The Pittsburgh Steelers have gotten off to a rough start this season.
While every other squad in the AFC North is sitting at 3-1 – Pittsburgh finds itself at 1-3 with two out of their next three seeming like guaranteed losses.
The biggest problem for the Steelers at the moment is their offense. They have not scored more than 17 points since Week 1, and Ben Roethlisberger is going through a particularly rough stretch. He has four touchdowns and four picks through the first four outings of the year – good for a 78.9 passer rating.
Frustration over Roethlisberger’s poor play finally boiled over this week.
In the third quarter of the Sunday’s eventual loss to the Green bay Packers, with his team down 10, Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster publicly aired out his frustration with Roethlisberger.
In particular, he seemed outraged over an easy touchdown that was taken off the board due to the 39-year-old’s ineptness.
“It’s a Ben problem” pic.twitter.com/E8L51cHrRW
— Justis Mosqueda (@JuMosq) October 3, 2021
— Benstonium (@Benstonium) October 3, 2021
After the game, Smith-Schuster apologized for his outburst.
“I’m human,” he said. “I have feelings. I was on the sideline. I got upset with myself because I make those plays. I never show emotions on the sideline, because I know I’m always being watched. A game like this in a critical time and moment, situation like that, I’m frustrated at myself.
“I’m not mad at the team, I’m not mad at the playcalling, I’m not mad at Ben making a throw. It’s all on me.”
During a press conference on Monday, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked whether Roethlisberger was still the best option to serve as the team’s starting quarterback going forward.
“Absolutely,” he replied (via NFL Network insider Aditi Kinkhabwala). “What he does and what he’s done makes me really comfortable in saying that.”
Now Urban Meyer’s wife is lashing out at him on social media.
— Game 7 (@game7__) October 5, 2021
Obviously Roethlisberger has fallen on hard times. When golf influencer Paige Spiranac is mocking you on social media, you know you’re in a bad place. That said, there’s still time to recover. The season is young.
Will Roethlisberger be able to bounce back in the foreseeable future, or is this it for his career? An answer to that question should emerge in the coming weeks.