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Ben Roethlisberger’s Fitness Has Never Been an Issue

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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.

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Should Steelers Sign Zach Banner to be Starter in 2021?

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Zach Banner has become a prominent member of the Steelers, but that’s not because he’s had success on the field over the past year. Banner’s success has come off the field by connecting with fans on social media and doing his part to help those in need than he has on a football field. But by no means is that Banner’s fault.

He suffered a season ending torn ACL in Week 1 of the 2020 season. This injury was especially devastating for the USC product because it occurred on the heels of Banner winning the starting right tackle position following a tough training camp battle with Chukwuma Okorafor.

Due to Banner’s injury, it was Okorafor who ended up starting 16 games, including the postseason. While Banner kept in good spirits and became his team’s loudest cheerleader on Twitter during games, it was clear he wanted to be on the field and contributing.

Earning a starting spot as a member of the Steelers offensive line was a major career achievement for Banner, but it was one he didn’t get to enjoy. With Banner expected to be ready for a return next season, should the Steelers sign the 27-year-old with the anticipation that he could be a key piece to bolster the offensive line that was missing during the 2020 season?

Do you believe in Zach Banner? Comment below with why or why not.

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Steelers

Zach Banner Announces Self-imposed Social Media Ban Until he Signs New Deal

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Zach Banner is sending a clear message about his priorities ahead of the 2021 NFL season. Banner, who is a free agent and looking for a new deal with the Steelers, tweeted that he is going to stay off social media until he officially signs on the dotted line.

Zach Banner has become a prominent member of the Steelers, but that’s not because he’s had success on the field over the past year. Banner’s success has come off the field by connecting with fans on social media and doing his part to help those in need than he has on a football field. But by no means is that Banner’s fault. He suffered a season ending torn ACL in Week 1 of the 2020 season. This injury was especially devastating for the USC product because it occurred on the heels of Banner winning the starting right tackle position following a tough training camp battle with Chukwuma Okorafor.

Due to Banner’s injury, it was Okorafor who ended up starting 16 games, including the postseason. While Banner kept in good spirits and became his team’s loudest cheerleader on Twitter during games, it was clear he wanted to be on the field and contributing.

Earning a starting spot as a member of the Steelers offensive line was a major career achievement for Banner, but it was one he didn’t get to enjoy. Banner now hopes to return to Pittsburgh and be the missing piece the Steelers offensive line desperately needs.

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Rooney: Steelers Plan to Return to St. Vincent for 2021 Training Camp

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There is plenty that remains up in the air about the 2021 NFL offseason, but the Pittsburgh Steelers still have plans to resume one of their enduring traditions that was broken by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The Steelers were forced to forgo their trip to the campus of St. Vincent College near Latrobe, Pennsylvania in 2020 due to the NFL’s rules regarding keeping players isolated during the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s unclear how much those restrictions will change for the NFL teams this summer, but as things stand as of today, the Steelers are still making plans to return to the Laurel Highlands for the team’s annual training camp this summer.

“As we sit here today, our plan is to have training camp in Latrobe,” team president Art Rooney II said to Steelers.com on Friday. “We still have a ways to go to get there, but I think there’s a pretty good chance that’s going to be able to happen. We’re still hopeful we’re going to have some form of offseason program, and it’s probably not going to start on time but I think it’s important particularly for the young players that we get back to having an offseason program and then a full training camp and preseason games. I think we need to have that to help the young players continue to develop.”

Displaced from their usual bucolic summer home and from UPMC Rooney Sports Complex on the South Side due to capacity limitations, the Steelers spent the 2020 training camp and preseason at Heinz Field.

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