Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger fielded questions recently after a workout at the team’s facilities, and unsurprisingly, a good deal of them centered around the wide receiver position, which has been a talking point all offseason.
Roethlisberger shared his thoughts on a number of related issues, and his responses ranged from affirming to revealing.
For starters, the 10-year veteran signal caller has never made it much of a secret that he covets the ability to throw to a tall target, even while his primary targets stood at six foot or under for the majority of his career.
When asked if he was happy that he got a tall receiver in Martavis Bryant, his response was that “offensively speaking, we needed to address a tall receiver”. Earlier reports and comments, of course, suggest that this was a belief held by more than just the quarterback.
Reports surfaced fairly early on that the Steelers were interested in acquiring a tall receiver early in the draft. After they drafted Bryant, wide receivers coach Richard Mann said that getting a tall receiver was something he’d been hunting for the whole draft.
Of course, these comments also speak toward Derek Moye’s role, despite the fact that he possesses a similar combination of size and speed as Bryant.
Moye is clearly pegged as a role player who managed around 50 snaps last year. The chances of him making the roster again seem to be pretty slim right now with Bryant filling his niche.
Bryant isn’t the only new receiver that Roethlisberger has to learn about, however, as the Steelers also signed Lance Moore and Darrius Heyward-Bey during free agency, and he talked about the need to find chemistry:
You have to [build a rapport]. As often as I can I am here throwing and they are here every day catching and just trying to learn. It’s not a fast process. We have to learn how they like to come out of breaks, what balls they like to catch, high ones, low ones. There is a lot of work that goes into it, but they are both veteran guys that are experienced that I am looking forward to working with.
Roethlisberger will be experiencing more change than he’s been accustomed to in his career, but he has the right attitude in confronting it. Regarding the changes, he said that “it’s going to be different but it’s fun”, describing it as “a great challenge”.
Not everything has changed, of course. In particular, there is one source of consistency remaining on which Roethlisberger can rely. That would be Antonio Brown, who has caught more of Roethlisberger’s passes than anybody since entering the league in 2010.
Brown is now the veteran receiver on the roster, having been with the team the longest, which is odd given his youth. Roethlisberger thought the same, but added that “if you are going to have one, I can’t think of a better one with his on the field experience”.