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Jerome Bettis: Ben Roethlisberger Needs to Get Back to Basics Focusing on Fundamentals

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Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Jerome Bettis joined USA Today on Monday, and shared his opinion of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s future.

When asked by host Mackenzie Salmon if the 38-year-old still has it, Bettis said it will be dependent on Roethlisberger rediscovering his accuracy, which he believes dropped last season due to a slip in fundamentals.

“I saw Ben this year, and it wasn’t an issue of could he still throw the football down the field,” Bettis said. “It was he had some accuracy issues, things of that nature. When that happens, you got to go back to your fundamentals. Obviously the big concern was arm strength, can he throw it? And I think the focus was there, as opposed to ‘You know what, let’s get back to basics. You were out a full year, let’s get your fundamentals corrected.’”

Bettis added that if Roethlisberger can address those mechanical issues, the Steelers can still have success with him under center next year.

“I think he can still be the answer short-term, obviously, but if you can work with him, just get the accuracy back. It was never an issue of if he could get it to the guys. Just get the accuracy back, get him feeling good about himself and go out there and play well,” Bettis said.

Bettis also sees it as reasonable for Pittsburgh to ask Roethlisberger to assist in the maturation and tutelage of the young quarterbacks behind him, whether it is Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins.

Roethlisberger has not officially announced his intentions to return for the 2021 season yet, but did express his willingness to significantly restructure his expensive contract for a potential comeback.

The two-time Super Bowl champion was inconsistent during his 17th season. Roethlisberger had a fine season statistically, passing for 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns with ten interceptions, but saw his play drop drastically over the latter half of the year.

As on now, Roethlisberger will count over $41 million towards the Steelers’ 2021 salary cap obligations, with the club projected to be well over the cap this offseason. He could forgo up to $19 million of his salary for this upcoming season to provide the team some much needed breathing room.

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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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