The Athletic has released the findings of their 50 coaches and decision makers, which sought to determine the rankings of NFL quarterbacks entering the 2020 season.
The 34 veteran quarterbacks included in the survey were divvied up into five tiers from best to worst. Rookies were not including in the exercise considering they have yet to play an NFL game.
While Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady filled out the top tier, finding Ben Roethlisberger’s place took a little more scrolling.
Roethlisberger clocked in as the 16th-ranked quarterback in the league based on the results of the survey, firmly entrenched in the third tier of passers.
“They lost their run game, had a couple guys hurt on defense, and it was up to Ben to carry them over the final five games, and he was terrible,” an anonymous defensive coordinator told The Athletic. “He needs help at this stage of his career.”
Another vote believes Roethlisberger is cruising on reputation at this point and on the cusp of retirement.
“When you are a statue, you have to get rid of the ball quick,” an executive said. “They did that. When you took that away, he could not do anything. Maybe he turns into a (Tier) 3 if they get the run game going with Najee Harris, but they have an offensive coordinator who has never called a play in the league, so I’m not sure what that will look like. I think Ben is almost to the 19th hole.”
Still, not all were sour on Roethlisberger at this stage of his career. The lone participant that accounted for Roethlisberger’s only Tier 1 vote still believes he has the ability to Will the .Steelers to victory.
“The way their season ended created bias in how people view the Steelers,” an anonymous coach told The Athletic. “Their defense got absolutely shredded by Cleveland. Ben completed 47 passes for more than 500 yards and four touchdowns. The pure player, he’s a guy that can put a team on his back and win every game on the schedule.”
Roethlisberger passed for 3,803 yards and 33 touchdowns with ten interceptions last season. He also completed 65.6% of his passes and was sacked a career-low 13 times.
Notable quarterbacks listed ahead of Roethlisberger include Las Vegas’ Derek Carr, Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow and Tennessee’s Ryan Tannehill.