Every team in the AFC North is 3-1 except the Steelers, who are 1-3 after dropping their third straight game against the Packers on Sunday. There are multiple reasons for Pittsburgh's struggles, but chief among them might be quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who at 39 is overseeing one of the NFL's least productive offenses. On Tuesday, coach Mike Tomlin told reporters that Roethlisberger is dealing with "hip issues" but declined to leave the door open for an eventual QB change, saying the veteran will "absolutely" remain under center.
"Absolutely," Tomlin said when asked if Roethlisberger is the best QB for the Steelers right now. "What he does and what he's done makes me really comfortable saying that."
The QB's apparent hip issues come just two weeks after the QB reportedly suffered a pectoral injury that affected his ability to throw the ball without pain. Roethlisberger hasn't missed any time due to the issues, but with or without their impact, he's been one of the league's least effective signal-callers in 2021. Through four games, the former Super Bowl champion has thrown just four touchdowns to four interceptions, with a passer rating of 78.9, which ranks 27th among active starters.
Asked what Roethlisberger can improve upon moving forward, Tomlin offered this: "Everything except mobility. I don't have an answer for that, or lack thereof. Ben used to be able to run really good when he was young. Those days are behind him. Other than that, I don't see much that's not a discussion of tech alterations."
However you slice it, the Steelers need more from their veteran QB, who took a pay cut this offseason to remain with the team. Pittsburgh's offense is averaging just over 300 yards per game (27th in the NFL) and 16.8 points per game (28th). They will host the Broncos (3-1) on Sunday, looking to return to .500.
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