defensive lineman, but from Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, who had some harsh criticism of Roethlisberger’s physical fitness Tuesday in The Athletic. Glazer’s comments were in response to a mailbag question asking if the Steelers will be improved in 2020, even if Roethlisberger were to be just 85% of the player he was prior to his injury.
“First of all, let’s not put the words fitness and Ben Roethlisberger together, they are allergic to each other,” Glazer said. “There is no fitness in Ben Roethlisberger. His idea of a great off-season workout program is doing one yoga session, playing golf, and drinking some beer.”
Glazer isn’t the first media member to take a shot at Roethlisberger’s physique, and he likely won’t be the last. Former NFL quarterback and radio host Sean Salisbury had similar criticisms of Roethlisberger on his podcast back in 2017, saying he needed to “make the commitment to getting in shape.”
Roethlisberger responded to those remarks by leading the NFL with 5,129 passing yards the following season. He also led the league in completions and attempts. The truth is, Roethlisberger’s level of fitness has never been a problem when it comes to his performance on the field.
Still, the 16-year veteran has been adamant about the quality of his health and conditioning for a while now. Heading into his productive 2018 campaign, Roethlisberger told Ed Bouchette, then of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that he was in the best shape of his career heading into training camp. A little over a month ago, Roethlisberger expressed to Ron Cook of the Post-Gazette that he feels even better now heading into year 17.
“I’ve heard people say I’m fat, and that just blows my mind,” Roethlisberger said. “I’m lighter and in better shape than I was in either of the past two years. … I haven’t stopped working out. I normally don’t work out in the offseason, but I’ve been doing everything five days a week with my trainer. Cardio twice a week. Legs twice a week. Upper body twice a week.”
That all sounds much more strenuous than once-a-week yoga and golf outings. To be fair, Glazer did admit Roethlisberger has had success doing it his way, whichever way that is.
“What Mike Tomlin and Roethlisberger have done there has been incredible,” Glazer conceded.
That’s the thing. Roethlisberger has been the same player for 16 season. He isn’t changing for his 17th. Two Super Bowls, six Pro Bowls and 363 touchdown passes later, it has worked out pretty well for him and the Steelers.
Ben Roethlisberger Doesn’t Think the Steelers Are Throwing Too Much
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger explains how he deals with the uncertainty each week during this strange 2020 season. His comments were made prior to his team’s game against Baltimore being moved from Thursday night to Sunday afternoon due to safety concerns related to COVID-19.
The veteran quarterback also responded to questions about how many pass attempts he’s had each week and if it’s a concern moving forward.
Steelers: No Fans for Rescheduled Game vs. Ravens on Sunday
There will be no fans in attendance when the Pittsburgh Steelers host the Baltimore Ravens in their rescheduled game at Heinz Field this Sunday, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon.
The team had expected to host 5,500 fans at the game when it was originally expected to be held on Thursday evening, but that game was supposed to be the last with with any significant complement of fans for the time being.
On Monday, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced an amended COVID-19 mitigation protocol that reduced the capacity for outdoor venues to a maximum of 2,500. With that limit, which includes players, staff and families, the Steelers have elected to not host any additional fans through single-game ticket sales.
“We are disappointed for those fans who had planned on attending Thursday night’s game,” team spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement. “Our ticked office will communicate soon with those fans who purchased tickets from us regarding credits and refunds.”
Steelers, Ravens to Kick Off at 1:15 p.m. Sunday on NBC
The Steelers re-scheduled game with the Baltimore Ravens will kick off at 1:15 p.m. on Sunday and be broadcast nationally on NBC.
The slightly unusual schedule time will allow the game to still be broadcast nationally on NBC during the early afternoon broadcast window, so out-of-town Steelers fans will still be able to tune in.
The Steelers were originally scheduled to be broadcast on NBC on Thanksgiving, so the change will allow the network to retain the game, which is sure to be a well-viewed one with the 10-0 Steelers hosting their rivals and reigning NFL MVL Lamar Jackson.
It’s still unclear what the situation will be with fans at Heinz Field on Sunday. The Steelers had been expecting 5,500 fans for the game, but that was expected to be the last game with fans at home for the time being, as Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has modified his COVID-19 mitigation plan and there is a new maximum capacity of 2,500 at the venue.